Are you taking a good quality multivitamin to get all the nutrients you need? If so, you may be surprised to find out that I’m NOT a fan of multivitamins.
I’m sure this isn’t what you expected to hear. It is contrary to the common belief; it is even contrary to what I used to believe.
There are some real concerns with multivitamins. Many are ineffective, but they could actually be doing more harm than good.
So, what are you supposed to do to get the nutrients that might be missing in your diet? Let’s take some time to explore this issue and find a better alternative.
Concerns with Multivitamins
Here are a few of my grievances with synthetic multivitamins.
- Nutrients in multivitamins are often in a form that our bodies can't use at all, can't use well, or don't act the same way in your body as they would in their natural form.
- Nutrients are not balanced properly so they can not work together in the synergistic way they were intended.
- Some nutrient levels are actually too high. More is not always better as this can leave our bodies with more to process and deal with unnecessarily.
- Some nutrient levels are too low, leaving the body still depleted.
Why Balance is so important
Nutrients are affected by other nutrients. Here are just a few examples:
- Supplementing with Zinc can deplete copper
- Too much Ascorbic Acid (the common supplemental form of Vitamin C) can lead our bodies to dump Copper
- Too much vitamin D supplementation can drive down our Retinol (Active Vitamin A)
- Too much Calcium supplementation can drive down Magnesium
Bottom line, if you are getting too much of a nutrient, it can change the levels of other nutrients. Nutrients work together (which is how they are also found in nutrient dense food!)
What should you take instead?
So, if taking a multivitamin is off the table, what should you do instead? Let’s look to nature because it knows how the body was designed and what it needs to thrive. Beef liver acts like nature's multi-vitamin! It is rich in SO MANY real food forms of vitamins and minerals that are easy for your body to absorb.
If you look at our ancestors, the when an animal was killed for food, the organ meat were the most valued cuts. They were oftentimes saved for the leaders or tribe, or in many cases saved for those were were pregnant or about to become pregnant.
Liver isn't going to give you everything that you need, but it is rich in so many vitamins and minerals (see the infographic below).
How to Consume Liver
You may remember eating liver as a child, and you may have hated it (or you may have loved it). If you are one of the former, there are many ways to get the health benefits without suffering through a taste you don’t like.
Many people don't like liver because of the texture. To avoid this, I like to get liver and make liver pate. My girls and I make this recipe weekly. They enjoy the process and the final product. We like to eat it with a spoon, but if you are having trouble introducing it you can eat it on bread or dip crackers in it.
Taking desiccated liver as a supplement is another option. Some of the best options out there for a supplement are:
- Ancestral Supplements Beef Liver
- Perfect Supplements Beef Liver
- Paleovalley Organ Complex
You can even make your own liver supplements at home, but that’s probably a blog for another day.
How does Liver Stack up to Muscle Meat?
The graphic below provides an interesting picture of what liver provides vs beef or chicken.
What Might I notice when I start consuming liver regularly?
One of most powerful stories about Liver is that of my sister! I'll give you the highlights, but I strongly encourage you to go read it yourself or watch her video testimonial.
Just over 10 years ago, her and her husband decided to start trying for a baby. She got off of birth control, but her period didn't come back. She started making all of the right changes, and eating all of the healthy food, but still wasn't able to become pregnant. This went on for several years.
Finally when she started adding in liver, her her hormones came back into balance, her cycle returned, and she was able to become pregnant. She is currently has 3 thriving kids, and is pregnant with her 4th baby!
I am not one for magic pills, potions, and quick fixes, but I really do believe Mother Nature knows what she is doing. The vitamins and minerals provided in real food come in the right amounts to work together in a balanced way. They are also I given in a form that your body can easily use. Eating nose to tail as our ancestors did would help us out a lot!