I speak to so many who have horrid thoughts of being forced to eat liver in their childhood. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, my Mother never liked liver so it wasn't a chosen cuisine in our household. Consequently, it was never something I served my own children and yes, I have regret for that.
Due to the nutrient profile of liver, I thought it important to begin consuming it in some form. I first began with a saute of a little chicken liver from one of my birds I was planning to put on the rotisserie. This was a difficult meal for me to get down. Rubbery, rich in a flavor I didn't care for, I just did not see myself forcing this. People have asked "why force something you don't like?" I answer, "for the potential health benefits I can obtain, I will continue to find a way"!
Body Builders have known the secret of liver for many years through the consumption of Desiccated Liver Tablets. These liver tablets are known to produce massive energy results thereby allowing the athlete to push his/her energy levels to that next level.
Desiccated Liver tablets are freeze dried, defatted bovine liver that is free of hormones and antibiotics. I have used Solgar Brand in the past and love the effect. However, since the tablets are defatted, I felt like I wasn't gaining the benefit of the fat soluble vitamins, most particularly Pre-formed Vitamin A which is different from Beta Carotene. Unfortunately, Beta Carotene does not efficiently convert to the pre-formed Vitamin A and newer research has shown that the absorption of provitamin-A (carotenoids)which we find in our yellow/orange produce is only half as much as previously thought.
Why am I so interested in Pre-Formed Vitamin A? let me count the ways!:
- Healthy Vision
- Healthy Bone Growth & Regeneration
- Healthy Reproduction
- Cell Division, and Cell Differentiation (in which a cell becomes part of the brain, muscle, lungs, blood, or other specialized tissue.)
- Immune System Regulation, which helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses including cancers.
- Vitamin A also may help lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) fight infections more effectively.
- Vitamin A promotes healthy surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. When those linings break down, it becomes easier for bacteria to enter the body and cause infection. Vitamin A also helps the skin and mucous membranes function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin A in foods that come from animals is well absorbed and used efficiently by the body. Sadly, the majority of the general public relies on fortified foods for this valuable nutrient.
Liver is rich in Arachadonic Acid and DHA as well as Lipoic Acid not to mention the many vitamins & minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin B6
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12
No wonder animal liver is recommended as one of baby's first foods! After the hunt, indigenous people cut out the liver and immediately shared it among the tribe as a sacred practice. High in Vitamin C, the Inuit avoided scurvy with the consumption of raw livers.
Liver is our absolute best iron source and I have had a great deal of success raising iron levels of anemic women with desiccated liver tablets. Many have reported an increase in energy in a matter of 2 short days. If you've ever suffered anemic low energy, you know what I'm talking about.
Interestingly enough, Beef Liver has twice the amount of Vitamin A as Chicken Liver so this is the form I have chosen to use.
As I mentioned above, I have tried cooked chicken liver and just can't stomach the long process of chewing this food no matter how I cook it.
I then began blending it with a little coconut milk and that nearly came back the same way it went down. The combination was utterly repulsive and if you've ever forced something for a period of time, you know the gag reflex just becomes stronger each time.
I then decided to freeze it and chunk it up in small pieces and swallow these like supplements as you see in the photo. However that started to become as difficult as the coconut liver blend so I thought "one more try" and have now transitioned to the most tolerable way possible for me personally. Once I blend my morning smoothie, I take approximately 6oz. of my smoothie and blend with it 4 tbs. of frozen,raw beef liver and just "chug it". It's easy, there is very little after taste and the energy surge I feel from this lasts the entire day. Yes, I am actually noticing the biggest difference ever of any food I have ever incorporated into my diet.
It's an interesting point but when I added frozen peaches to my smoothie, the taste of the liver was even more neutralized than with frozen berries alone. You can find my smoothie recipe here. Do be careful with the sugar content though because if your weight loss journey is new, you suffer insulin resistance or other metabolic disorders, that higher glycemic fruit might not be the superior choice for you.
Jack Lalane reportedly took desiccated liver tablets during his workouts and really ramped them up prior to a competition.
There really is no more a sacred food than that of liver. I encourage you to try it and see what I mean by the surge in energy. It's an amazing feeling really.
I'll let you know when I become brave enough to figure out how to get heart in my diet for that surge of natural CoEnzyme Q10 or "Ubiquinol".
I'll close for now because I think my liver smoothie just kicked in so I'm going to take advantage of the extra energy on this unusually warm April afternoon!