3 Foods for Brain Power
When hurricane Irma was on its way to Florida, we ran to Trader Joe’s to stock up on canned food. The only options left on the shelves were anchovies and smoked oysters. At the time, I was a bit worried and Cesar said I would have to eat them all. There were no sardines, so smoked oysters would have to do. We bought the four cans of oysters and put them in our stockpile of non-perishable food at home. Eventually we evacuated and road-tripped to North Carolina. Those oysters travelled the whole way there and back to Florida without being eaten. I mean, who wants to eat a new, freaky food when your brother is grilling salmon and burgers for you? Probably a week after returning home to Florida, I saw an Instagram post of someone’s snack – smoked oysters + vegan cream cheese + grain-free crackers. Wow! It looked amazing. It sounded amazing. I was all for trying oysters at that point. I finally convinced Cesar to take me to Whole Foods (the pricey-est store we visit) to buy some Simple Mills crackers and Kite Hill cheese. I should mention, that those two items are not AIP elimination phase-friendly. On the way home with our cheese and crackers, I researched the benefits of oysters and was blown away! Check it out:
+ Oysters are rich in copper, calcium, iron, omega-3 fats, phosphorus, protein, sodium, selenium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and zinc.
- Zinc is essential for mental health, immune function, and fertility
- Selenium binds to any mercury and prevents harm to the body
- Selenium is super beneficial for thyroid health
- Vitamin B12 is essential for neurological health, energy, and mood
- Vitamin C boosts immune health
+ These bivalves have an excellent ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats.
+ Oysters support skeletal health, red blood cell production, nerve cell health, immune health, and thyroid function.
+ They also protect our bodies against damage from free radicals.
+ Oysters are considered an aphrodisiac due to their abundance of zinc.
+ Oysters rival liver!
“Seafood rivals organ meat in terms of nutrient density, especially shellfish like oysters, and clams, and mussels. In fact, oysters are high in just about all the same things that liver is high in. So if you’re somebody trying to work on liking liver, oysters is a great way to fill that nutritional gap.” -Dr. Sarah Ballantyne
(Phoenix Helix podcast – Episode 79: Nutrient Density with Dr. Sarah Ballantyne)
Words to live by, my friends! Words to live by…
Every time I read the facts above, I get beyond excited to include them in my diet more often. And let me tell you – smoked oysters taste AMAZING! If you’ve already become accustomed to sardines, I guarantee you’ll love oysters. Take a look at this list to get some ideas for eating more oysters:
Ways to Eat Oysters
- on crackers with or without cream cheese
- as a pate with veggies or crackers to dip
- as a chive cream cheese + oyster spread on crackers or yucca bread
- added into a seafood chowder
- in a salad
Good news – I’m putting together a few recipes centered on oysters! They’ll be up on the blog in the future, so be sure to check back.
The first liver I ever ate, unfortunately, was beef liver. Beef liver is more nutritous than chicken liver; but the taste is extremely more powerful. If you’re new to organ meats, I suggest you begin with chicken liver. I’ve had pate. I’ve enjoyed crispy fried livers. But my favorite way to eat liver is to hide it! Hey, at least I’m eating it. Let’s talk a bit about why chicken liver is so nutrient dense:
+ First and foremost, chicken liver is super high in Vitamin B12, which is excellent for cellular and neurological function.
+ Liver is also high in Vitamin B6, biotin and folate, which helps with the body’s methylation process.
+ Vitamin A and iron are also found in high amounts in chicken liver, making it an ideal food for those suffering from anemia or fatigue.
+ Chicken liver, and any liver for that matter, is not toxic. Yes, our liver filters toxins; but our liver does not store toxins.
+ When purchasing liver, make sure it is from an organic and pasture-raised animal.
Ways to Eat Chicken Liver
- add it to a soup
- blend with herbs and spices for a pate
- crisp-fry livers in garlic and coconut oil (check out Alaena’s Garlic Fried Chicken Livers)
- grind it to add to chili, meatloaf, and burgers (check out my Chicken Liver Beef Burgers)
Cod Liver Oil
I didn’t consume any of these nutrient dense foods until recently. I had always heard these were nasty-tasting and gross. Never had I heard anything positive about them. I will tell you that the cod liver oil I’m taking right now is flavored with lemon and mint. Many report that you can still pick up a gross fish taste. I, on the other hand, enjoy it! It tastes like smooth, thick, lemon-y olive oil to be honest. I haven’t noticed any immediate changes after eating liver. However, with both cod liver oil and oysters, there is a significant boost in my brain function. I’ve started taking a spoonful of cod liver oil every day before I begin my work because I’ve realized how sharp and alert my mind is after I take it! The benefits are amazing. Have a look:
+ Cod liver oil is all about Vitamin D, Vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it impressive at lowering inflammation in the body, boosting brain health, and preventing depression.
+ Its nutrients are important for cardiovascular health, hormonal health, the immune system, neurological system, as well as reproductive health.
+ Cod liver oil is in fact one of the few and best Vitamin-D rich foods!
Ways to Eat Cod Liver Oil
- take it in capsule form (I prefer the liquid form)
- mix with lemon juice
- add to a smoothie
- eat with a spoonful of nut butter
- take an already flavored cod liver oil
- or just drink it!