I’ve written a lot about the power of liver as an important part of a Paleo diet (or any diet, for that matter!). The liver is the major organ for detoxification as well as many other functions in the body of all mammals (more on that in my post, What the Heck Does Liver Do Anyway? Detoxification Explained). Though it has culturally fallen out of favor in recent times, liver is an incredibly nutritious food that actually supports liver function! But, the taste of liver can be a deterrent for many people who haven’t eaten it, so I have several recipes that make liver more palatable for the conventional plate (I also have some tips in 3 Painless Ways to “Eat Your Liver”), including Liver Pate and my famous 50/50/50 Burgers.
The nutrition in liver is no joke. A mere 100 calories worth, about 2oz, contains: 356% of your RDA of Vitamin A, 112% of Vitamin B2, 50% of Vitamin B3, 40% of Vitamin B5, 36% of folate (Vitamin B9), 658% if Vitamin B12, 238mg of choline, 20% of your RDA of Iron, 28% of Phosphorus, 6% of Potassium, 20% of Zinc, 400% of Copper, 10% of Manganese, and 28% of Selenium. Not to mention smaller amounts of many other vitamins and minerals, important trace minerals like molybdenum, plus lots of glycine, methionine, cysteine, and glutamic acid… all of which support the various oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, and conjugation pathways involved in detoxification by your liver and are important for metabolism, central nervous system health, and immune health (see Why Everyone Should Be Eating Organ Meat and The Paleo Approach).
Like other foods but especially meat, it’s important to get liver from a grass-fed source if possible. Grass-fed liver might be available at a local farmers’ market, or it’s always for sale at US Wellness Meats.