Why take fermented cod liver oil? That’s a great question. Because, let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound all that appealing. But this traditional super food has a pretty impressive lists of benefits… which is why so many people continue to take it. Including me.
Fermented cod liver oil goes way back. In fact, many of the great historical cultures have used this sacred food to ensure vitality and health. Roman Soldiers were given a daily ration. The Scandinavian Vikings had a drum of fermenting cod livers outside the door of their homes. And not too long ago, grandmas across the nation had some in their cupboard, too.
Here are some of the reasons my family takes fermented cod liver oil (like this):
Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but one of the oldest prohormones (a substance that can be converted to a hormone). Vitamin D is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy body, beginning with gestation in the womb and continuing throughout the lifespan.
Vitamin D deficiency is often associated with rickets. And it’s clear it has a function in maintaining healthy bones since bone softening diseases like osteomalacia and osteoporosis have been associated with low levels of vitamin D.
But beyond our bones, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to congestive heart failure, several cancers, Multiple Sclerosis, Type I Diabetes and high blood pressure. And people with significantly low levels of vitamin D have been shown be more susceptible to colds and flu viruses.
Not only that, but vitamin D has been shown to help protect people from diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Fibromyalgia. It also helps with skin infections. Oh yeah, it also protects against skin cancer and Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Learn more about the power of vitamin D)
And guess what? It’s estimated that more than 70% of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D.
So how do I get more vitamin D?
Direct sunlight is a great source… assuming it’s the right time of year, you don’t wear sunscreen, you live in the right place, and you actually get outside during the right hours. Not always easy.
The best food source? That’s right: Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
2. Vitamin A
Consider these reasons for making sure you have enough vitamin A:
- Vitamin A is important for vision
- Vitamin A regulates genes
- Vitamin A supports the immune system
- Vitamin A is important for red blood cell production
And to top it off: Vitamin A is a co-factor for Vitamin D. Which is why it’s important to have both of these together.
And wouldn’t you know it: Fermented Cod Liver Oil has both Vitamin A and D.
3. Essential Fatty Acids
Beyond being the powerhouse for vitamins A and D, Cod liver oil is also rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body makes these fatty acids from omega-3 linolenic acid. These essential fatty acids are very important for the proper function of the brain and nervous system.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil: The original super food
It’s little wonder that fermented cod liver oil has been used for so many years. In fact, fermented cod liver oil was often regarded as a critical part of a fertility diet, proving to be essential prior to conception, during pregnancy, and for growing children (in the proper dosage, of course). It’s also one of my family’s immediate “go to” remedies when we feel a cold coming on. It’s powerful stuff.
It’s important to remember that not all cod liver oil is created equal. Despite the “gross” factor that comes with the idea of fermented cod liver oil, it’s really the best option out there. Why?
Around the time of the industrial revolution, the production of cod liver oil became much less natural. Supplement manufacturers started extracting the oil in a way that strips out key vitamins like A and D. Then they go in and add synthetic versions of these vitamins. You can find the kind I take here.
So as less-than-appealing as it may sound, it’s the only way to ensure that you are getting real vitamins that your body knows how to process. Nature is pretty amazing, right?
Do you take cod liver oil? How do you take it? (I’m a capsule weenie myself.)