Why should I take Fermented Cod Liver Oil?

Once upon a time, there was no refrigeration. In those times, people had to rely on canning and fermenting to have any kind of fruits or vegetables in the off-seasons. They would catch their own fresh meat when they could and would bake some simple bread when possible to supplement their meals.

As wonderful as that all sounds, this is no fairy tale. This was real life and happened not that long ago. And guess what… people didn’t get sick! And our country didn’t have an obesity epidemic. Blame it on what you will, but I think we can all agree that a change in our diets and a decrease in physical activity has led our country to be where it is today in terms of health (or lack there-of). So what can we do about it?

There are small steps we can take everyday to improve our health. If you have researched diets such as GAPs or Paleo, you know that there is a lot of time and work that is put into those diets. It can also be inconvenient with a busy schedule while living in a society that thrives on a diet centered around processed carbs and sugar. Trust me, I know it’s hard! I am surrounded by it every single day, even in a nutrition program!

I definitely don’t want to tell you to not do either of those diets. They are so good for your health and can reduce inflammation in your body significantly. But, I also know that it can be hard to implement all of those changes at once. In all of my classes, my teachers have been emphasizing how important it is to only “bite of what you can chew” when it comes to changing your diet (all puns intended).

“Where, then, do you think I should start?” you ask. Well, that’s an excellent question! I’m so glad you brought it up! If I were to have you start with a few things without a ridiculous amount of effort, I would recommend three things: Cut back on as much sugar as possible (I fully support organic, raw honey), and start taking a probiotic, and fermented cod liver oil.

I will talk more about probiotics and sugar in future posts, but today I want to tell you how fermented cod liver oil can help your body.

What is fermented cod liver oil (Or FCLO for short)? FCLO is made by fermenting cod livers. (Don’t make this a huge turn-off because you can get it in a capsule form where you don’t have to taste the fish. It is also available in three flavors (un-flavored, cinnamon, and orange), and in a butter, liquid, and butter oil blend.) This allows the fat-soluble vitamins and beneficial oils to separate from the rest of the liver without damaging the vitamins. The cool-temperature fermentation process allows the oil to maintain its Vitamin-D, Vitamin-A and Omega-3 content. Fermentation allows 100% of the nutrients to be broken down the right way… the way our body recognizes it. (Check out this blog for more of the science behind how it’s made) Heat, on the other hand, will damage the nutrients so that they are unrecognizable to our bodies and can be toxic.

Lets look at the main nutrients supplied in FCLO and why your body needs them:

  • Vitamin A: Helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin as well as promoting good vision, reproduction, and breast-feeding. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to a higher likelihood of developing infectious diseases and vision problems.
  • Vitamin D: Helps the body absorb calcium (which is needed for healthy bone function). Also has a role in nerve, muscle, and immune system. According to the Western A. Price Foundation, “At least 2,000 genes, or nearly 10 percent of your genes, have been identified that are directly influenced by vitamin D, which in turn impact a wide variety of health issues, from preventing the common cold and flu to inhibiting at least sixteen different types of cancer. There’s even evidence linking vitamin D to the process of brain detoxification of heavy metals such as mercury. Widespread vitamin D deficiency has also been strongly linked to the childhood epidemics of autism, asthma, and diabetes, both type 1 and 2.” A deficiency in this vitamin can cause osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children as well as a plethora of other health issues in the body.
  • Vitamin K2: Plays a major role in blood clotting, bone function, and skin integrity. A deficiency of this vitamin can increase the likelihood of bruising and bleeding. It can also lead to osteoporosis in the elderly.
  • Omega-3: Vital for brain function. Also supports blood clotting and protects against heart disease and possibly strokes. Deficiency in this nutrient is associated with poor brain and nerve function.
  • Other nutrients supplied by FCLO: CoQ10(antioxidant needed for basic cell function) and quinones (known for anti-tumor and anti-microbacterial properties)

Other benefits from taking FCLO:

  • Vitamin A and D need each other for your body to properly absorb the nutrients. FCLO has an appropriate ratio of A and D to help your body best utilize them.
  • All nutrients provided in FCLO are in high concentrations and in a whole-foods form (which your body knows how to use).
  • The EPA/DHA content of FCLO is naturally 15% and 10%, respectively.

You may be thinking, “I already take a fish oil supplement. Isn’t that enough?” The short answer is no, because taking a commercially produced or processed supplement is never going to be as good for you as a whole-foods version of a supplement. The long answer to why FCLO is better for your body than standard fish oil supplement includes:

  • Processing: Cold processing will always protect and preserve the naturally occurring nutrients, whereas heat will damage them. Synthetic breakdown of nutrients is damaging to them as well.
  • Digestion and fermentation is by far the safest and most effective way to reduce nutrients into their usable form. Fermentation gets the process started for your body in a safe and effective way.

I cannot emphasize enough how much more beneficial it is for you to have a whole-foods supplement than any isolated, chemically altered, or synthetically made supplement!

Still aren’t convinced? Here are two more opinions on why FCLO will help you! Balanced Bites and Wellness Mama. (I am not associated with them at all, I just liked how they presented the benefits of FCLO)

Ready to buy some now? Here’s where you can! Green Pastures is the only brand that sells properly prepared FCLO in the United States. I use the cinnamon tingle oil, but I have heard great things about the cinnamon tingle butter blend. Try some with a teaspoon of honey (Yum!!!)!

What are your thoughts or questions about FCLO? I would love to hear what you think!

Have a blessed day!

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