Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
2 Jan

Are You Eating These Important Supplemental Foods?

eggyolksToday I’d like to talk about supplementation. No, not vitamins. While I obviously believe supplements of the pill, tablet and powder form variety can play a role in a healthy, modern Primal lifestyle, that’s not what I have in mind today. Instead, I’d like to take a look at supplemental foods – multivitamins provided in whole food form by mother nature (often aided and abetted by cooks, cheesemakers, farmers, ranchers, shepherds, and the like). In my estimation, there are a few absolutely essential supplemental foods that we should be eating.

Most of you are probably eating a few of these foods regularly, and some may be eating most of them, but I’d wager that none of you are eating all of them on a regular basis. Check the list, see what you’re missing, and adjust accordingly.

Egg yolks

Egg yolks are number one in my book. The way they blend effortlessly with other foods and even enrich them, and (if you get a really pastured one) provide unparalleled taste and mouthfeel when eaten straight out of the shell can’t be praised enough. The vitamin A, choline, folate, selenium, iodine, and omega-3 (again, if you get pastured) are rather nice, too. Eat egg yolks every day, just don’t smoke ‘em. Yes, that was a double reference to both the egg yolk/cigarette study and Dr. Dre.

Liver

Since every animal comes with but a single liver, it’s tough to get more than a few ounces if you’re sharing with everyone else in the group. Good thing liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, so nutrient-dense that eating more than a half pound to a pound a week is probably overkill and will net you an excessive amount of certain nutrients.

Seaweed

Seaweed is green vegetation that’s been marinating in mineral-dense seawater for its entire life, and when you eat seaweed, you get the best source of iodine, plus magnesium, manganese, iron, and tons of other trace minerals that you might be (probably are) missing out on. Some of the healthiest traditional cultures consider seaweed a staple food, and essentially every group of coastal people utilized sea vegetables in their diets. Sprinkle kelp or dulse flakes on food, make broth using dried kombu, eat seaweed salad when you go out to eat sushi, roll up avocado and meat in nori wraps – the possibilites are many and delicious.

Turmeric

You might have read my old post on turmeric, thought, “Huh, interesting,” gone out for Indian that night, and never thought about it again. That’s a mistake, in my opinion, because turmeric is delicious and a true health food. It and its primary bioactive component – curcumin – have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-lipid peroxidative, blood lipid-improving, and anti-carcinogenic in human studies. Contrary to popular belief, turmeric doesn’t just go with Indian food. I often sprinkle it liberally on my eggs, meat, and vegetables, and I even make a tea out of it. So no, you have no excuse not to use more turmeric more often. Add black pepper to increase the benefits.

Bone broth

It can feel like a chore to make, but it’s really not. Get bones, cover with water, heat, strain. It only seems like a big job. Once you get going, though, it’s easy enough. Make it a routine, to make it even easier and ensure that you have bone broth on hand at all times. Just be sure to clean those pots right away; dried, obliterated skeletal matrices are tough to scrub off of stainless steel pots. As for the benefits, bone broth is a good source of minerals and gelatin. If you’ve been pounding the muscle meat, balancing the amino acid methionine out with some glycine from gelatin is advised, since methionine metabolism depletes glycine. Gelatin also improves joint pain and sleep quality. I hate the former and love the latter, so I make and drink bone broth.

Bone marrow

Bone marrow is an interesting one. It’s plainly obvious why humans and their ancestors have been seeking it out for millions of years – it’s fatty, calorie-dense, and delicious – but its nutritional value beyond macronutrients is a bit more murky. In a previous post on bone marrow, I tried to divine the specifics and came to the shaky conclusion that since marrow is actively involved in bone and connective formation and resorption, we can effectively think of it as an organ and thus assume it to be nutrient-dense. I think that still holds. No, there are no studies or nutritional databases to confirm this, but I’m going to go out on a limb and propose we consider bone marrow to be an important supplemental food.

Shellfish

Over a year ago, I told you guys to start eating shellfish. Did you? Well, consider this another notification that shellfish, particularly oysters and mussels, should be a regular part of your diet. Why oysters? Just four medium sized Pacific oysters supply a smattering of B-vitamins (including over 1000% of daily B12), 1200 IU of vitamin A, a third of daily folate, almost 7 mg of vitamin E, 3 mg copper, 280% of daily selenium, and 33 mg zinc. That comes with 18 g protein, 4 g fat, 1.5 g omega-3, 0.1 g omega-6, and 9 grams of carbohydrates. Why mussels? They’re also rich in B-vitamins, selenium, zinc, and protein, but also come with good amounts of magnesium and manganese. Other shellfish are also good, but probably not as important as oysters and mussels.

Aged cheese

Gouda and pecorino romano are ideal choices. Gouda is the cheese with the highest vitamin K2 content, and the longer the cheese is aged (fermented), the more K2 it picks up. Pecorino romano, by definition, must come from raw sheep’s milk grazed on lush grasses, and it must be made the traditional way – from animal rennet. The result is a salty, sharp cheese with bite, CLA, and the ability to “cause favourable biochemical changes of atherosclerotic markers.”

Natto

I know, I know. It’s soy, a legume with significant levels of phytoestrogens, phytic acid, and trypsin inhibitors. It’s got a gross, slimy texture that may be outdone only by its interesting taste. It’s soy. By most accounts, people following a Primal lifestyle shouldn’t have anything to do with it. If you asked me a couple years ago, I may have said that. But natto is a special kind of soy. It’s fermented using a particular strain of bacterium called Bacillus subtilis natto. When steamed soybeans are inoculated with b. subtilis, they are transformed from a basic legume with few redeeming qualities into a powerful supplemental food imbued with high levels of vitamin K2, a nutrient important in bone mineralization, cancer prevention, and protection from heart disease. If you’re into those sorts of things, natto is the single best source of vitamin K2.

Tiny whole fish with heads and guts

Anytime you can eat the entire animal, you should. Heck, if they were able to genetically engineer bite-sized cows, I’d be all over that (assuming they were grass-fed, of course). Until then, tiny fish with heads and guts will do the trick. I’m talking sardines. I’m talking anchovies. I’m talking smelt. I’m talking any of the fish running between a half inch and six inches long. Any longer and the guts will begin to stand out in your mouth. But if you keep to that sweet spot, you’ll get the brains, the glands (all of them), the organs, the bones, the fermenting algae, krill, and assorted sundry microscopic marine goodies tiny fish like to eat, in addition to the omega-3s and protein, without adverse flavors. Oh, and because they’re tiny and low on the food chain, tiny fish will be largely free of the heavy metals other, larger fish tend to accumulate.

