Paleo Diet: 7 Reasons To Love Liver

Chicken liver pâté. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A True Superfood

If you don’t already love liver, it’s worth learning to so that you can include it in your paleo diet.  It truly is one of the world’s great superfoods.  Here are 7 reasons to love liver:

  1. Organ meats - of which liver is one - are exceptionally rich in nutrients; much more so than muscle meats
  2. Liver is nature’s most concentrated source of preformed (bio-available) vitamin A
  3. Liver contains all of the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  4. Liver contains almost twice the amount of folic acid (ounce for ounce) as spinach
  5. Liver contains a highly absorbable form of iron, and is a rich source of copper - as well as other important elements such as zinc and chromium
  6. Liver is a great natural source of co-enzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant that is important for cardio-vascular function
  7. Although liver doesn’t appeal to everyone, it tastes delicious when well prepared.

Here’s my favourite liver recipe.  Even if you think you don’t like liver, you may well like this.  It has a voluptuous, mouth-filling quality that’s quite delightful.  The flavour is memorable yet mild - and it tastes even better the second day (although it’s unusual for there to be any left on day two in my house!)

Chicken Liver Pâté


  • 3 tablespoons of grass-fed unsalted butter
  • 1 pound of chicken livers
  • Half pound of mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (or one small white onion) chopped
  • Two thirds of a cup of dry white wine
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Half teaspoon of dry mustard powder
  • Quarter teaspoon of dry dill (or another herb of your choice)
  • Quarter teaspoon of dried rosemary (or another herb of your choice)
  • Generous grating of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • Juice of half a small lemon
  • Half a stick of grass-fed unsalted butter, softened
  • Sea salt & pepper


Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a heavy skillet.  Add the livers and stir around until they begin to brown.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the livers are browned, the onions are wilted, and the mushroom pieces are reduced in size - about 10 minutes in all.  Add the garlic, wine, mustard, lemon juice, herbs and optional nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has gone.  Let cool.  Process well in a food processor with the softened butter.  Taste and season to your liking.  Place in a single mold (or several smaller ones) and chill well.  Serve with raw vegetable crudités.

Eating Raw Liver

Some people swear by this practice, saying it makes them feel terrific.  There are two basic ways of including raw liver in your diet.  The first involves freezing raw liver for 14 days in large pieces.  The process of freezing will eliminate pathogens and parasites in the liver.  The frozen liver can then be grated and added to milk, juice, mashed vegetables, or egg yolk before being consumed.  Alternatively, make raw liver “vitamin pills” by cutting the fresh liver into pill-sized pieces and freeze for 14 days.  Swallow like vitamin pills.  Needless to say, for both methods, the liver should be very fresh, and of top quality (from grass-fed animals).

There you have it - 7 reasons to love liver (plus a couple of recipes).  It’s a must for your paleo diet.  So - how do you eat yours?

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Brian Cormack Carr is a freelance writer and coach whose mission in life is to help YOU do what you were designed for.
His home on the web is where you will find more articles, freebies, and information about his online career-creation programme - 12 sessions of virtual coaching from Brian for just $20!
Twitter: @cormackcarr


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14 Responses to Paleo Diet: 7 Reasons To Love Liver

  1. Jim Purdy December 6, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Liver stinks.

    • Brian Cormack Carr December 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

      *Raw* liver certainly doesn’t smell great (although the fresher and higher the quality, the less strong the smell) but once it’s cooked up with butter, onions, and seasonings…that’s a different story!

  2. Lila Solnick December 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

    You’re right Jim, but it is so good for us. Certainly worth the effort of trying!

  3. Maryann Ramirez December 6, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I too love liver and was led to believe that it was not good for my liver…
    Since I started living the Paleo/Primal lifestyle, I have done lots of reading, and realized I was wrong about a LOT of things, including liver.

    My favorite liver dish:
    sprinkle sea salt and black pepper to tast on liver
    lightly brown in bacon fat in your iron skillet
    remove from pan
    add a whole sliced yellow onion to the skillet
    add a good amount of sliced fresh baby bella mushrooms to skillet
    cook onions and mushrooms until onions begin to brown
    pour one can of coconut milk in skillet
    add liver back to skillet
    simmer for a few minutes.

    Never overcook liver. I truly believe that folks who say they hate liver have never had it prepared properly.

    Thanks for this post! Hopefully there will be lots of liver noshing going on!

    • Brian Cormack Carr December 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

      That recipe sounds delicious, Maryann! I’ll be giving that a go for sure…

  4. Rozany December 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    is this beef, chicken, or any kind of liver?

    • Lila Solnick December 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Any kind of liver Rozany. Both are nutritious in their own way. For example chicken liver has more iron and vitamin C than beef, while beef liver is higher in vitamin A. Chicken liver is fattier than beef liver too.
      What ever type of liver you choose you will do well. Just be sure to get liver from pastured animals. The nutritional profile will be significantly better!
      Thanks for commenting.

  5. Rozany December 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    uh, about the suggestion above and cutting it up into pill-sized pieces. what benefit is there in such itty-bitty pieces?

  6. Brian Cormack Carr December 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Rozany,

    The benefit of eating any raw meat is that it contains beneficial enzymes. Even a small amount will provide some. In the case of macro and micronutrients, you’d need to eat a reasonable amount. But liver is so nutritious - it has 10 times more of certain nutrients than muscle meats - even a small amount is beneficial. People who take frozen liver pills don’t necessarily just have one! Two or three (or more) would be the norm.

    Here’s some more information on raw meat:

  7. Rozany December 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    uh, to speed up the process (rather than freezing for two weeks) couldn’t one douse the liver in ozonated water to kill pathogens, bacteria, etc.?

  8. Rozany December 28, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    uh, isn’t organ meat higher in cholesterol than muscle meat?

    • Lila Solnick December 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

      Hi Rozany,

      It really doesn’t matter if liver or other organ meats are high in cholesterol. The idea that eating high cholesterol foods are bad for us is not valid, even though the concept has been shoved down our throats for decades. Our bodies need cholesterol. Our bodies use it to create hormones and build cell walls among other things. In fact our bodies manufacture far more cholesterol than we could eat. The problem is not eating high cholesterol foods. The problems are the ratios of HDL to LDL and the size of the molecules. Eating a paleo diet (which means eating eggs,bacon, organ meats, various animal fats, and leaving out the starchy carbs and sugar) will cause the right ratios to form, even if your total cholesterol reading is 300. The molecule size will be large. No heart disease will result from a true Paleo diet. And you should know that there have been studies that show low cholesterol levels do not result in fewer heart attacks or stroke. In reality cholesterol total levels make no difference.
      Check out this article:
      Thanks for commenting!

  9. Chad April 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I know this is a slightly old article, but just for your information, freezing does not really kill many pathogens or bacteria. Freezing usually slows down the multiplication of the bacteria, but once thawed, the bacteria, yeasts, and whatever else that is contained within the food will begin their cycle of multiplication again. I just wanted to make it known to anyone who reads your article and thinks otherwise. (I’m not saying you are the source of information, but rather your source is incorrect.)

    By the way, seeing as liver is so cheap, I’m looking forward to trying this recipe! Thanks!


    • Lila Solnick April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Thanks for the update Chad. I’ll see if we can’t correct the information. However even if there are bacteria in the raw liver, it still shouldn’t matter that much. We are always exposed to potentially harmful bacteria and that makes us stronger.