Happy Halloween! Whilst I’m not a fan of trick or treating or scary movies (for real, I couldn’t even watch Gremlins as a kid), I am a fan of scary foods!
Quite often these foods are not the prettiest looking, but what they lack in style they make up for in substance, and are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. All four of these foods contain trace elements and minerals that are sorely lacking in our modern diets but that are essential for health (I am seeing a lot of thyroid, adrenal and metabolic issues right now in my practice that are linked to nutrient deficiencies), and because of this I eat all of these delicious (!) foods on a weekly basis, and recommend to my clients to do the same…
Liver: When I suggest adding liver to my client’s diets, most of them recoil in horror! Some cultures place liver in such high regard that human hands are not allowed to touch it, and I agree, as gram for gram it contains more nutrients than any other food. When I talk about foods with nutrients density (count nutrients, then calories), liver is top of the list!
Liver is packed full of vitamins and minerals that we are often deficient in, and that it is hard to find in other foods, such as B12 and B6 (essential for energy), selenium and zinc (for energy production and healthy skin, hair and nails) and folate, thiamin and iron, all of which I usually see deficiencies in whilst looking at client’s blood work.
Always buy organic liver, and if it is your first time I suggest it chicken liver for minimum ‘ick’ factor! I like to dust mine in coconut flour then pan fry in grass fed ghee, and serve with a salad of bitter greens such as endive, mizuna and arugula.
Natto and Tempeh: typically I ask my clients to avoid soy products, but these two are the exception to the rule. They are excellent sources of plant based proteins for both vegans and carnivores alike, as the fermentation process helps to make the proteins more easily digestible and bio available to the body.
Not only that, fermenting the beans means that the oligosaccharides found in soy that can cause GI distress are reduced, and phytic acid, the phytochemical found in plant proteins that can block the absorption of essential minerals is totally eliminated. And of course the fermentation process means that you receive gut healing, microbiome boosting benefits too.
I’ll be honest, the smell and texture of natto is enough to put even this adventurous healthy foodie off, but I absolutely love tempeh and eat it once a week as a break from animal proteins.
Check out my favourite tempeh recipe for here:
Canned Fish: this is a staple in our house, especially for my super busy, keto eating husband! We always have a stock of canned fish in our pantry for when we need a quick hit of protein and great fats, and usually add it to one of our ‘throw and go’ salads that we eat every day.
Mackerel and sardines are our favourite, as they are packed with Omega 3 fats that are hard to find in other sources, and provide a great source of calcium (as a woman over 35 who doesn’t eat dairy products I’m always cognizant of ensuring sources of calcium in my diet). When eaten fresh these fish are delicious, but can be time consuming to prepare and cook properly.
I also love anchovies and will eat them straight out of the can, and Tim enjoys wild caught canned salmon (I avoid due to my mercury levels) either in a salad or formed into a patty.
We buy all our tinned fish from Thrive Market as we know it is sustainably sourced and non GMO, and incredibly affordable. To save 25% off your first order and receive free shipping use my here : http://thrv.me/jennyhanway
Seaweed: not just great for wrapping your sushi in, seaweed is abundant in trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, and chlorophyll, and the much needed minerals calcium, iodine, and iron (deficiencies in these minerals can lead to a lowering of thyroid function). In fact, no other group of plants contains more minerals and nutrients than seaweed, an it typically calculates at just five calories per serving, making it a true ‘bang for your buck’ food.
It is far easier than you may think to incorporate seaweed into your diet, and I love to use seaweed wraps for a quick and easy lunch option, and will often use dried seaweed flakes as a topping for salads and stir fries.