Traditions are not only for connection and nostalgia, traditions often contain wisdom from previous generations. Sometimes the reason behind the tradition gets lost, and one tradition that had been very recently lost is the consumption of the superfood from the animal kingdom, organ meats. Yep you heard me right, liver, heart, kidney, tripe, sweet breads etc are superfoods! They may not be glamorous, but they are worth considering.
Let’s go back in time for a sec. A doctor by the name of Weston Price traveled the world and studied traditional diets from different cultures, and what he found was that organ meats were universally coveted, mostly for their dense nutrition value. This was seen time and time again. Even animals instinctively know the organs are the important part. Lions will eat the organs of their prey before anything else.
So why are organ meats superfoods?
They are nutrient dense. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, B-Vitamins, Vitamins D, choline, iron, Vitamin a, selenium, and CoQ10 to name a few because the list is large. We have all heard of the B-complex vitamins. They help protect the heart and circulatory system and give us energy. Amino acids help repair our body after we work out, vitamins A and E are powerful antioxidants that help scavenge damaging free radicals produced from exercise, and minerals are important for building strong bones, maintaining nerve function, and running vital metabolic processes. Organ meats also help fight anemia because organs like liver are packed with iron. Organ meats can provide a powerful health boost, especially because their whole food nutrition is lacking in our more western diets.
One important note I want to make is on the importance of finding a quality organ meat. Eating organ meats from feed lot animals is NOT the way to go. Over time their bodies accumulate unhealthy toxins, inflammatory fatty acids, and list of other chemicals and hormones. Make sure you get your meats from a good source.
As a nutritionist I often find that people either come from one of two camps of thinking; sounds interesting! or sounds gross! I must admit, Noah and I are in completely different camps. I get excited when I see organ meats on the menu at a foodie farm-to-table restaurant, and Noah would rather get his organ meats in pill form. No matter which camp you are from we've got it covered. For those of you in my camp, check out US Wellness Meats and order some grass fed organ meats or organ sausages and find creative ways to cook with them. If you are in Noah’s camp, try out Paleo Energy Power Packs. You can think of it as a pre and post workout multivitamin. We love it because it's loaded with organ meats, plus MUCH more. The packs contain grass fed whey, emulsified CoQ10, activated B-vitamins, amino acids, probiotics, enzymes, antioxidants, choline, inositol, citrulline, gamma oryzanol, and octacosanol. We wanted to make sure athletes were getting a good whole food source of nutrients while they push the envelope. Training is tough and it can be tough on your body, so feed it right!
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