Red palm oil

For the PBer who fears almonds and other nuts and seeds for the omega-6 content, vitamin E is scarce in the diet. Some would argue that vitamin E is only there to prevent oxidation of omega-6 present in foods, and there’s something to that. But still: dietary, full-spectrum vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, and red palm oil is the richest source of the full-spectrum variety. It’s also a good source of CoQ10, another powerful nutrient. Oh, and it tastes good (once you get used to the unique flavor). Go for African palm oil instead of Southeast Asian, because the former isn’t produced on the backs of dead orangutans.

Brazil nuts

Selenium, selenium, selenium. This essential little mineral is woefully absent from most people’s diets, and it’s a shame: selenium is vital for thyroid hormone production, the manufacture of endogenous antioxidants, and sex hormone production. Brazil nuts are the best source of selenium. Many of the previously listed foods are going to get you plenty of selenium, but brazil nuts are nice to keep around for those days when you haven’t been eating your lamb kidneys, mussels, and anchovies. Just pop two or three brazil nuts and you’ll have more than a day’s worth heading straight to your gastrointestinal tract. Easy peasy. Go for the ones in their shells if you can, since those are going to be fresher than the shelled nuts.

Speaking of brazil nuts, I’ve always wondered whether to capitalize the “b” or not. Any thoughts?

Purple/blue foods (sweet potatoes, berries, vegetables)

As I’ve said before, bright colors in plants often indicate the presence of potent polyphenols – bioactive compounds found in plants. No bioactive color has been more studied and lauded than the blue/purple anthocyanins, which are linked to anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, and anti-carcinogenic effects and can pretty much be found in any blue or purple fruit, vegetable, or tuber. So, Okinawan sweet potatoes are great sources. Blueberries, raspberries, currants, purple grapes, and blackberries are great. Red lettuce, radicchio, and purple cabbage, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes, and carrots are also rich with anthocyanins. If it’s purple or blue and edible, it’s probably worth eating.

Fermented food

Since modern medicine is steadily unearthing new connections between the gut microbiome and a host of health and disease states, we know we should pay attention to our gut flora. I can’t tell you to go eat dirt and stamp around barefooted in parasite-ridden water (even though both may theoretically have their benefits), but I can tell you to eat a mix of fermented foods. You’ve got your yogurts, your kefirs, your sauerkrauts, your kimchis, your (aforementioned) nattos, your beet kvasses, your kombuchas. Benefits include more numerous and more bioavailable nutrients, new nutrients, new genetic material for your gut flora to acquire, and membership into a tens of thousands of years-old fermented food appreciation Meetup group with billions of members from every culture that came before us. In other words, gut flora is important, everyone who’s anyone regularly ate fermented food, and you should too.

So, how’d you do? Does this look familiar to you? Are you eating these foods, or are you missing out? Let me know in the comment section, and be sure to mention any foods I might have missed. Thanks and have a great day!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I regularly eat all of those except red palm oil and natto, mostly because they are plowing down the amazon to produce those.

    Knifegill wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Ploughing the Amazon to produce AFRICAN red palm oil??

      My parents are Nigerian, palm oil is common there – and the Amazon has not been an issue ;-)

      royalpriestess wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Regular palm oil they use in junk food comes from Indonesia, not the Amazon. Red palm oil comes from Africa as you said.

        Peacemaker wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Absolutely. time to read ‘the palm oil miracle’ by Bruce Fife if you’ve been duped by the whole ‘palm oil is unethical’ nonsense

        Charlotte wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • +1 I am Nigerian too and red palm oil is produced there. As long as you are buying from ethical sources then palm oil is a healthy choice. I like to saute veggies in half palm oil/half butter for a different more savory taste.

        Chika wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Thanks for the tip on how to use Red Palm Oil. I bought some a while back and haven’t gotten around to trying it.
          Other favorite ways to use it?

          Susan wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Yw…I’ll be posting an authentic Nigerian tomato-based stew recipe soon which uses red palm oil. Be on the look-out!

          Chika wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • I thought you might be Jamaican because your pretty, happy smile has been “jamaican” me crazy ;)

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 3rd, 2013
        • LOL Bon…oh how I love your spirited comments. Keep em coming!

          Chika wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • You can find responsibly harvested palm oil from Malaysia, not just Africa.

      KWigs wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • +1!
        I buy Red Palm Oil handmade by a restricted selection of Malaysian farmers for a pretty cheap price (1 L for 25$?). It is imported by a Japanese company so I don’t think you have it in the USA too… but look for something like that as it is ethic, primal and delicious!

        voingiappone wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Me too! Me too! I usually add turmeric to my bone broth with pepper. The only thing missing is the natto. I like to mix different kale types in a bag with a bit of olive oil, pink Hymalayain sea salt, pepper, juice from half a fresh lemon and some parmesan. I’ll be switching to Pecorino romano. Add a few pine nuts and viola! A fabulous salad that keeps and travels well. A favorite road trip food of ours!

      docrio wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • hm……..natto is made from soybeans and i don’t think soybeans are from the amazon. :-)

      jackie wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Oh but they are, a lot of the Amazon forest is being cut down for soybean cultivation (mainly GMO for lifestock).
        I guess you just have to check the country of origin if these things concern you (and they should!).

        Magda wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Great List Mark.
      Never tried bone broth or bone marrow. Where would you buy it?
      -kelly

      Kelly Fitzsimmons wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • You can get marrow from some butchers (local ones are more likely to have it than grocery store butchers). Same with bones, and you can usually get bones quite cheaply from Asian supermarkets too.

        Jonathan wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • I make a really crappy cup of coffee, so sometimes to make a more interesting cup of crappy coffee I put turmeric and cinnamon in it. If you make bad coffee too, try it.

      michelle wrote on January 5th, 2013
  2. Well, I followed your above recipe and mixed them all together and it tasted awful.

    I feel pretty good though.

    Stevemid wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Did you fry it in coconut oil? A little butter on top helps too, but that texture is beyond hope.

      David B wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Rofl

      J.C. wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Too funny!

      Anu Yagi wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  3. “Speaking of brazil nuts, I’ve always wondered whether to capitalize the “b” or not. Any thoughts?”

    I wish someone would clarify that. The same problem crops up with “Swiss” or “swiss” cheese. Brazil nuts no longer come from Brazil, if that’s their origin, and the production of the holey cheese is no longer limited to the Swiss.

    Phocion Timon wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • At Google News most people seem to prefer: Brazil nuts with a capital B. And these are people who write professionally.

      Victor Venema wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • The ‘B’ should be capitalized, as it’s specifying origin / proper place name (much like ‘American’ is always capitalized in ‘American cheese’).

