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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 02 2013

Are You Eating These Important Supplemental Foods?

By Mark Sisson
346 Comments

Egg YolkToday 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!

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346 thoughts on “Are You Eating These Important Supplemental Foods?”

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

    1. 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 😉

      1. Regular palm oil they use in junk food comes from Indonesia, not the Amazon. Red palm oil comes from Africa as you said.

      2. Absolutely. time to read ‘the palm oil miracle’ by Bruce Fife if you’ve been duped by the whole ‘palm oil is unethical’ nonsense

      3. +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.

        1. 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?

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

      1. +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!

    2. 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!

    3. hm……..natto is made from soybeans and i don’t think soybeans are from the amazon. 🙂

      1. 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!).

      1. 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.

    4. 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.

  2. Well, I followed your above recipe and mixed them all together and it tasted awful.

    I feel pretty good though.

    1. Did you fry it in coconut oil? A little butter on top helps too, but that texture is beyond hope.

  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.

    1. 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).

    2. 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.

      1. 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 😀
        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!

        1. Totally agree – I am Swiss and in my opinion Gruyère is the best!

    3. 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

  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! 🙂

    1. 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.

    2. 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.”

      1. 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.

  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?

    1. To me, nothing is better than a big ass salad with sardines and homemade sauerkraut. Delish!

    2. 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!

      1. 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!

        1. 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!

        2. A good Italian deli will carry oil-packed white anchovies, which are infinitely better than the salty canned anchovies.

      2. Heh… I’ve mixed anchovies into my sardines to up the flavor.

        1. 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.

    3. 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

      1. 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.

      1. Nice! I’m glad that someone else eats them this way! Irresistable!

      2. 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! =)

    4. 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.)

      1. Great tip. Just remember to eat the cheeks before you go wasting them in a stock. Best meat on the fish.

      2. 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!

    5. 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:)

    6. Try deep frying Whitebait, delicious! serve hot with lemon slice and mayo if you like.

      Roy

      1. Now there’s a kiwi staple. Fried in butter on the sand or stones of the river/beach.

    7. 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…

      1. 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.

    8. 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)

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

      1. 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.

    13. 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.

  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!

    1. i too am learning a lot with spices and herbs. it is fun to read this, that someone else is having fun experimenting 🙂

    2. 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!) 🙂

  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.

    1. 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!!

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

      2. Not totally sure, but I’m guessing this would wreck whatever probiotics are in the natto :/

    2. Adding a couple of good egg yolks to natto is popular in Japan and very tasty. Plus you get super loaded nutrition.

      1. 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.

    3. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

  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!

    1. Does anyone knows how to replace eggs (for someone with an egg allergy) to get the same nutrients?

  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!

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

      1. I had a lamb tongue stew in Belgium once. It was delicious! I called it Silence of the Lamb stew.

        1. “Silence of the Lambs” stew…. bahaha! It’s morbid and funny at the same time!!! 🙂

      2. 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)

        1. 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 😉

        2. And I thought “sweetbreads” were the same as mountain oysters, aka testicles?

    3. 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!

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

      2. 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!

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

        3. A pound of potatoes? I don’t know.

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

    2. 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.

      1. 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…

      2. 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!

    3. 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).

  10. 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.

    1. 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…

    2. 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

      1. Oops, freeze the cooked product. Need more coffee, why wasn’t that on the list?

    3. Aria you can whip it up in to pate and freeze it for the following week or fortnight.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. Wilhemina, didn’t you read the qualifier in Mark’s recommendation — buy *African* — not Indonesian red palm oil.

  13. 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!

    1. The curriculum should include information about all sorts of things that can hurt people. Instead there’s basically just DARE, a duplicitous course.

    2. I watched that great programme too.
      they even said that fat was good for us but of course we all knew that already.

  14. 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!

    1. Smoked oysters should still give you the minerals as minerals are not changed through cooking.

    2. 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).

  15. 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?

  16. 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??

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

    2. my husband has a serious allergy only to Brazil nuts, he is African American.

    3. 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??

  17. 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???

        1. 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.

