Do you take a multi?
I used to take one everyday… until I realized that a multi wasn’t doing anything that food couldn’t do and that some of the synthetic nutrients in the multi I was taking were actually NOT doing anything to improve my health.
Personally, taking a daily multi left me anemic and often made me make less than optimal food choices just because I felt like I could since I had a back up to get my vitamins & minerals.
Multivitamins are like a deflated life preserver
I guess they’re better than nothing. Especially if you have a diet comprised of only water and bread. But you can do way better.
It turns out that the nutrients found in multivitamin are:
- NOT always present in the most easily absorbed and utilized form for your body
- NOT accompanied by the right co-factor to make them more bioavailable
- NOT present in the same ideal proportions found in natural foods
In addition, many of the nutrients in multis are way too high or way too low, they are not individualized to your body’s needs and many nutrients are missing, especially vitamin K2 as well as the wide variety of antioxidants and phytonutrients found in plant foods.
A big meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2006 and another one in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2013 even shows that they do NOTHING to keep you healthy, prevent chronic diseases or reduce your risks of dying.
In fact, there is even some evidence (including a group of almost 40,000 elderly women published in 2011 in JAMA) that multivitamins could INCREASE our mortality risk (at least in elderly women).
Doesn’t that give you some food for thought?
So what do I take now? And what should YOU take?
Except during pregnancy and for the first 6 months postpartum where nutritional requirements are really high, I do not take any kind of mutlivitamin supplement.
What I do take though is one to two weekly servings of liver.
I know. You’d probably rather spend double what you now spend on multivitamins and take a handful at each meal rather than eat liver.
At least, that’s what I wish I could do at first.
But there is NO way around it. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Not even close.
And because I hear you thinking right now, your excuses won’t work.
It is false to say that liver stores toxins. It is true that liver metabolizes toxins but it doesn’t store them. What it stores is nutrients.
To make sure you maximize the amount of nutrient you get from liver and decrease the (very low) risk of eating toxins, I recommend choosing liver from pastured/organic animals. I personally find the taste of grass-fed bison and organic chicken liver to be the mildest.
The only 3 ways I can eat liver
I don’t love liver.
But I know it’s good for me so I try to eat 1-2 weekly servings.
Here is how I get it down without suffering. 🙂
Number 1 – Liver pâté.
Liver pâté is the easiest way for me to get my liver in.
If the texture of liver grosses you out, this is the best way to not have to deal with it.
I also add plenty of onions, butter and balsamic vinegar in my recipe to hide the taste of liver. Let me know if you want my recipe!
Since I don’t eat grains, I like spreading my liver pâté on apple slices, cucumber slices or plantain chips.
Number 2 – Bacon bribe.
For this one, I start by caramelizing onions (just a lot of onions cooked for a very long time until caramelized). Then I cook bacon (organic/pastured) in a skillet.
Then I cook my liver in the bacon fat, making sure I don’t overcook my liver because I personally don’t like chewing on rubber-like food.
Once ready, I serve my liver with the caramelized onions, a big splash of balsamic vinegar and a couple of slices of my bacon.
I accompany my meal with roasted veggies and / or a sweet potato purée (with butter) and that’s enough of a bribe to get me to eat my liver.
This last option is perfect if you can’t even consider trying options #1 or #2, if you can’t get quality liver or if you’re traveling or on the go. Here’s the brand I recommend because it comes from nutritious quality liver from grass-fed cows.
Note about vitamin D
Even though I don’t recommend multivitamins, I do think many people benefit from targeted supplementation. One good example is vitamin D, which I believe most people need especially during the winter.
Remember that everybody is different and that you should work with a qualified health professional to identify the supplements that are best for you.