      Although in this case the origin is somewhat false, as most Brazil nuts in fact come from Bolivia (though some do come from Brazil).

      Jen W wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • The true Swiss cheese is Emmentaler. It is produced only in a certain region of Switzerland. Its production is highly regulated and can only be made from a certain breed of cow that must graze on the first Spring grasses to ensure the highest quality. The other Swiss cheeses may be very good but the Emmentaler is the gold standard.

      cary nosler wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I would say Gruyère from … Gruyère :) is also a gold standard in Switzerland.
        I happened to have been there 3 months ago (the place called Gruyère) and ate an amazing fondue. Oddly enough, the “Alien” Giger museum is there too – quite an odd mix :D
        Ah yeah, since that was before I went more primal, I also visited the famous Cailler chocolate factory not far from Gruyère where you can eat as much chocolate as you want during the visit … a real kill, I tell ya!

        James wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Totally agree – I am Swiss and in my opinion Gruyère is the best!

          heidifromoz wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Here in Brazil, we call it of “castanhas do Pará”(literally “nuts from Pará”) . Pará is a brazilian State located in the North of our country, within the vast Amazon rainforest. ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_nut

      alcides wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  4. Love that brazil nuts are on the list since I eat those every day! :-) And great to have a reason to eat mussels more often. Living close to the French border (Luxembourg) we have easy (and cheap) access to that here!
    And blueberries – mmmm – another favorite! :-)

    Liesel wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I ordered two appetizers at this italian restaurant: Livers and mussels. They gave me a funny look. I had been sick for the past few days and figures I needed a little nutritional kick in the butt.

      The next day, I felt 100% better its amazing how just eating the right things can literally cure you.

      Max Ungar wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Oh so true

        nick wrote on January 5th, 2013
    • Just be careful not to overdose on the Brazil nuts. 2-3 per day, as Mark recommends, seem to be optimal for most people if they are not also taking a selenium supplement. Paul Jaminet (Perfect Health Diet) cautions about consuming much more than that: “Note that too much selenium is toxic, so monitor your intake. And if you regularly eat Brazil nuts, you are already getting a big hit of selenium, so be careful.”

      dianekjs wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • There seems to be a huge difference between dietary intake and supplement intake. Specifically, dietary intake of selenium from sea food does not seem to correlate with the aggregate data on selenium toxicity as shown in this study of the inuit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15325150

        I’ve yet to see a study dealing with the consumption of brazil nuts and selenium toxicity, but one should be cautious and keep consumption below aggregate levels of selenium toxicity.

        Nathan wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  5. I’m interested in eating more fish (recently started eating more salmon). I am not wholly opposed to trying sardines or anchovies, but have no idea how to incorporate them into a meal…I won’t lie, the idea of eating the entire fish, eyeballs, intestines and all is rather off-putting, but you can’t argue with the health benefits. Anyone have any ideas?

    Jacob wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • To me, nothing is better than a big ass salad with sardines and homemade sauerkraut. Delish!

      Angi wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I personally cannot stand sardines but can get on board with anchovies. They go well in sauces, you can blend them into salad dressings (like Caesar), put them in marinara sauce, I even hide them in soups. Hope this helps!

      Dani wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I don’t know if that’s brilliant or even worse, lol! Hide the sardines by pureeing it all together. I’ll look into it and maybe give one of those suggestions a try next time I got grocery shopping. What’s the difference in taste between anchovies and sardines? Thanks for the suggestions, Angi and Dani!

        Jacob wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Ick, I hate sardines. So I’m hoping the taste difference between anchovies and sardines is pretty significant! There are not many foods that I truly don’t like, but sardines are one of them. The only way I’ve been able to eat them is completely slathered in mustard, to where I can only taste the mustard and not the sardines. I tried them again yesterday with plantain chips, thinking maybe that would be a good combo…still a no-go!

          Alyssa Luck wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • A good Italian deli will carry oil-packed white anchovies, which are infinitely better than the salty canned anchovies.

          Mark A wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • fish cakes

          Mike UK wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • Heh… I’ve mixed anchovies into my sardines to up the flavor.

        Lars T. wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • The only way I can handle sardines is if I eat them with plain canned pumpkin. Something about the combination makes them semi-edible to me. Anchovies are pretty tasty though.

          Hilary wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I use anchovies to make caesar salad dressing, just puree with egg yolks, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. That way you dont have to look at the eyeballs while eating

      Michelle wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • They do add a nice umami flavor.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I’m assuming you use the high grade organic/pasture-fed/no antibiotics eggs to avoid the risk of salmonella? Just want to cover my bases so I’m not running to the hospital.

        Jacob wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I just eat them with a fork out of the can.

      lynn wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • the sardines that is…allergic to shellfish

        lynn wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Nice! I’m glad that someone else eats them this way! Irresistable!

        David Sullivan wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • When I was growing up, my father would buy the sardines packed in tomatoe sauce at a local Portuguese market. He would empty the whole tin into a bowl and mix it up with chopped onion. It was delicious….time to go look for some, now! =)

        Jennifer wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Just a suggestion: Buy a whole fish and broil or bake it and eat the filet-sides. Then, on another day, put the head and bones and everything else into a stock pot with carrots and onions and garlic and celery and simmer yourself some great fish stock! I can (and use)stock all through the year (rather than buying it.)

      Zusiqu wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Great tip. Just remember to eat the cheeks before you go wasting them in a stock. Best meat on the fish.

        Andy wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • My Korean sister in law..who’s healthier than anyone I know..slim..and loves to eat..mostly eats fish stew unless she’s entertaining or fixing a fav. for her hubby (my bro.) She stews the whole fish, leftover fish, etc. in a pot..adds Korean cabbage, etc. She loves it. It looks like garbage soup to me..but I cannot argue with her looks and health!

        sheila wrote on January 10th, 2013
    • Anchovies are generally sold as tiny fillets in a can. They look a bit hairy (superfine bones)and are brined (so decrease the amount of salt in whatever recipe you add them to.) As mentioned, they are a component of Caesar dressing (yum)with parmesan (you could use Pecorino too)Anchovies are terrific used as a salty/umami note in pasta sauces as well. My favorite way to have canned sardines is a variation of “salad Nicoise” instead of tuna. Mixed greens with egg, green beans, olives and purple potatoes.Sardines are considerably larger and headless when canned. The bones are not as fine as anchovy but very soft. Avert your eyes if you get squeamish:)

      carolyn wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Try deep frying Whitebait, delicious! serve hot with lemon slice and mayo if you like.

      Roy

      Rocket Roy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Now there’s a kiwi staple. Fried in butter on the sand or stones of the river/beach.

