I do a lot of reading about nutrition. A lot. I find it fascinating to continually discover the unbelievable complexity of our bodies, and a core value in how well your body functions depends on the quality of your nutrition. It’s simply mind-boggling, and I keep learning more and more that leaves me almost shocked at how critical good nutrition is to so many aspects of development. And I’m a person who has already known for years that nutrition is really important! (Sometimes I sit my older kids down and have them read some of what I read; other times I explain to them the science behind what I’m learning about – which leaves them wishing I knew more about nutrition when they were little so they could have all of the benefits!)
I have so many things I want to share with you here, but I often don’t because I don’t want to be seen as an expert who can answer detailed and specific questions – I can’t, and I don’t want to! Despite reading many, many details in numerous books and articles, I’m not a person who enjoys writing about them; I prefer to share what I’m doing in response to what I learn.
I’ve been noticing that despite all of the good things we eat and the traditional ways that I prepare our foods (for about four years now), my ds2 and ds4 (almost) both have a couple of teeth that are a little close together, which I’m concerned may become crowded as they get older. It’s a little frustrating to me that it’s so darn hard in this day and age to help our kids reach their genetic potential, that we have to work so hard and so consciously to help our children develop in the way that generations pretty much naturally developed for centuries (specifically in this case I’m referring to the wide mouth palates of the past vs the narrow palates of the present). But fortunately bone is elastic to a degree, particularly in very young children and good nutrition can actually help improve existing bone structure. Though this is gets harder to do the older a child is, until the permanent teeth erupt there’s still a likelihood that it can be improved, and I’m hopeful that ramping up their nutrition can still benefit their jaw structure at this time. Spending a bit more on high quality foods now could be a pretty big savings in orthodontia down the road!
I’ve repeatedly seen cod liver oil recommended as being valuable in contributing to good health (including tooth strength and jaw development), in part because it’s high in vitamins A and D, but I’ve been unable to find a single company in the world that sells kosher certified cod liver oil, so I needed to find another option. Though I learned about the importance of cod liver oil at least two or three years ago, I’ve thought that it was enough to basically eat decent quality foods mostly prepared properly, and since I couldn’t find a source of cod liver oil I could use, I wasn’t concerned. But now I believe that living in the toxic world we live in, we have so many strikes against us that it really takes more than ‘basically’ or ‘mostly’ to counter that. When I once again came back to think about this issue in the last couple of months, I finally determined that we needed to add something more nutrient dense to our diets, and that beef liver is the best option for us, in terms of providing us with some similar benefits as cod liver oil (as well as benefits of its own).
Beef liver is high in iron and vitamin A (not so much D), lots of B vitamins (including the important B12), as well as Omega 3 fatty acids (most of us are deficient in Omega 3s and consume too many Omega 6s – the ration should be 1:1). I like how Amanda says that eating liver is pretty close to taking a multi-purpose vitamin! As such, it has many different benefits for people of all ages (I’m trying to convince a friend suffering extreme nausea during pregnancy – in her third trimester now! – with a history of severe postnatal depression to eat some liver to help address some underlying deficiencies, but she said it would make her too nauseous to eat it).
It’s taken a few weeks to actually be able to get the liver, but we finally have it! Last night we prepared liver for the first time. For my kosher readers, some of you are probably already wondering about this since you know it isn’t so simple! I’ll prepare a more detailed post about the concerns for kosher consumers in the next week or so, and how to properly prepare it (including an important fact that most people are unaware of).
All of my kids but one liked it, but I told her she would only need to eat a small amount, and I’ll probably mix it into different foods, like with ground meat – so that was fine with her. I’m planning to regularly include it in our meals, which is why I bought over 20 lb yesterday (as you know by now, I don’t know how to buy small quantities! :lol:). We’ll see how long it lasts!
(This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.)