        1. Ignore my question. For some reason your comment wasn’t shown when I posted.

  18. 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 😉

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

  19. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

    3. Try Penn Cove Mussels from the PNW! White wine, butter, garlic. Or cook with coconut milk and curry. It will taste amazing!

  20. 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!

    1. 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 (:

  21. 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.

    🙂

    1. 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!

    2. 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).

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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!

  22. 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?

    1. 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!

      1. me too! I put it into almost anything savory – it disappears into tomato dishes. A Microplane grater works really well for it.

      2. 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.

        1. 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!

  23. 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!

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. I am extreamly alergic to shellfish. and mildly to seaweed ( I think there is shell fish in the mix).

  27. They spell it “Brasil” in Brazil.

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

  28. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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. 😉

  29. 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.

    1. 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?

    2. 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 (:

  30. 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!

    1. Yay! As a person born with a red pencil in her hand, I appreciate this kind of info so much!

  31. It’s Bacillus subtilis, not Bacterium subtilis. First letter of bacterial name should be capitalized and whole name should be italicized.

  32. 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.

  33. 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?

    1. 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.

  34. 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.)

  35. 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

  36. Liver and seaweed have inexplicably fallen out of the equation in recent months. Lots of eggs, spices and bone broth though.

    Got a new (actually, quite old) book on cooking with offal for Christmas, so this is a good time to get liver and other goodies back into the mix

  37. Mark – You have raised a huge following of people scared to death to eat a potato!

    Your Intro in the new PHD book makes it look like you understand the need for starch, but your peeps are not getting the message.

    There are so many benefits to eating up to a pound of potatao, rice, plantain, etc… that CANNOT be met with low carb/no starch Primal Blueprint.

    Resistant Starch, found in massive quantity in cooked and cooled rice/potato should be reason enough.

    Please, please in 2013, help the masses understand that starch is not an evil carb. Potatoes should be on everyone’s plate–every day! You endorsed Jaminet’s vision on this–now back it up!

    1. I agree, although I don’t think potatoes should necessarily be “on everyone’s plate-every day,” as you suggest.

      *Some* people do much better with starches in their diet; others don’t. It’s true that this community tends to be hung up on the ‘no-starch’ thing, but it’s important to not let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction. We need to keep in mind that everyone is going to have different optimal diets.

    2. For me personally, adding “starch ” in the form of potatoes, rice, etc. is the beginning of the end. It triggers way too many cravings, drags me down energy wise, and just generally derails me. I seem fine with a little sweet potato or winter squash, but that’s about it.

    3. “Potatoes should be on everyone’s plate–every day! You endorsed Jaminet’s vision on this–now back it up!”

      Spoken like a potato farmer or true carb addict. 😉 Seriously, an occasional potato won’t kill and it would be certainly the carb of choice for those crazy enough to be doing endurance athletics.

      But if you have a choice, choosing to eat a potato every single day means you’re *not* eating some other nutrient dense food. Liver, flesh, bone broth, and vegetables are all much better ways to consume the same calories.

    4. Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family and can cause issues for some people. One potato and my joints are swollen the next day. They may be a poor choice for people with autoimmune issues.

  38. Thanks for the good info!!!
    I want to tell you how I used to take turmeric….
    1/4 tsp of turmeric +hot boil water+
    a few drops of lemon or lime juice and a little bit of sugar!!!
    I take it every morning on a empty stomach:))) Love it and recomend it!!!

  39. I could use some help with making bone broth. Ive read that you can mix your bones and that some people add chicken feet. Does anybody know do you have to do anything with them or just toss the whole thing in?

    1. I’ve heard that some people peel the chicken feet, but I just toss them in the crock pot – add onion, garlic, raw apple cider vinegar, salt, peppercorns and enough water to cover. I usually let mine go for 24 hours. I do have to say that it is a little creepy to look through the glass lid and see little “hands”, but the broth made with feet is incredible and so full of gelatin that it barely even jiggles when it’s cooled. Can’t always find chicken feet, so I will save bones until I have a bag full.

      1. Thanks for the info, I work next to an asian market, chicken feet are cheap! Our university also raises grass fed animals, need to get in there to see if they have bone!

