Monday, April 22, 2013

Love thy fermented cod liver oil- a true traditional superfood!

Image borrowed from

For many years now my Family have been taking a mixture of fermented cod liver oil and butter oil. I know, it sound kind of ew, and yes, to be honest it does taste kind of ew too, but by golly how potent and wonderful this supplement is! We enjoy winters with fewer colds than we used to struggle with. I seem to have developed a warmth inside of me which I’ve never experienced before and all of my kids have gotten softer and smoother skin. As you may already have noticed, I’m a huge fan of fermenting foods. Everyone in our household enjoys fermented foods on a daily basis, be it sourdough bread, water kefir, unpasteurized milk kefir, home made unpasteurized yoghurt or sauerkraut. We are fermenting junkies. Why, you say? Let me explain.

What is fermentation?

Natural fermentation precedes human history. Since ancient times, we humans have been controlling the fermentation process, using it to make beverages and food. What happens in food processing is typically the conversions of carbohydrates (sugars) into ethanol and other substances. It’s the alchemy that happens when bread is leavening, when sauerkraut and yogurt is made and in pickling of food.

Why should we eat fermented foods?

Apart from fermentation being of practical use as a preservation technique, there is also a biological enrichment of food substrates with essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins. And - it’s a way of processing food which eliminates anti-nutrients.To put it short: Fermented foods work magic on your digestion and helps you put all those great nutrients to good use inside your system.

The big, dirty secret about omega-3 products?

The majority of fish oils are heated up as part of the production process, which means that most of the natural vitamins are lost, along with the enzymes and all else that’s so wonderful about fresh fish liver. It just doesn’t sit right with me when a perfect ingredient is transformed into a synthetic blend like many of the omega-3 products are. To rid all doubts of how this processing works, I contacted Norway’s largest producer of fish liver oil, Møllers Tran, to get their version of the story. They confirmed that they heat up the oil until it’s reached 180 celsius and keep the temperature at that level anywhere from some seconds to some minutes before synthetic vitamins are added to the mixture. Then what’s the point you say? Beats me.

What’s so special about fermented fish oil?

Fermenting cod liver oil is a tradition that can be traced back to my ancestors, the Vikings who ruled Scandinavia 800-1000 a.d. Till this day, any “good” Norwegian will have grown up with a spoonful of fish oil with breakfast. But - the codliver oil I speak so warmly about is by far my favourite because of the fact that it’s been fermented instead of heated up. It’s full of beautiful nutrients; natural A, D, E and K vitamins and a whole range of minerals and enzymes that exist in the living bacterias. Since it’s been fermented, it’s also probiotic - in other words it helps your digestion. Green Pasture has a variety of fish oil products, some with added flavors if you prefer. I still recommend the one that’s mixed with butter oil, since the bound fat from the organic butter oil helps you absorb the vitamins better. It also prevents the codliver oil to og rancid. It’s by far the best supplement that I’ve discovered in my quest towards the best of the best - and what’s more: it’s true, traditional superfood!

In Norway you can buy your fermented codliver oil at Duggurd, I also recommend Perfect supplements

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