Yep, you read that right. This week’s super food is actually of the red meat variety. Many liver lovers hold calf liver in very high regards for its abundance of nutrients and it’s very delicate taste and texture. This particular type of liver is less likely to have toxins, such as pesticides, hormones and antibiotics typically found in older animals. It’s also more flavorful and tender than beef liver. Calf’s liver is an exceptionally nutrient dense food. Just four ounces of calf’s liver serves as an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin A, copper, foliate, riboflavin and selenium. A single serving is also a very good source of zinc, vitamin C, protein, niacin and phosphorus. You’ll also find that this little powerhouse of meat is also a good source of vitamin B5, B6 and iron. Calf’s liver is high in cholesterol and saturated fat, but its concentration of so many nutrients makes it an extremely healthful food. Calf’s liver yields cardiovascular benefits helping to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke with the rich source of vitamins B12, B6, riboflavin and foliate to convert potentially dangerous chemicals in the body to benign molecules. Calf’s liver has a unique combination of B vitamins, which helps to support energy metabolism throughout the body. The complex B vitamins also serve as a protector against certain types of cancer and along with vitamin A, also help to protect against emphysema. And for hair health, calf’s liver is an excellent choice because it contains all the major vitamins and minerals (with the exception of MSM) necessary for happy healthy growing hair. So try giving calf liver a shot. All you need is four ounces to reap all the amazing benefits of this super food. Try braising calf’s liver with mushrooms in red wine, or sauté in olive oil with onion with a side of mashed sweet potatoes for a tender and tasty meal your body and hair will love.
Over Training- Too Much of a Good Thing
We all know that a little exercise is good for you. So the next logical statement should be the more the better, right? Well, not so much. There does come a point of diminishing returns, or a point where your body simply says “ENOUGH!”. Every individual reaches that point at different times. In the quest for better health and fitness it’s often difficult to quell one’s enthusiasm and take a break from exercise. Some may be afraid that if they take a break they might “relapse” and become sedentary again. If exercise is leaving you more exhausted than energized, it is possible you might be suffering from an acute case of over training. How is this caused? For some the basis for over training may have to do with emotional or psychological reasons. Some people are just simply addicted to exercise and will exercise past the point of exhaustion, while injured, or to the exclusion of other aspects of one’s life. For some athletes it is getting ready for that major competition, but for the general population its just taking on too much too soon in the excitement of becoming a healthier person. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms before they come chronic. Remember not all of the sings of over training are physical and may manifest itself though depression and sometimes irritability, especially when performance is decreased during a workout. However, some of the physical signs and symptoms include:
· Decrease performance
· Lack of coordination
· Extended recovery periods
· Elevated morning heart rate
· Loss of appetite
· Muscle soreness/tenderness
· Increased incidence of musculoskeletal injuries
· Disturbed sleep patterns
So how can one prevent over training? The key is moderation, which is best viewed as something relative to someone’s own fitness level and goals. Don’t expect to exercise an hour because someone else who is really fit does. Remember the body needs time to adjust, adapt and recuperate. Exercising to the point of over training is like taking one step forward and two steps backwards.
Until next week…
I was so excited to see liver included as a super food! I eat chicken liver at least once a week and take fermented cod liver oil every day. Organ meats are some of the healthiest foods we can consume and have been a part of traditional diets in cultures around the world. Granted, we should be consuming them from healthy animals fed their natural diet and raised under natural conditions rather than the typically raised livestock, which is probably why you recommended calf liver (they're more likely to still be on grass). Liver is really high in iron, B12, vitamin A, folic acid, copper, zinc and many other nutrients. Plus, it's very affordable considering it's nutrient profile. And, yes, the liver has an important role in detoxifying the body but it doesn't store toxins within the body. Yay for liver!
No to liver. I was a rare kid who actually liver but after going to nursing school and wht health and nutrition education I have received over the years, I would never eat organ meat! IMO, the exposure to toxins way outweighs possible health benefits.
Years ago my mother swore I would someday like liver. Hasn't happened yet. 🙂 I'm still waiting for someone to engineer a liver that tastes like steak. 😀 Otherwise, great post!
jerk calf's liver mmmm
I love liver, it is nutritious and full of iron. Of course you dont have to eat it all the time, once in a while is okay.
Liver…really? Liver detoxifies the body and often when eating liver you are consuming toxins that had not yet been eliminated, mainly drugs or hormones fed to the animal. Because of the high cholesterol content the American Heart Association recommends that liver consumption not be engaged in regularly. As a licensed nutritionist, I would never encourage the consumption of this organ meat and definitely do NOT consider it a "super food".
I could seriously debate the health of that food….
These tips are great! I really do love your posts, so informative.
I wasn't aware that liver was high in cholesterol… I like liver but have not eaten it in a few years. Now, I have to watch my cholesterol b/c it's slightly over the normal range.
Great tip! People don't really eat liver any more. It's thought of as such a bad food because of cholesterol but it's really quite nutritious.