    2. I use pig “feet” to pump up the gelatin. Inexpensive and easier for me to find at the grocery store.

      I toss everything in the pressure cooker for 4-5 hours, works like a champ. When its done even the beef marrow bones are soft enough to cut through with a butter knife.

    3. Bone broth is fairly simple to make once you get the hang of it. I make it routinely these days. Check out my gelatinous recipe for slow cooker bone broth.

  40. I love eggs, Brazil nuts (yes, I use a capital B) and sardines from the can. I also love crab – any thoughts on the value of that? One of my favourite teas is a 3 ginger tea, Organic ginger, galangal & golden turmeric, very warming! Thank you for this post, as someone just starting out on my Primal journey, it’s good to find out the range of products you can eat.

  41. Wild Planet sardines are by far my favorite brand. They are at whole foods and cheaper on amazon with a subscription. Packed in 100% EVOO and BPA free cans. Be careful! Some brands say “packed in olive oil” on label but ingredients also include canola or cottonseed oil. Still trying to find smoked mussels in olive oil!

    1. Oh yeah, smoked mussels, fantastic. Really satisfying. Does this sound sarcastic? I don’t mean it to… : )

  42. Liver, yay!! It is a personal goal of mine to eat liver at least once a week because of it’s rich nutrient content. Check out my delicious recipe for Sauteed Chicken Liver & Onions.

  43. Today will be my first time making bone broth! Can’t wait to try it and so glad to see it on this list. I must say, I’m not the greatest with eating a lot of these things. *whomp*whomp*

  44. Love this post Mark. Its really amazing how much better I feel when I eat things like livers, fermented foods, etc.

  45. Tips for those of us who can’t stand the texture of oysters/mussels? They are one of the few seafoods I would be comfortable purchasing/eating (due to their relatively stable populations) but ugh, the texture!!!

    1. Haha! Just posted my comment saying the exact same thing! I’ve never tried them, but the texture always looked iffy to me…

      1. Having just come from a San Francisco trip… oysters are the best fresh out of the ocean. As for texture, they aren’t as bad as the texture of liver (IMO). So, if you can handle the liver, you can likely handle the oyster 😉

  46. Eggs stirred into kefir and left to ferment should be healthy.

  47. Haha! picturing bite-sized cows … canned in a delish gelatinous beef broth, just peel back the lid and dig in.

  48. I think I’m doing pretty well overall, based on this list! I mix seaweed flakes about half and half with Redmond RealSalt in my salt shaker, so I think I’m getting decent amounts of seaweed. I just ate marrow for the first time about a week ago, and was amazed at the taste! It was in a pumpkin custard, and I didn’t taste it plain, but I was surprised at how fatty and white and creamy it looked. For some reason, I was expecting a meatier substance.

    I’m not a huge fan of liver, but I do okay putting it in other things with ground meat. I just wish I could buy in ground, instead of having to puree it in my food processor.

    But the shellfish, natto, and tiny fish…hm. I’ll have to start incorporating anchovies into sauces and things like others above suggested, because I simply cannot do sardines. I’m not in any hurry to try natto since it’s soy, but I’m hoping I get adequate K2 from fermented cod liver oil. I’ll have to figure out how to like shellfish, though. I had a bad experience with scallops, and have never tried oysters or mussels. Anyone have recipe suggestions for someone who has a hard time with weird textures?? (:

    1. I feel bad for people who weren’t exposed to shellfish at a young age. I can’t imagine trying raw oysters or steamed mussels for the first time as an adult – I can see how it would be intimidating or off-putting because of the appearance and texture. For oysters, they may not be worth trying unless you live or visit coastal areas regularly. There is almost nothing better than a fresh raw oyster straight from the ocean with a little lemon juice. Go with small ones at first (like Kumamotos) before tackling the larger varieties like Apalachicolas. Some people who don’t like to eat them raw still enjoy them cooked in stews or in oysters Rockafeller, but I think cooking them magnifies the fishiness and dimishes the fresh ocean-y flavor.
      Mussels in Asian dishes like a Thai curry may be a good way to start out. When eating mussels in the shell, make sure closed before cooking and open once they are cooked.

