‘Nutrient dense’ is an overused term that can make us think that we are eating a nutrient dense diet, when we aren’t. That dark chocolate you ate may be good for you, but that doesn’t mean you are eating a nutrient dense diet.
But this is true for a wide variety of diets, including even paleo and grain-free diets, diets that have many similar roots as Dr. Price’s research. When you plan to have certain nutrient dense foods, you’ll fill up on the good stuff before the stuff: on what you need before what you (think) you want.
Nutrient dense foods are foods you should value. Some foods, like meats and seafood, don’t need much work to make their nutrients accessible. Others, like vegetables, nuts, and seeds need a little extra effort. Here’s some you can make yourself:
ORGAN MEATS AND BONES
Organ meats simply need to be cooked in order for their nutrients to become bioavailable. Some organ meats need extended cooking times (bones, oxtail, and tongue), while others need only a few minutes (chicken liver). Try mixing organ meats into meatballs or braise them to include in soups and stews. A pressure cooker comes in handy for preparing meats like oxtail and tongue. To make the best use of bones, simmer them slowly in water to make bone broth.
Chicken liver pate
Liver is pretty much gateway organ meat. Heart, tongue, brain all just look to hectic. But the good news is that the nutrient density of one ounce of liver looks like something of a vitamin supplement, nutrients where many of which are quite scarce in other food sources.
|The nutrition in liver, according to Chris Masterjohn|
Vitamin A: 75%
Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin: 33%
Vitamin B6: 11%
Vitamin B9 / Folate: 40%
Vitamin B12: 79%
|Liver and cod liver oil are nutrient-packed super-food supplements that can help boost energy, libido, muscle growth, brain power, and general health. They are abundant sources of nutrients difficult to obtain elsewhere, such as vitamin A, arachidonic acid, DHA, and the B vitamins.
Liver contains an unidentified “anti-fatigue factor” that was found to greatly boost swimming endurance in rats. It is probably extremely rich in carnitine, lipoic acid, and other energy-related nutrients whose food sources have not been sufficiently researched.”
Like organ meats, seafood doesn’t need much for its nutrients to become bioavailable. Certain fish can be served raw, while others require cooking. Try curing salmon with infused sea salts, or add small fish like sardines into roasted tomato sauce and salads.
- 1 pound fresh tuna, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 loose handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 loose handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 small mild chili, finely diced
- 1 lime, juiced (or 2 small limes)
- Olive oil (for drizzling)
- Pepper and salt to taste
Put all your chopped ingredients into a storage container and add the sealed Ziplock. Stir in the liquid ingredients when you’re ready to eat. Also makes a great lunch: you can contain the juices and olive oil in a Ziplock bag.
Vegetables that are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K (like carrots or kale) need to be prepared and served with fat in order for the body to absorb the vitamins. The iron found in vegetables is hard to absorb; you can add meat or seafood to the plate or ferment the vegetables to increase iron absorption.
A lacto-fermented drink full of live enzymes and healthy bacteria that can aid digestion and cleanse the liver. This recipe makes a natural and delicious refreshing drink and can be used as a salad dressing instead of vinegar. For a simple salad dressing, add olive oil and cracked black pepper.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight in salt water or sprouted in order to deactivate their phytates, lectins and enzyme inhibitors. If you’re not eating the soaked nuts right away, dry or dehydrate them before storing. Soaking and sprouting will also make the nutrients in nuts and seeds more bioavailable. Because nuts and seeds are high in omega-6 fatty acids, they should be consumed in moderation (and balanced with omega 3s, in foods like sustainable seafoods and pastured eggs).
- 4 cups of raw nuts or seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- filtered water
- half gallon / 2L glass jar