        Madama Butterfry wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Just toss them in a salad, it all taste the same as long as you put some solid EVOO and balsamic on it!

      Max Ungar wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Don’t know if I can handle fish with everything attached. I’ve made a lot of changes in my diet, but don’t think I will be doing “fish in a can” any time soon. Worked at a Pizza joint for years and hated when people ordered Anchovies. I’ve never tried liver and really didn’t want to either, but more willing to try liver than sardines…

      Cindy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I tried them once as a child at my dad’s insistence. They were on his side of the pizza. The horrible little things got stuck between my teeth and gums, caused awful pain and tasted so salty I gagged. Just thought I’d share.

        Madama Butterfry wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • That would scar me for life! Thanks for sharing :)

          Cindy wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Make a ceasar dressing in which you puree anchovies in the dressing. True ceasar dressing includes anchovies and they have only a subtle flavor. Makes the salad more filling. Toss with romaine lettuce and enjoy:0)

      bamabelle wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Mix a can of sardines or smoked herring with a little homemade mayo and some minced veggies (onion and celery) and use it to top a salad. Or you can use endive as a scoop instead of crackers. Once it’s all mixed together (like tuna salad), you don’t notice the odd bits. Although most of the canned fish these days don’t include the heads.

      Mark A wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Sardines right out of the tin are good. They go good with avacado in salads. Get the little ones, double layer. Eat with a friend, it’s fun to see a tail sticking out of someone’s mouth.

      dmunro wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I’m from Australia and most of the Salmon here seems to come from Tasmania,the only problem being its all farmed. I love Salmon but bulk at eating any farmed fish due to whats in the pellets that they are feed them(they tend to be the high pesticide gmo corn etc). To make it worse my brother worked on a Salmon farm and told me because the fish don’t have access to their natural diet they don’t get that lovely pink colour, so they have a colour chart (much like the paint stores) and they tell their supplies what colour they want their fish so the supplier than adds that colouring to the pellets …… hey presto pink salmon.

      Trish wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Not sure if you can get it where you are but whitebait is served widely in the UK (often in good pubs) and is delicious.

      Indiscreet wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • Another fishy possibility is Sprats from Lithuania or Latvia. Very different flavor from sardines or anchovies. They come in a flat black labelled can and can be found for less than $2 per can at Mediterranean markets, and strangely, some CVS drug stores here in Northern California. Unfortunately, they are packed in vegetable oil (read soybean oil,) so I drain them on paper towels before eating them.

        Edward wrote on January 8th, 2013
    • I’ve picked up this trick from Jamie Oliver. You can puree whole canned anchovies and incorporate it into most ground meet: ragu, bround beef patties, and sauces. I promise you: no one can tell there’s fish in there!
      Also, the other night, I mixed homemade pesto sauce with a bit of fresh cream, egg yolks, lemon zest and a couple of anchovy fillets into (rice) pasta sauce, and, let me tell you, it worked like a charm!
      Or, you can make the original Caesar salad dressing, which contains -guess what?- anchovies.You can even make fermented fish sauce out of plain anchovies and sea salt, which you can then add to nearly everything, including homemade ketchup!
      Another great option for dressing salads or meats is mixing sundried tomatoes, lemon juice, a couple of anchovies, a good lug of olive oil, creme fraiche or yogurt and, maybe, a little bit of garlic in a food processor and pulse until it turns into a nice paste. Since I live in Greece, I add a chunk of feta cheese as well.
      I’ve found that garlic, cream and cheese (if you consume dairy, of course) masque the fishiness very well. In fact, you will see that anchovies add a rich flavor to otherwise pretty ordinary dishes, like lasagna or roast chicken.

      Nikki wrote on September 13th, 2013
  6. If going primal did anything (and believe me when I say that it has made a world of difference), its introduced me to flavours that I’ve once thought were too exotic, expenseive (I’ll only use it once), or extreme. My spice cupboard over floweth with new (for me) herbs and spices that I have now incorporated into my cooking style. Turmeric is by far my favourite new find. Cinnamon sticks and even chilli pepper grace many of the dishes I serve. Who knew? You can teach an old dog new tricks!

    Judy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • i too am learning a lot with spices and herbs. it is fun to read this, that someone else is having fun experimenting :)

      Terry wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I’ve gone from “culinarily challenged” to “passable cooking skills.”

      Now my wife shrieks when she watches me add quite a lot of spices to food, but admits that I seem to know what I’m doing.

      (Just don’t tell her that I really don’t know what I’m doing!) :)

      Tom wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  7. I make my own natto, but I still don’t really know what to do with it. Any recipe ideas, natto-eaters? It tastes quite boring when eaten with just some mustard and tamari.

    xz123 wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I don’t know if this radically changes the health benefits or not, but the Japanese make a “Natto Tempura” which is wrapping up natto in a nori sheet and battering it and deep fat frying. you might skip the batter and use a good quality saturated fat oil to fry it in but it turns the taste from slimy and fermented beany to crunchy and nutty. YUM!!

      Sarah wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I’ll definitely try that, thanks :)

        xz123 wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • You could probably make a pretty good “tempura” with coconut flour and ice cold club soda. Maybe a little egg to bind it.

        I’d use natto in place of rice in a California roll or something similar. A little avocado and some julienned carrots, radish, jicama, cucumber, etc.

        Mark A wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Anytime I try to fry anything using coconut flour, the flour separates from the food and burns before the food is even cooked – even when I tried to make something tempura style.

          Carla wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Not totally sure, but I’m guessing this would wreck whatever probiotics are in the natto :/

        Ray S wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Adding a couple of good egg yolks to natto is popular in Japan and very tasty. Plus you get super loaded nutrition.

      Glenn wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I’m curious – how do you make natto?

      spicegirl wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I’ve bought some Natto starter (the one from http://gemcultures.com/soy_cultures.htm ) and made a batch, roughly following the guide on http://nattoking.com/ :
        – soak the soy beans over night
        – boil the beans for a short time and discard the foam/scum
        – steam them in a pressure cooker with a steaming insert for 30-45 mins (until soft throughout)
        – mix with some natto starter, put everything on something oven safe and cover with punctured foil
        – put it in the oven at 40-45 C for 24 hours
        – let it age in the fridge for another 24 hours

        I freeze most of it for I don’t eat it every day. I only needed the starter once, now I use some of the previously frozen Natto which works perfectly since the Natto bacteria survive freezing in a dormant state.

        xz123 wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • In Japan I had natto temaki (hand rolled sushi- you get the seaweed benefit then too!) and natto mixed with raw egg and a touch of mustard (hey, another high benefit combo there!)

