This Superfood Contains ALL the Nutrients You Need for Postpartum Recovery
This postpartum superfood may surprise you...or it might not. Before you skip ahead, see if you can guess what it is! Here are a few hints about this superfood:
- It contains almost every vitamin and mineral known to humans.
- It’s especially high in iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. Iron deficiency is common in pregnancy and the postpartum period. This food can help prevent and correct that.
- Just one serving delivers more than 100% of the adult daily requirement for vitamins B12, B2, B3, B5, and vitamin A. Having enough B12, in particular, will go a long way to support your energy and mood after having a baby.
- Besides all the micronutrient content, it’s an amazing protein source! You need protein for recovery from birth.
- It’s NOT green!
And the postpartum superfood is (drumroll) -
Cue a thousand disappointed sighs.
Just kidding, I probably don’t have a thousand readers. :D
Really though, I’m sure this is less than exciting for many folks - and perhaps downright gross for any vegetarian readers.
If you’re not into liver, I don’t blame you. North American food focuses on specific cuts of muscle meats. Things like organs, bones, and “odd bits” are overlooked; they don’t generally make an appearance in the average household, despite how nutrient dense they are. I think it’s safe to say that most of us who grew up in Canada or the US weren’t raised on foods like liver. If you were, and you have a taste for it, then I say you’re lucky!
I highly recommend consuming liver during your postpartum period.
During pregnancy and breast/chestfeeding, your body is passing on SO many nutrients to your growing baby...basically, the baby takes everything they need, and you’re left with the scraps. That’s why it’s important to LOAD UP on nutrient dense superfoods like liver (and others!), to avoid becoming depleted yourself.
Simply put, liver is an absolute nutritional powerhouse. You might consider eating a 4 oz serving of liver to be like taking a multivitamin...even better, actually, since you’re getting the nutrients from a whole food (yay!).
Now, before you go thinking that I love liver myself, let me assure you - I do not. I’ve never acquired a taste for it, as much as I’ve tried. What I have acquired are some ways to consume it, in spite of my distaste for it.
Of course, if you’re someone who actually loves liver, please, eat it up however you fancy! For the rest of us, here are some ideas and strategies:
3 Ways to Consume Liver (If You’re Not a Fan!)
1. Hide it in other dishes.
This is my favourite option. I do this all the time. Take a small chunk of liver (however much you’re comfortable with), puree it, and include it any ground beef dish...think meat sauces, burgers, meatballs, Shepherd’s pie, etc. I always have small frozen chunks of liver in my freezer for this exact purpose. I usually thaw the piece and puree it, but perhaps you could try grating or chopping finely, which might work better if it’s still in a frozen or semi-frozen state. My pieces are maybe a third of the size of my palm, and for a recipe that has a pound or more of ground beef, I haven’t been able to taste it, as long as it’s pureed or finely chopped. I’m always attempting to sneak more liver into recipes without being able to taste it!
2. Make homemade frozen liver pills.
Here’s something you can try...and it’s much simpler than it sounds. Cut your (cooked) liver into very small pill-sized pieces, lay out on a baking sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, they can be transferred to an airtight container and kept in the freezer. Take 5-10 pills (or ½ - 1 oz) per day. Of course, you can also buy a liver capsule supplement, but this option is way more economical! Tip: cut the pieces even smaller than you’d think, for ease of swallowing (I thought I was cutting mine small enough, but nope). You may also try popping a couple of these into a smoothie, if you do smoothies.
3. Try making a pâté.
This is the most adventurous option. Many people who dislike the taste of liver find that they don’t mind it in a pâté - especially chicken liver instead of beef liver - so consider making one! Pâté generally also contains healthy fats like butter, or coconut oil or cream, which you also definitely want to be eating in your postpartum period! Ask around for some tried and delicious recipes (or email me and I'll point you in the right direction). Pâté makes a fantastic, iron-rich postpartum snack. Plus, it’s a great first food for when your baby starts solids!
A Word About Liver Quality
One last thing - when you’re buying liver, or any other animal product, quality is important! The liver from grass-fed cows or pasture-raised chickens is way higher in nutrients, not to mention the fact that the animal will be healthier and happier overall. I recommend finding a butcher in your area who can confirm the farms your animal products are coming from, and give you more info about how the animals are treated, their diet, etc.
So there you have it, friends - liver is a postpartum superfood, and there are definitely ways to get it into your body even if you don’t like the taste. Please share in the comments if you have any other ideas. Here’s to simple and unexpected superfoods - cheers!