Welcome today’s guest post author Erin Smith from Eat Real Stay Sane!
Do you worry about what pills, superfoods, or supplements you should be taking every day?
Every time we fire up the Internet, there’s a new article mentioning the amazing thing you must be taking if you want to be healthy.
Acai berries, avocados, tea, soy, pumpkin, even seaweed – it’s no wonder healthy eating is more convoluted and confusing than ever.
The government teaches us one thing, doctors teach us another, and scientific studies seem to contradict each other at an alarming rate.
That’s why the simplicity of a real food diet can be comforting. Sure, there are the finer points, like which exact flours to use, whether you should soak oatmeal, and if XYZ farm really has grass-fed cows. But, I think pretty much everyone can concede that eating whole, natural foods is roughly 70 bajillion times healthier than a standard American diet (also known as SAD).
Furthermore, real food peeps (like us) know that you don’t need to take a variety of commercial supplements and vitamins because eating a balanced diet of healthy foods can pretty much cover what you need.
However, there is one thing that we “take” every single day – fermented cod liver oil (FCLO). I say “take” because it’s actually a whole, unprocessed food. It isn’t created in a lab. It’s like drinking bone broth or eating an egg.
FCLO has been proven to help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, prevent cancer, bone loss, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, heart disease and many more. Check out this article by the Wellness Mama where she links to studies proving the beneficial effects of FCLO.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil = Nutritional Powerhouse
FCLO is especially known for containing perhaps the best source of Vitamins A & D. It also contains high quality and quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the U.S.
In fact, Harvard University researchers discovered that up to 96,000 American deaths occur per year due to omega-3 deficiency.
Avoiding nutrient deficiencies keeps our bodies working at maximum, prevents disease, and helps fight against existing illness and disease.
“Vitamin A plays a vital role in bone growth, reproduction and immune system health. It also helps the skin and mucous membranes repel bacteria and viruses more effectively. It is essential to healthy vision, and may slow declining retinal function in people with retinitis pigmentosa.”
He also has this to say about Vitamin D:
“Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteomalacia. Research suggests vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).”
Ok that’s great – so why don’t we just eat some foods that have vitamins A & D? Or eat some more fish with omega-3’s? Or take a supplement?
Here’s why FCLO is the way to go.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil has insane amounts of these vitamins
Carrots are generally recognized as a fantastic source of vitamin A (even though your body has to work extra to convert it to usable vitamin A) – yet 1 tsp of FCLO provides the same amount.
Mushrooms are known to be great sources of vitamin D – but 1 tsp of FCLO provides nearly 5 times what a serving of mushrooms does.
In other words, few foods can match the vitamin A content of FCLO and no food can match the vitamin D content – and you can get it all in one place.
Synthetic vitamins are never as good as the real thing
Many people, taking the lazy way out, figure they can eat whatever they want and take a multivitamin to fill in the nutritional gaps.
However, many studies show that our bodies can’t absorb multivitamins. Often these synthetic vitamins are peed out or stored in our fat. Not to mention all the “extras” they throw in there that have nothing to do with helping your body but preserving the fakeness of the pill.
Furthermore, some studies have shown that synthetic vitamins carry harmful side effects, including effecting our metabolism or even increasing our chance of death.
The vitamins in FCLO are easily used by our bodies
The Weston A. Price Foundation explains that “fermented cod liver oil contains many co-factors that may enhance the body’s uptake and usage of vitamins A & D.”
High quality FCLO should also contain butter oil, as both Vitamins A & D are fat soluble vitamins. Including butter oil actually helps dissolve these vitamins, making them more accessible by our bodies.
Here’s what WAPF has to say about butter oil:
“Dr. Price always gave cod liver oil along with high-vitamin butter oil, extracted by centrifuge from good quality spring or fall butter. He found that cod liver oil on its own was relatively ineffective but combined with high vitamin butter oil produced excellent results. The butter oil contains what he called Activator X, now considered to be vitamin K2, which works synergistically with vitamins A and D.”
Clearly FCLO provides nutrients in forms that are extremely accessible by our bodies, allowing us to reap the full benefits.
Choosing A FCLO Plus Our Preferred Brand
Companies know that people are catching the cod liver oil fever! And whenever people latch onto a new superfood, you better believe there are savvy companies out there that will take advantage.
Unfortunately, these companies take shortcuts to make profits, usually by producing it as cheaply as possible. If their brand is $25, but the good stuff costs $40, the uninformed person will always choose the cheap stuff.
So, here’s what you need to look for when buying FCLO:
- Must be fermented
The process for extracting oil from the liver can be a bit tedious. There’s a quick way and a slow way to do it, and the easier way, as a generally life rule, is usually the one that doesn’t provide the best results.
Companies looking to make a quick buck will heat the oil or extract with chemicals, allowing them to extract the oil in a single day. However, processing it this way destroys much of the benefit.
The true way to extract the oil is by fermentation, a process that doesn’t require heating, but does need at least 6 months. This actually increases the bioavailability of the nutrients.
- Must have butter oil
Read that like you’re a zombie saying “must have brains.” Makes it funnier
- Find a high quality brand
There’s a lot of junk out there as many companies find shortcuts. As you’ve read so far, hopefully you get that this stuff is worth shelling out for the good stuff (especially since there’s some evidence that low-quality cod liver oil can be detrimental to your health).
Anyway, the brand that we use is Blue Ice fermented cod liver/butter oil blend. We have the chocolate flavored one, which was probably created by the spawn of Satan because it’s the most foul-tasting stuff on Earth.
However, we’ve heard that the cinnamon flavor is pretty tasty, so we’re just waiting until we finish this chocolate abomination. I’ve never been more disappointed in something supposedly chocolaty. But… it’s dang healthy, so we’ll make the sacrifice.
Weston A. Price also provides an updated list of the highest quality brands of FCLO.
If you’re only going to “take” one thing per day, make it fermented cod liver oil.
It’s safe and recommended for everyone to take, especially babies and pregnant (or planning-to-be pregnant) mothers. Since everything about it is completely natural, it’s a better alternative than a synthetic vitamin. Emily at Butter Believer even uses it as a cold remedy.
Many people don’t consider that the ability to absorb vitamins is just as important as what nutrients are in what you’re consuming. If the vitamins don’t come in a form that your body can’t use, then what’s the point? FCLO provides everything needed to work in tandem to help your body absorb every last particle of nutrients possible.
Try it out and see how it helps you get sick less, have more energy, and even fight disease!
Erin is a stay at home mom of 1 (hoping to grow that number), awesome wife, she bleeds blue (BYU fan and Mormon), loves anything peanut butter or chocolate, has a slight obsession with animals, and has a mission to inform the world the benefits of eating whole real food while staying sane in a society of processed foods. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook and drop by her blog at http://eatrealstaysane.com