      The first time I tried it, I made the awful mistake of misunderstanding Japanese friends’ instructions ‘to mix it with egg’ and put it in scrambled eggs. Totally awful. The stink increases 100 fold.

      Yvette wrote on January 4th, 2013
      • Natto Temaki, with the rice, would be a nice thing on refeed days (doing a CKD-Paleo-IF-thingy).

        Yesterday I’ve tried Natto with mustard, tamari sauce and two egg yolks, and surprisingly that tasted quite good, much better than without the yolks.

        Yeah, I,ve tried it with scrambled eggs, too, a few weeks ago. The whole house stank and the “tolerable” stickiness became a really disgusting thing (warmish, slimy stinky stuff). Did not go to well.

        xz123 wrote on January 6th, 2013
        • Try folding the Natto into the scrambled eggs at the last possible second instead of cooking it along with the eggs. This works especially well if you are making the scrambled eggs creamy which you do by cooking them on the lowest possible heat and stirring them constantly with a whisk to prevent curds from forming.

          Edward wrote on January 8th, 2013
  8. Hi Mark– Eggs is my favorite!!! (Are)for purists…I just ordered Primal Fuel and got a discount on the Primal Flora which my wife needs…she is excited, I am excited and the eggs are nervous!

    Happy New Year!

    Pastor Dave wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Does anyone knows how to replace eggs (for someone with an egg allergy) to get the same nutrients?

      Martin wrote on February 2nd, 2013
  9. The idea of eating organ meats freaks me out. I am not sure if I have even eaten anything besides tripe (that was on accident) like this!

    Lauren wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Try frying chicken liver with lots of butter, onions and essence of emeril or some spice mix you like. :) Just don’t fry them too long, heh.

      Aria wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I love liver, my mother fried some regularly for me when I was a kid. Liver is a love or hate kinda thing. My wife hates the taste of it. Oddly enough, she likes liver pâté. Go figure … my mother-in-law, who loves it too, just found a primal recipe that is supposed to make liver-haters fall for it. Got to try it soon on my wife! Another organ that is quite good: lamb tongues! An Iranian friend made a dish out of lamb tongues and I really liked it I must say!

      James wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I had a lamb tongue stew in Belgium once. It was delicious! I called it Silence of the Lamb stew.

        Mark A wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • “Silence of the Lambs” stew…. bahaha! It’s morbid and funny at the same time!!! :)

          Taylor wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Excellent!!! :D

          James wrote on January 3rd, 2013
        • Good one!

          Anu Yagi wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • recently tried “sweetbreads” – grilled, they tasted like soft, grilled chicken.
        very good, i would eat it again. (by the way, i believe sweetbreads are thymus gland)

        Hopeless Dreamer wrote on January 3rd, 2013
        • Yes, it’s called “ris de veau” in French or “brissel” in Denmark (where I live). I have never tried it as it would not have occurred to me to eat something so unappealing … but now that I am “primal”, it could be a new experience ;)

          James wrote on January 3rd, 2013
        • And I thought “sweetbreads” were the same as mountain oysters, aka testicles?

          Edie wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • Liver tastes gross to me, too, unless I hide it in small amounts in another richly flavored recipe. So far, my solution is to include 1/4-1/3 of a lb. of ground liver (grass-fed, ground by the butcher) in 2 lbs of ground beef when I make meatloaves. I can taste it a bit, but it’s tolerable to me.

      Between the liver and the ground chia seed I include (1/3C per lb of beef), my meatloaves are a superfood, too. ;-)

      I don’t know if I’ll ever eat anchovies, sardines, or mackerel (also high in O-3 fats) after my first tries. I named my mackerel recipe “Miracle Mackerel,” because it was a miracle I forced myself to eat it!

      jake3_14 wrote on January 16th, 2013
  10. So, are purple potatoes good? Its a potato, so not sure :-(

    Pam wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Potatoes aren’t poison but they are starchy. Eating too many of them can cause weight gain. Purple ones may be lower in starches than some of the other varieties.

      Shary wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Donna Gates of the Body Ecology Diet even approves of red potatoes (the ones with red skins) as they don’t raise blood sugar elevels as much as others do. I just switched out all my yukon golds etc. for red potatoes.

        Sarah wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • You guys GOTTA GET OVER your fear of potatoes and starch in general! Pretty much everyone, even thos on a keto diet, should be eating potatoes,sweet potatoes, rice or some other starchy plant source daily! Mark Sisson, by virtue of his approval to the Perfect Health Diet, suggests eating about 1 pound of starchy plants per day!

        Tim wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • I just finished Mark’s blueprint book and didn’t see anything about eating potatoes or rice daily. Sweet potatoes are good if you are excercising. It’s all about regulating insulin. I didn’t think you could get into a ketosis state eating that much starch.

          Cindy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • I’m not sure that giving a nod to another book means you’ve suggested that everything within it is a good idea. The idea is that if you’re going gonzo with the exercise that sweet potatoes are a neutral (Paleo) way to protect muscle from cannibalizing itself during and after workouts. Although I’m not Mark Sisson, I’d suggest eating a pound of starchy plants per day only if you’d like to experience a whole of weight gain.

          Amy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • A pound of potatoes? I don’t know.

          “By virtue of…?” I don’t know about that, either.

          Tom wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • Eating too much of anything could cause weight gain.

        Coffeeisgood wrote on January 5th, 2013
    • I am here to promote the joys of purple potatoes. Purple Fingerlings, Adirondack Blues, there’s got to be some more varieties too. Unless you’re dealing with a specific metabolic abnormality, moderate amounts of starch are perfectly healthy to include in your diet. Potatoes have an excellent nutrient profile.

      Erik wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I love my purple potatoes. This site usually sings the praises of purple sweet potatoes, which I have never even seen, but of all the potatoes I’ve tried, the various-colored fingerling potatoes are my favorite.

        I don’t even need a lot of potatoes, either. Right now, they’re my standby for if I need a few extra carbs in my diet. I digest them with less disturbance (read: grumbling and gas… yep) than I digest an extra piece of fruit. And I usually only eat one or two of them in a given day, sliced moderately thinly and cooked up in some pork lard. Mmmmmm…

        Deanna wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Woo hoo, I couldn’t get any of my 4 kids to eat potatoes – until this year I grew Russian blues. These are so pretty, dark purple like an eggplant, they stay colored when cooked AND!!! 3 of the kids will eat them yay!

        mamab wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • As other posters allude to, Mark is telling us to eat purple *sweet* potatoes, not any other kind of purple potato. Purple/Okinawan sweet potatoes are hard to find, unless you have an Asian grocery store in your area (like 99 Ranch in CA).

      jake3_14 wrote on January 16th, 2013
  11. I think, when I unthaw a pack of chicken livers, I’m going to have to start breaking them into several packs and refreezing them. I’m the only one in my house who eats liver so when I unthaw one now I eat it for breakfast for 3 days in a row. It’s probably too much.

