My great-grandmother believed cod liver oil was the cure for whatever ailed you. I took great pains to avoid complaining of any illness or injury in her company, lest I have a spoonful shoved into my mouth. But now, I understand Granny was right.
Cod liver oil has a long history of being a superfood, first noted for its medicinal properties by Hippocrates himself in approximately 400 BC in ancient Greece. The Vikings, Scandinavians, and Eskimos alike took fermented fish oil to improve health and vitality, and as a way to deal with the lack of sunlight during long, cold, dark winters.
In 1848, British physician Dr. John Hughes Bennett wrote that cod liver oil had been used by the people of Scotland, Norway, and Sweden as a preventative for health and stamina since the beginning of their recorded histories.
Cod liver oil was also used to treat rickets starting in the early 1800’s and continued to be used as both a preventative and treatment for widespread vitamin D deficiency for decades.
Before the creation of antibiotics, cod liver oil was essential in the treatment of many types of diseases, including T.B. and measles, due to its high vitamin A content.
Why Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO)?
Because heat processing destroys the vitamins and nutrients that are the reason for taking this supplement, fermentation is the best way to minimally process the liver of codfish. Fermentation allows the beneficial oils and fat-soluble vitamins to separate from the liver, maintaining naturally high levels of its original Omega-3 fats and vitamin D and A, while making it easier for our bodies to digest and absorb. DHA and EPA, both of which are vital Omega-3’s, are in much higher supply in Fermented Cod Liver Oil than in heat-processes versions.
FCLO has been proven to:
- Protect against bone loss in post-menopausal women
- Prevent breast cancer
- Prevent colds and flu
- Inhibit 16 types of cancers
- Reduce pain and joint stiffness
- Reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Promote natural hormonal balance
- Prevent formation of atherosclerotic plague
- Support teeth and bones
- Manage ADHD symptoms
- Stabilize mood disorders such as depression, bi-polar, etc.
- Reduce inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and acne
- Support skin, hair and nail health
- Manage asthma symptoms
- Prevent degenerative mental diseases
- Promote healthy balance of HDL/LDL cholesterol levels
Most of the cod liver oil on the market comes from synthetic versions of the original oil our great-grandparents took to prevent and treat disease and illness. Typically, companies heat the livers to high temperatures and then deodorize it, only to add synthetic “vitamins” back into the mixture before slapping a label on it for retail sale.
Since there’s no point in taking that version, and in fact, it can do more harm than good, after much searching I found a brand I feel good about taking and giving to my family on a daily basis. Green Pastures makes fermented cod liver oil that would make great-grandma proud.
The company uses a lacto-fermentation process and uses no heat to extract the oils, which ensures the vitamins, Omega-3’s and other nutrients stay in the product. The fish used are wild caught in the Arctic region to guarantee non-contamination.
Green Pastures also makes a wide variety of flavors so that everyone in my house is happy to take this superfood daily. You gotta love that! Plus, if you use coupon code REALFOOD at checkout, you save 10% off your entire order!
I hope I have inspired you to look past the fact that its an actual liquid from fermented fish livers, and to see it as a superfood. Bottoms up!
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