We have all been hearing a ton about the vast health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. But I’m not just talking about any old cod liver or fish oil. I’m talking about FERMENTED cod liver oil. Uncapsulated, liquid, fermentey-goodness. The stuff Roman warriors downed before battle. Fermenting cod liver oil increases the nutritional content immensely.
According to Ann Marie at Cheeseslave,
“cod liver oil was traditionally processed via fermentation, and not processed with heat. She said that the fishermen would throw the livers into a barrel, add a little sea water, and then leave it to ferment.”
Natural fermentation, lacto-fermentation, and raw are all the recent rage when it comes to food–for good reason. Why not treat your cod liver oil with the same respect? Most fish oil found on the shelf at the store is highly processed at high temperatures. We all know that heating things (pasteurization) kills beneficial nutrients and bacteria, and denatures enzymes.
Fermenting cod liver oil takes about 6 months to a year. So you can see why suppliers decided to ditch that route. Unless you are up to the task of fermenting it yourself, there is only one fermented cod liver oil on the market and it is made by Green Pastures.
In my readings from Nourishing Traditions I learned that one teaspoon of regular cod liver oil contains 5,000 IU Vitamin D but with only a half teaspoon of fermented cod liver oil you also get 5,000 IU. That is 2x the amount of Vitamin D!
According to Nourishing Traditions,
“Vitamin D is needed for calcium and phosphorous absorption…The body manufactures vitamin D3 out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Although some claim that we can obtain all the Vitamin D we need by spending a short amount of time each day in the sun, Price found that healthy primitive diets were rich in Vitamin D–containing foods like butterfat, eggs, liver, organ meats, marine oils and seafood, particularly shrimp and crab.”
Interestingly enough, Weston A. Price found that the diet of primitive people contained Vitamin D amounts ten times higher than the standard American diet.
Enough about Vitamin D. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also contains twice the amount of Vitamin A. From Weston A. Price’s studies, it has been discovered that without Vitamin A from an animal source your body cannot utilize protein, mineral, or water-soluble vitamins. That should shock you! This means that carrots will NOT do the trick for you. You need to be getting a very high amount of animal fat in your diet to utilize all of the vitamins from vegetables. Sorry Vegans, you’re SOL!
Besides the Vitamin A and D factor, fermented cod liver oil is a very effective anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent, reduces the risk of heart disease and learning disorders, effectively treats eczema and acne, and is a “superfood” for brain function.
Green Pastures sells fermented cod liver oil in a myriad of different flavors to mask the unpleasant taste and smell. Actually, the word unpleasant is an understatement. NASTY is more like it. Don’t let this deter you from downing this superfood. I can proudly say that I’ve progressed from putting it into capsules myself to successfully shooting it down by the spoonful usually with a raw milk chaser.
For more interesting articles regarding Fermented Cod Liver Oil check out:
Also, check out Twenty-Two Reasons Not To Go Vegetarian