    Aria wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Seriously, man! I’m cooking for one these days, and there is NO WAY I can (or should) go through an entire batch of liver pate by myself before it goes bad. Such a waste of organ meat. Of course I could always share with my cat, I guess…

      Sasha_the_Cat wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Cats LOVE liver and it’s very healthy for them :)

        Inga wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Wouldn’t “unthawing” be freezing?

      Sally wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • lol

        leafbiter wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Hi, never refreeze raw meat that’s been thawed, you can set yourself up for food poisoning. Liver pate freezes really well, so thaw the liver, make the pate, divide it into portions and thaw the cooked product.
      Cheers

      Heather wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Oops, freeze the cooked product. Need more coffee, why wasn’t that on the list?

        Heather wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Aria you can whip it up in to pate and freeze it for the following week or fortnight.

      Madama Butterfry wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  12. Love this post! I talk about most of the same foods in the “supportive nutrients and foods that contain them” sections of each of the meal plans in my book, “Practical Paleo.” I think it’s really important that folks know that there are SUPER dense amounts of nutrients in certain foods and that they should be eaten first, before we look to supplement with pills, powders, etc.

    Diane wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  13. I’m allergic to shellfish, Old cheese I better not take because of the high histamine levels, Natto is soy and it was advised I should avoid it (never saw it here either) and Palm oil I refuse to take because of what earlier was said: whole habitats are destroyed for it including local wild life! The rest yes and I take K2 in supplements.

    Wilhelmina wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I’m also allergic to shellfish and most nuts. I’m dubious on the idea that fermented food is a fabulous supplement – it strikes me as accidental nutrition. It’s something you eat when fresh is not available.

      Amy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I tried raw sauerkraut not so long ago and ended up at a doctors-post with agonizing pain in the right side of the belly, feeling like a gall-attack. Ever since I don’t dare to eat it anymore. Sure for some it might work, but not all of us can eat everything.

        Wilhelmina wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Wilhemina, didn’t you read the qualifier in Mark’s recommendation — buy *African* — not Indonesian red palm oil.

      jake3_14 wrote on January 16th, 2013
  14. Mark, you continue to supply great information and suggestions to us poor pilgrims battling against the giant food corporations and purveyors of crappy food. Great programme on tv in the UK last night – it pointed out that the aspartame(?) in diet soda drinks is actually carcinogenic! Pity such programmes are not more frequent nor compulsory in schools!

    Totaldoug wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Watch “Sweet Misery”.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • The curriculum should include information about all sorts of things that can hurt people. Instead there’s basically just DARE, a duplicitous course.

      Animanarchy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I watched that great programme too.
      they even said that fat was good for us but of course we all knew that already.

      Annakay wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  15. Great list! Mark, I do think people should be careful about seaweed. I only get the Maine Coast sea veggies now due to the possible radiation exposure from Japan. It’s a bummer because I love Nori!

    Angela wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  16. Do smoked oysters count? Not a huge mussel or oyster fan…

    Sari wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Smoked oysters should still give you the minerals as minerals are not changed through cooking.

      Sarah wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Try smoked mussels. Whole Foods carries them from Duck Trap — they are raised in Maine — and they aren’t the canned type, they’re refrigerated. They are in canola oil, yes, but not much, and you can easily blot them with a paper towel to remove the vast majority of the oil. They are delicious and not too expensive ($5.99 for a container).

      pocopelo wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  17. Just starting Primal and can’t wait for the benefits…not to mention the yummy foods! The Holidays have left me feeling quite yucky, bloated, tired. In response to Brazil nuts..Swiss cheese, they’re names of specific items therefore, proper nouns, so they must be capitalized. I’m an elementary teacher, what can I say?

    Terri wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  18. I’ve always been HIGHLY allergic to Brazil nuts since I was an infant – was recently tested and had a massive reaction that freaked out the immunologist. I was wondering if there is any genetic susceptibility to this allergy since the orgin of these “Brazil” nuts is South American. I have no other allergy known and have Northern European background. Does anyone else have a singular allegy to Brazil nuts??

    Charlie wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Yes, one of my nieces has a massive allergy to ONLY Brazil nuts. Genetically, she is half Irish and half “white-American” (English-Scottish-Welsh-Irish-French-German-Heinz 57). Has to be very careful; almost gave my sister a nervous breakdown.

      Owen McCall wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • It’s odd, but the country Brazil was named that because brazil nuts grew there. Therefore, since the object predates the country, I believe it showld be a lower case b for the nuts.

        Elizabeth Greenman wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • my husband has a serious allergy only to Brazil nuts, he is African American.

      Veronica wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • After reading this article, I started eating 3 brazil nuts a day. My digestive tract was NOT happy with me, so I definitely have an intolerance. Does anyone know the second best source of selenium??

      Nikki wrote on January 18th, 2013
  19. I have stopped eating foods from the sea. Because of the radiation flowing all over the seas.
    But I do eat my eggs every day. I walk out to the hen house and pick them up. I don’t think they could be any fresher.
    Red palm Oil???

    ponymama wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • People living in New Hampshire are screwed…

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Why are people living in nh screwed? I live in nh…

        Katherine wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Granite emits a slow constant radiation. NH = Granite State); basically I made a very bad nerdy attempt at humor. But hey, that is my schtick.

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 3rd, 2013
      • Hey, what do you have against NH…I live there…??

        camarolady wrote on January 4th, 2013
        • Ignore my question. For some reason your comment wasn’t shown when I posted.

          camarolady wrote on January 4th, 2013
  20. I thought this was a great post, but some of those foods are rather difficult to come by in my locale – the middle of the desert. Does anyone know of good replacements for fish, seaweed, and shellfish? I’m glad to know eggs are on this list, I definitely take those everyday ;)

    TheShawnMeister wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Nori you can order online. I know that nuts.com has it, but I’m sure you can find other sources as well. For fish, I’ve heard that canned fish is not the end of the world, and you should be able to find sardines and other small fish somewhere near the pickles in your grocery store. Good luck!

