When you’re working to reverse your autoimmune disease naturally, there is no shortage of information surrounding your diet and what you “should” be eating to get better. There’s a reason for that. Early studies are indicating that diets like the Autoimmune Protocol (which is what we teach in Mindful AIP) are helping people reverse symptoms of autoimmune disease without having to constantly increase their medication, and sometimes preventing them from needing to go on it altogether.
Hippocrates’ saying “let food be they medicine” is a principle that we continuously return to.
Your body is made up of trillions of cells and each meal is an opportunity to nourish them (or deplete them). Today we want to shine a spotlight on one of the most nutrient dense foods you can incorporate into your diet to help you heal autoimmune disease naturally, liver!
Why is Liver good for autoimmune disease?
When faced with an autoimmune condition, one of the most important methods of healing your body is increasing nutrient density in your diet.
Organ meats like liver have taken a backseat to the muscle meats people regularly consume in the Standard American Diet. However, bite for bite, liver provides more nutrients than any other 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, tissues, and immune system, function optimally.
What vitamins and minerals are in liver?
Liver contains several nutrients that support you in healing autoimmune disease naturally. In fact, studies have found that vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Zinc and Iron deficiency are linked to several autoimmune diseases . You may be thinking, “but I already eat healthy, is it necessary for me to eat liver?” In a perfect world, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables would provide you with adequate levels of nutrients, however, our modern day farming practices have depleted soil quality and created less nutrient dense produce.
Liver helps bridge the gap for the nutrient density that we miss through standard farming practices in the United States. Here’s the vitamins and minerals you’ll be getting when you eat one portion of liver:
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.
(RDI percentages based off of a 3.5 ounce serving of liver)
Where to Find Liver?
It can be intimidating to think about purchasing organ meats. Here are some of the best places to look:
- Frozen section of your local grocery or health food store
- Local butcher
- Local farm
- Meat Delivery service like US Wellness meats
Ideally, you would purchase grass-fed and finished liver, as it is both the most nutrient dense and contains the least amount of toxic additives.
How to Cook with Liver:
If the thought of eating liver by itself is overwhelming, there’s tons of ways to use it! Just like some people hide veggies in 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. Another option is going the route of adding a ton of flavor like this stunner of a recipe from Paleo Chef.
What Can I eat Instead of Liver?
If you’re still not convinced you could stomach liver, many companies sell what is known as desiccated liver, which is just ground and dried up liver put into capsule form. Our team loves Ancestral Supplements because they are well sourced. You can check them out here.
Need more help healing autoimmune disease naturally?
At Rooted in Healing we focus on using whole foods as a primary way to bring the body back into balance. If you need help figuring out how to optimize your diet to reverse your autoimmunity, our team 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.
If you have had liver before, we would love to know your favorite ways of preparing it. Please share links to your favorite recipes in the comments!