The superfood that costs less than a coffee
Imagine that you could take all of the vitamins and minerals from a whole field of succulent grass. Imagine if that goodness could then be enhanced in a biological digestion vat that converts the grass into all manner of healthy substances that bring enormous benefits to your health.
Ruminant animals (sheep, cows) do all of this work for us. They eat the grass and within their complex gut, bacteria and protozoans create complex and unique substances that can fill the gaps in your diet….the gaps that you maybe try to plug with expensive and sometimes ineffective supplements. If grazing on good land the ruminant animal has an abundance of minerals and vitamins that it stores in its liver. You eat the liver and get the benefits of all of this hard work and millions of years of symbiotic evolution. Win.
Take a look at the nutrition information for Lamb’s liver
Table from Poppiesandpapaya.com
There is, however a caveat..the liver is the detox organ of the body, it’s why alcoholics do so much damage to theirs. If the animal who’s liver you are eating has been eating toxins they can end up accumulating in the liver and consequently in you…so buy organic, pasture fed lamb or calf liver and you’re golden.
On with the article. You can see that a small amount of liver will boost Vitamin A and B12 far more than the other foods but for the sake of brevity I want to focus on choline.
With the increasing consumption of fructose and the concomitant prevalence of obesity and Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease NAFLD (1 in 3 Americans have it and the UK isn’t far behind). It is important that people understand how fat is cleared from the liver. Choline is essential for this and most people don’t get enough. Egg yolks are a good source and due to terrible health advice many people limit the amount of eggs that they eat…remember the egg white omelette? Liver is also a really good source as can be seen from the table above.
Liver and bacon…is there anything that isn’t better with bacon?
What does choline do?
Dietary choline is easily converted into phosphatidylcholine and this substance actively packages up the liver fat so that it can be released into the bloodstream in the form of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). Diets low in choline have been demonstrated to produce fatty liver in animals and humans since the 1930s. Indeed Banting and Best, who are famous for their rather brutal discovery of insulin’s role in diabetes, also discovered that the dogs that had had their pancreas removed if kept alive with insulin injections went on to die from fatty liver disease. the reason; the lack of pancreatic enzymes meant that they couldn’t digest and absorb their food leading to choline deficiency.
A recipe for disaster.
Increasing the amount of fructose in our diets, either with straight fructose or the disaccharide sucrose causes fat to accumulate in the liver. Eating eggs and or liver would allow this fat to be cleared as quickly as it is formed but of course we stopped eating eggs due to cholesterol scaremongering and we no longer eat liver because it’s not as appetizing as pizza.
Choline has many other benefits. It is a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetlycholine so a deficiency would lead to an impaired nervous system…brain fog and fatigue aren’t the kind of thing that a doctor would prescribe more eggs or liver for but it could do the trick.
Vegans will certainly have a real struggle to get enough so if you’re reading this and are a vegan you will need to be a good deal more proactive to get your choline levels up to healthy levels.
Inspired to eat some liver? Use my recipe and do your body a favour Easy, reliable Liver recipe