I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. We all want to live ‘our best life’. Not a pretend as-seen-on-instagram-best-life. But a real life. A well-nourished life. A life filled with vitality, doing the things we love with the people we love.
But for many of us, the demands of modern life, and our health, can often get in the way of the life we desire.
But there is good news. Wherever you are on your path toward vitality. Whether you’re close or far away from your desired level of health. The following two nutrient-rich whole foods can help you move a lot closer toward your ideal life.
The two whole-foods I am referring to are Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil. Let me explain how these two whole-food gems can help you.
1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil
This nutritional powerhouse contains more vitamin D and A per gram than any other food.
The words cod liver oil can conjure instant memories of a winter family ritual. Each year, as winter approached, our mothers would reach for a particular bottle from the medicine shelf. Dutifully (or sometimes not), we’d line up and open wide for our daily dose of cod liver oil—the cure for all manner of winter ills.
However, this once popular and effective family practice eventually fell from favour. Today, the family fish oil is more likely to take the form of jars of glistening capsules and colourful gummy bears, scooped from supermarket shelves.
But not all fish oils are the same ...
A nutritional powerhouse
Cod liver oil is not just any fish oil. A spoonful of this humble home remedy contains more vitamin D and A per gram than any other food, including beef liver. It is also rich in the omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)—which helps the body make tissue hormones, that are important for managing inflammation—and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is crucial for healthy brain, nervous system and visual function.
Cod liver oil differs from other fish oils in that, as its name suggests, it is an essential oil extracted only from the fresh livers of cod. Fish oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the flesh of a range of deep sea, oily fish species, including cod, tuna, and herring. While fish oil is high in EPA and DHA (see above), it lacks the high levels of Vitamin A and D that are found in such rich concentrations in cod liver oil.
Traditional remedies usually become traditions for an excellent reason—because they work. Cod liver oil’s long standing reputation as an effective remedy for strengthening immunity, reducing inflammation and improving disease resistance can be attributed to this extraordinary nutrient density.
Reviving a healthy tradition
A renewed interest in cod liver oil has seen the development of a range of pure, high-quality products that make the benefits of this nutrient-rich food more accessible than ever before.
Nutrition pioneer, Dr Weston A Price, was a passionate advocate of the benefits of cod liver oil, which he prescribed in combination with pure, high-vitamin butter oil. Through his extensive research into the benefits of cod liver oil and butter oil, Dr Price discovered a vitamin-like activator, dubbed the ‘X-factor’—a nutrient complex that makes fat-soluble vitamins and dietary minerals more useable within the body.
A fresh approach to cod liver oil
Stories of those childhood doses of cod liver oil are often accompanied by vivid descriptions of its strong, unpleasant taste. But contemporary cod liver oil products, created using gentle, innovative and sustainable methods, have made that experience a thing of the past.
GPA Wholefoods supplies a wide range of pure, high quality cod liver oil, fermented cod liver oil and butter oil products, designed to provide optimum nutrient benefit in a choice of easy-to use and mildly-flavoured forms.
You can see our wide range of Traditional Oils here
2. Butter Oil
If you’ve read this far, chances are you’re interested enough in your health to understand how important the right diet is to your wellbeing. You may already eat a diet rich in unprocessed whole foods, with plenty of organic produce and fresh vegetables, all packed with goodness. But eating the right food is just the first step. To truly benefit from a diet rich in nutrients, your body needs to be able to absorb, and then use those nutrients.
That’s where vitamin K comes in.
The vitamin you really need, but may not have heard of.
In spite of its crucial importance to health, you won’t find vitamin K sitting on the supermarket shelf beside the vitamins B, C and D, and yet it is one of the most vital nutrients for our wellbeing. So, what is vitamin K and why is it so essential for our health?
Vitamin K – the unsung hero of the vitamin world
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that, until recently, was known mostly because of its role in blood clotting. But vitamin K is actually a group of compounds with very specific functions. So far three distinct forms have been identified:
- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in dark green vegetables and is necessary for effective blood clotting. While we may take in a high quantity of K1 from green leafy foods, very little of it is typically absorbed by the body.
- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is converted in the body from K1, and is the more easily absorbed form of the vitamin. K2 is essential for healthy bones, soft tissue health (including the brain and heart) and immunity. It is present in fermented foods, grass-fed dairy products and organ meats.
- Vitamin K3 (menadione) is a synthetic form of the vitamin, commonly provided to infants via an injection at birth to promote blood clotting.
Benefits of Vitamin K2
Over the last few decades, research into the role of vitamin K has shown that a lack of this essential nutrient in the diet can contribute to a range of serious health problems—from increased risk of osteoporosis to mineral calcification in the body’s organs, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and brain-related illnesses such as dementia.
Vitamin K2 is now known to be beneficial for cardiovascular and heart health, effective utilisation of calcium in the body, strong bones and improved dental health. It is linked to health benefits including:
- Bone health K2 helps the body absorb calcium and other minerals into bone structures, while also removing excess minerals from soft tissues, such as the kidneys and arteries. K2 is also important for osteoporosis sufferers, as it has a beneficial impact on improved bone density and can reduce the incidence of bone fractures.
- Heart health Calcium is an essential nutrient, but it can cause serious health issues through calcification of the body’s soft tissues, including the heart. By regulating calcium absorption and preventing soft tissue calcification, K2 has been shown to have a beneficial impact on heart health and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Calcification can also affect the kidneys, and lead to conditions including kidney stones.
- Oral health Vitamin K2’s role in calcium absorption promotes strong healthy teeth and, according to studies by Dr Price, also promotes tooth remineralisation and cavity reversal.
- Brain health K2 plays a role in preventing soft tissue calcification (including in brain tissue) and may help protect against dementia and other brain-related illnesses.
- Cancer Preliminary studies have indicated a link between higher K2 consumption and reduced risk of developing some cancers, including prostate cancer.
- Gut health Butter Oil is a natural source of Butyric Acid, which supports the health and healing of cells in the small and large intestine and has a positive impact on gut health.
Dietary sources of Vitamin K2
Good dietary sources of K2 include dairy products and organ meats (think delicious pates) sourced from animals raised on a diet of rapidly growing green grass. Organic egg yolks and dark meat from pasture-raised chickens are also rich in vitamin K2.
But the easiest way to make sure you have enough K2 in your diet is to supplement your food intake with high vitamin, grass-fed butter and butter oil. These very rich sources of vitamin K2 are easily sourced, simple to take and effective in ensuring you always have enough K2 in your diet. This nutritious oil is one of the most easily absorbed sources of K2.
High vitamin butter oil can be added, uncooked, to food, taken as a nutritional supplement or even used direct on the skin. The oil has maximum benefits when used at room temperature, and particularly when taken with foods rich in vitamin A and D, such as cod liver oil.
I know this is a lot information to absorb, but one of the keys to long term wellbeing and vibrancy is to be well-informed. So I hope this information, and these two super whole foods help you in your journey to live your best life.
You can find Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil on our GPA Wholefoods site here