      Sasha_the_Cat wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • A high quality krill oil is a great way to ensure you’re getting many of the benefits of seafood without the contaminants, or when unavailable. My joint issues improved dramatically within a few days of adding a krill supplement.

      dianekjs wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Do you literally live in the middle of the desert, or do you live in a town or city in the desert that has grocery stores? Lots of good quality canned seafood can be found. Seaweed in the form of nori (like what they use to wrap sushi rolls) is widely available in many grocery stores and is dried, so it’s shelf stable.
      If you are unable to find seafood of any kind, fish oil supplements are a good bet.

      Mark A wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  21. What a great article – so useful for a newbie to PB like me…

    But I feel like puking even at the thought of mussels and oysters; maybe I’ll give them another try, all in the name of good health? Sigh.

    royalpriestess wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Oysters Rockefeller! There are variations on this dish to search online but skip the breadcrumbs!

      My simple favorite…
      Make it fancy and bake 4 oysters in single serve dishes on a bed of kosher salt. Try oysters topped with cooked chopped spinach and a slice of Gouda cheese. Three nutrient dense foods in one dish!

      KerryC wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • As stated above, I’m allergic to shellfish and react to almost anything that’s a bottom/filter feeder. I supplement with fish oil and high quality vitamins and don’t worry about it.

      Amy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Try Penn Cove Mussels from the PNW! White wine, butter, garlic. Or cook with coconut milk and curry. It will taste amazing!

      Jen wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  22. Yay for new foods to “play” with. I already do 3/4 of the list, can’t wait to try natto and red palm oil!

    Margie wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  23. Are canned sardines okay?

    Gary wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I think it’s difficult to get them any other way! Usually they’re just canned in olive oil or water, so you should be good to go (:

      Alyssa Luck wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  24. Lots of good info here. Thanks!

    A few notes:

    1) You can make a simple meatloaf with any ground meat you choose, with lots of tumeric mixed in and whatever else you like;

    2) My weekly routine includes roasting 2 organic chickens at once, and making bone broth right away with the remains. Not at all difficult. With a little practice, you can do it with your eyes closed.

    3) Bubbie’s Sauerkraut rocks. It’s in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. Great for those (like me) who choose not to take the time to make homemade.

    4) Gotta get some Brazil nuts. Thanks for the reminder.

    5) No thanks on the cheese. I’m very happily lactose free – not because of a known allergy, but because I feel noticeably better without it, and my skin looks better too.

    :-)

    Susan Alexander wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I’m on board with the Bubbie’s recommendation. I buy their pickles every week. I was shocked to find fermented pickles in the grocery store. They’re delicious!

      Christa Crawford wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • I’ll give those pickles a try. :-)

        Susan Alexander wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • They make dill relish too! It’s yummy (:

          Alyssa Luck wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I love Bubbies, too, but I will tell you that I spoke with someone at the company, and the sauerkraut is heated before shipping it to stores. He said that some of the beneficial bacteria remain, but that some are destroyed. I prefer to make my own sauerkraut for this reason (and because my homemade is tastier). HOWEVER, the Bubbies pickles are not heated, and they have all their beneficial bacteria in tact (Yay!!). They are delicious! And I use those rather than making my own, as they are much more fussy than sauerkraut (and it’s so much easier to buy them – I have to take the help where I can).

      Christie B. wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Farmhouse Culture makes kickin raw organic sauerkraut in some great flavors. Whole Foods carry most flavors or you can order directly from the company.
        http://farmhouseculture.com/shop/

        Beth wrote on January 4th, 2013
    • I was a diehard Bubbie’s fan for years, and ate a good deal of the kimchi from Whole Foods as well, but I decided to take the plunge and make my own kraut/kimchi this year. It was/is definitely worth the time and effort. There are so many cool variations you can make on your own that you won’t find in a store.

      Kent McCann wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I agree with the cheese comment. I gave up dairy almost a year before going primal and noticed many benefits, mostly being the lack of congestion and other sinus issues. I used to blow my nose two dozen times every morning, now I don’t. I will rarely use pastured butter in some recipes, but not often. I’m all over the primal living, minus the few occasions where cheese is mentioned.

      jrVegantoPrimal wrote on January 3rd, 2013
    • Very little lactose, probably none in the super dry pecorino Mark recommends. Home made yogurt is low as well, since the bacteria eat pretty much all of it. Ditto kefir.

      Edward wrote on January 8th, 2013
    • I”m with you on the Bubbies. I buy a couple jars of the kraut each week and eat with lunch and dinner. With all the cooking I do, ie; bone broths, grain free muffins… I just can’t bring myself to make my own sauerkraut. Bubbies does the trick!

      Debbie wrote on January 8th, 2013
  25. Well I’m about 50/50 on this list! Will look to add some more for 2013.

    Anyone have any idea how long ground Tumeric maintains its healthy properties in a spice jar?

    Luke DePron wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • The fresher the better. Let the smell tell you.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • I found a grocery store that carries fresh turmeric root….it looks like little, orange ginger rhizomes. I keep it in the freezer and grate some into whatever. Highly recommend looking for this!

      Scratch wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • me too! I put it into almost anything savory – it disappears into tomato dishes. A Microplane grater works really well for it.

        Allison wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • IndianBlend online carries raw turmeric root. Only way I can tolerate sardines is drowned in hot sauce or other strongly-flavored condiments. Three cans a week keeps my arthritis under control. Fermented foods generally aggravate my autoimmune disorders, but a great emergency treatment for a sore throat is a heaping helping of kimchi, raw sauerkraut, or deli half-sours. The cultures knock the infection out fast.

        comfortzone wrote on January 7th, 2013
        • I had a similar experience with low grade food poisoning. I could feel something ominous about to happen and ate a large quantity of kim chi. I could feel a rumble between the bacteria gangs taking place and within an hour knew the cultures had won. Whew!

          Edward wrote on January 8th, 2013
  26. I lived in Korea for several years and my stomach was always very happy after a traditional Korean meal. Kimchi is simply alive with good bacteria, and not just the typical strains found in store bought yogurt. Of course the homemade varieties are best, especially when aged, but eat what you can. It not only helps with probiotic health but it greatly improves digestion.

    Koreans also used the little dried fish in soup, along with flakes of dried seaweed. This is an excellent way to consume them. Often times it wasn’t even a seafood soup, they just tossed some in for flavor.

    As for turmeric and curcumin I’ve found that its an excellent pre-biotic. This is one thing I do supplement in both pill form and at the table. Ever since starting this about a year ago I haven’t had constipation once, but its very natural and the “results” are obviously healthy. With “things” moving along so nicely I’m sure its reducing my odds of colon cancer dramatically (and turmeric is also known for its cancer fighting abilities).

    Bone broth and marrow soup is now something I consume weekly. I would do this now even if it wasn’t so healthy (you just feel great after consuming it), its soooo yummy.

