When you are working to reverse an autoimmune condition naturally, you know there is no shortage of information surrounding your diet and what you should be eating. As Hippocrates famously said (and is probably mentioned in 90% of nutrition blogs):
Let food be thy medicine.
As cliche as it is, it’s a principle that we continuously return for a reason. We have the ability to feed each of our trillions of cells with the vitamins, nutrients and minerals they need with each meal we eat. Obviously, not all food is created equal though. An apple is always going to be more nutrient dense than a doughnut. Not saying that a doughnut is bad, but it won’t always be your most nutrient dense choice.
The food I want to shine a spotlight on today is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can incorporate into your diet.
So without further ado, let’s talk about Liver.
Why Liver is a Superfood
Organ meats like Liver have taken a backseat to the muscle meats we regularly consume in the Standard American Diet. But bite for bite, liver can provide more nutrients than any other muscle meat such as a breast or leg. A small amount of liver can contain 100% of the RDI for many of our foundational vitamins and micronutrients that help our own organs and tissues. When faced with an autoimmune condition, it’s crucial that we are continuously giving our tissues, organs and immune system the raw materials they need to function optimally.
Liver contains super high levels of:
Vitamin B12: 3,460% of the RDI
Vitamin A: 860–1,100% of the RDI
Copper: 1,620% of the RDI
Iron: 80% of the RDI
Manganese: 53% of the RDI
Folate: 65% of the RDI
Zinc: 100% of the RDI
Choline: Liver provides all of the Adequate Intake (AI) for women
Other honorable mentions include high amounts of selenium and iodine which play a huge role in thyroid health.
Studies have found that Vitamin A, Zinc and Iron deficiency have been linked to several autoimmune diseases (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20655952/). And while we would ideally get all of our nutrients from farmed food, our soil quality just isn’t what it used to be. Liver really helps bridge the gap for the nutrient density that we miss.
Where to Find Liver:
- Frozen section of your local grocery or health food store
- Local butcher
- Local farm
- Meat Delivery service like US Wellness meats
How to cook with it:
If the thought of eating liver by itself is overwhelming, there’s tons of ways to use it! Just like we have to hide veggies in our kids’ food, we can do the same with liver by grinding it up and making meatballs or meat patties that combine both muscle meats and liver.
Alternatively, you could also cut it up, lightly bread it with AIP compliant ingredients and pop them in the air fryer. Or you could go the route of adding a ton of flavor like this stunner of a recipe from Paleo Chef does https://paleochef.com/2014/05/30/bangin-liver-recipe/
Pate’s are also a great way to consume it.
If you’re still not convinced you could stomach liver (see what I did there), there is another option you could consider so you can still get the amazing nutrient benefits.
Many companies sell what is known as desiccated liver, which is just ground and dried up liver put into capsule form. I love the ones from Ancestral Supplements because they are really well sourced. You can check them out here Ancestral Supplements: Liver
At Rooted in Healing we focus on using whole foods as a primary way to bring the body back into balance. I always encourage my clients to include a wide variety of meat for a wide variety of nutrients, and liver is most definitely included in that conversation.
If you are wanting some help figuring out how to optimize your diet to reverse your autoimmunity, I would love to help guide you. We specialize in autoimmune disease, detox & drainage, and gut health, and would love to support you in feeling like yourself again. Click here to view our services.
Also, if you have had liver before, I would love to know your favorite ways of preparing it! Please share them with me in the comments!
*RDI percentages based off of a 3.5 ounce serving of liver