    Still working on including more of the other foods. Lucky for us most taste very good and its a hobby we can enjoy, eating!

    MN_John wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Wish I could make authentic tasting kim chi! I’ve tried every “mother’s recipe” I could find, but it still doesn’t taste exactly right. I have found locally made kim chi in Korean groceries, so I know it can be done in the US.

      Edward wrote on January 8th, 2013
  27. Great read Mark. Glad to see that many of the foods I eat often are listed here. Two hard boiled eggs are the perfect breakfast for me and the perfect portion size. Eggs, Sardines, Gouda (that’s the only cheese I eat), raspberries, blackberries, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, etc. are staples of my diet.

    Cheers.

    Bryan wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  28. Webster’s capitalized Brazil nut on a page where every other word on the page has a lower case first letter – leads me to think that it’s B.

    Bruce wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  29. I am extreamly alergic to shellfish. and mildly to seaweed ( I think there is shell fish in the mix).

    B P Moffit wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  30. You didnt’t have to tell me twice when it comes to eating cheese!

    Michelle wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  31. They spell it “Brasil” in Brazil.

    With that in mind, I’ll vote for “brasil nuts!”

    Bob Crason wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  32. At the farmer’s market, I got purple carrots. They are purple through-and-through, not just on the outside (like the red carrots I also got there, which are orange inside).
    A quick Google search (fully tracking me :)) indicates purple carrots have more beta-carotene than standard orange, and lots of anthocyanins. So, if purple potatoes make you leery, and you can find purple carrots, I think they are a winner. Plus, they tasted even better than orange carrots.

    Steve Gardner wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Purple potatoes are the bomb: Go to Google Scholar or PubMed and search for Purple Potato + antioxidants, you will be eating them every day!

      There are also purple sweet potatoes, those are good, too. Purple carrots also great!

      Tim wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Beta-carotene is good but the body really prefers the Vitamin A found in animal products (aka Liver). The name for that form of Vitamin A from animal sources is Retinol, (retina or eyes). Beta-carotene requires an enzymatic process to be useful. We humans are capable of that process to more or less degrees but never quit understood the hoopla over wanting to p orange if you could get the real deal from an animal product. ;)

      Amy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  33. Wikipedia (a reputable source, I know), capitalizes the B in Brazil nut. Brazil trees do grow in Brazil, but that country is not the largest exporter.

    This site has some information on the potential origins of the name:
    http://www.brazil.org.za/etymology.html#.UORvAG9_B8E

    (for anyone interested ;-)

    Tasha wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  34. Liver, where all the toxins settle? Even if the animal was grass-fed, it lives in the same toxic environment as we do.

    Always use pepper with curcumin, as you said.

    Seaweed? I’ve heard that 50% of it is contaminated with bromine, which will deplete your iodine levels.

    Stan wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Yes, the liver process toxins but it is not permanently stored their like a nuclear waste storage facility. The liver is a storage facility for vitamins.

      In foods are nutritional cofactors that help bind toxins. Offhand I think of how selenium binds to mercury. Lots of toxins are fat soluble too, does that stop you from eat a nicely marbled piece of grass fed steak?

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Like Bon said, the toxins don’t stay in the liver. Mark did a whole post on it not too long ago! Just search this site for ‘liver,’ and it should come up (:

      Alyssa Luck wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  35. I’m a magazine editor (and marksdailyapple reader)and your query about the capitalization of Brazil nut caught my eye. Since I felt wobbly on the answer, I checked my go-to reference, which is the AP Stylebook. Here’s part of the entry on food: “Most proper nouns are capitalized when they occur in a food name: Boston brown bread, Boston lettuce, Russian dressing, Brussels sprouts, Swiss cheese, Waldorf salad. Lowercase is used, however, when the food does not depend on the proper noun or adjective for its meaning: french fries.”

    Forgive my geek-iness on the topic; I’m afraid I find this kind of thing fascinating! So, the long answer is: Yes, Brazil nuts have a uppercase B. :-) Thanks so much, Mark, for all you do. Happy New Year!

    Penny wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Yay! As a person born with a red pencil in her hand, I appreciate this kind of info so much!

      Cathi wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  36. It’s Bacillus subtilis, not Bacterium subtilis. First letter of bacterial name should be capitalized and whole name should be italicized.

    christina wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  37. Mark, sorry to be so picky but as a microbiologist I cannot let you say ‘bacterium subtilis” (the bacterium that ferments soy to natto). The correct name of the bacteria is Bacillus subtilis, genus capitalized, genus not. Bacterium is one, bacteria is plural. Technically is should be italicized or underlined also.
    After some google searches, it looks like the bacterium used to make natto is Bacillus subtilis natto. cool, learned something new today.

    Patty wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Microbiologist high five :)

      christina wrote on January 2nd, 2013
      • Cute. : )

        Madama Butterfry wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  38. Am I unnecessarily concerned with sources of oysters and sardines? I look at the country of origin and become concerned if it is not the us or northern countries. Which countries are considered safe and reliable? Are any farmed sources safe?

    Sue wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • We should all be concerned about the sources of any seafood, it is a rocky area fraught with misinformation and it’s easy for species/source identification to get mixed up along the way. I always consult http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx, then double-check labels, search company websites, etc. I try to buy only seafood caught and processed in the USA, for a lot of different reasons, but that limits what I can eat.

      Steph wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  39. Just to be a PrimalPedant(tm): The “b” in B. subtilis stands for “Bacillus”, not “bacterium”. The fermenting bacterial species in natto is Bacillis subtilis natto. (This is genus-species-subspecies, so Bacillis is capitalized and the other two are not. Because they are Latin words they should be in italics or underlined to so designate.)

    Owen McCall wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  40. Red palm oil is great to use when sauteeing kale, chard, spinach. One of my favorites is sauteeing pastured pork sausage with chard and red palm oil and topping it with a sunny side egg cooked in turmeric.
    A lot of reading I’ve done on turmeric suggests that it is more effective when cooked for a period of time, so I put a cup or so in an iron skillet with a comparable amount of coconut oil and lots of freshly ground pepper. I let it cook away for 10-15 minutes. The color deepens to a beautiful orange brown. I store it in a class jar and use a generous spoonful every morning to cook my eggs. So delicious.
    I really love wasabi sea snax. Should probably add different kinds of seaweed as well.
    Natto would be a nono for me. gross

    Beth wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • and of course, that would be *glass jar

      Beth wrote on January 2nd, 2013
    • Ooh, that’s a good idea to make turmeric coconut oil for cooking! I might have to try that!

      Alyssa Luck wrote on January 2nd, 2013

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