      1. Hmm…I’m not sure I could handle eating something that is still alive! I still need to work on getting over the ‘ick’ factor of some foods! But I can imagine the primal feeling you get scooping up and downing a fresh oyster straight from the ocean, so I might have to make that a goal of mine (:

        1. Yeah, I don’t eat them because of fear of their walking up and down my “digestive track.”
          I’ll skip this one. Give me eggs and cheeses (and natto) any time.

        2. “I prefer my oysters fried-
          That way I know my oyster’s died. ”

          -Roy Blount

          Actually I love oysters & all shellfish pretty much any way I can get ’em. But I also love sardines, anchovies, sushi, seafood in general. Much more than meat, actually, as I can digest them better.

  49. “selenium is vital for thyroid hormone production”

    Not quite – it’s actually critical in the production of the *enzyme* that converts existing thyroid hormone T4 into the “active” thyroid hormone T3.

    Also, too much selenium can actually suppress T3 and cause hypothyroid, or can worsen hypothyroid.

  50. Hoorah, starting reading this post as I was ploughing through my breakfast of sardines on paleo pumpkin bread with butter and spinach leaves on the side.
    I love a bit of sardine in the morning!

  51. Sardines are good for you–except when they jump into those little metal cans, and you cut yourself opening them (which I’ve done twice [I have cerebral palsy])!!!

    1. You can also increase your chances of cutting yourself on a can (and spicing the contents of the can with flakes of it) by opening it with the can openers they sell at Giant Tiger.
      A mutilated can of tomatoes elicited so much bleeding from my hand that I walked to the hospital to get some bandaids. The triage nurse tried to make me think I needed antibiotics. She asked me if I knew I could die from tetanus. I told her I eat dirt to support my gut bacteria and consequently am not worried about disease.
      That hospital seems to have recently started fluoridating the water heavily based on how it tastes, though the regular town water isn’t fluoridated. It doesn’t quench thirst well either.

      1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m so glad you’re back.

        1. Me too. I admit I missed this place so much that in my recent stay in custody I was writing down potential comments.
          I’m thinking of making a new primal-themed video too, possibly a guide to anarchy, especially preparation (so it would be kind of a training video emphasizing guerrilla warfare type skills). In my teens I spent lots of time reading old textfiles from the 80s about mischief and mayhem. I didn’t do much of it but the love is still there.

        2. Mister Burgandy, I had to make my reply here because the website would not let me make it below in the applicable spaces. I haven’t heard of the Enclycopediea of Destruction. Nor have I read the infamous Anarchist Cookbook. I scholared with textfiles.com. I’ll need to get in shape before embarking on this cinematographic masterpiece however, so I’m not sure when it will be competed or if, depending on my condition and situation. I figured maybe the library or my old high school tech teacher would let me lend a camera.

  52. This is a good guide. Obviously, if one has leaky gut, a lot this has to be avoided for awhile. I’ve always steered away from shellfish because of the bottom feeder business and the fear of eating excess toxins. Do you have recommendations for selecting shellfish and preparing it?

    1. My body has unequivocally ruled out shellfish and bottom/filter feeders. (That’s a bit redundant as most shellfish are filter feeders.) Carnivorous fish yes, those that pick up random crud from the ocean, no. 🙁 There are other ways to get the same nutrients, including very boring supplementation.

  53. GOOD STUFF as always, although some of us may never get to these kinds of foods all the time every day…..I wish we could…all the sudden, chopped liver doesn’t sound so bad after all =)

  54. Natto may be deemed the single best source of vitamin K-2 by science but is it really? What synergistic factors are provided by mother nature along with natto? Magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, maganese, and omega- 3s. That is pretty good but your best sources of K-2 are raw fermented dairy from organic cows grazing on spring or fall fast growing organic pastures, originally choosen for their rich mineral content (think alluvial floodplain organic farm), and maintained by a smart farmer who rotates various types of animals on pasture (cows, goats, sheep, chickens), and makes sure that a variety of grasses native to the the bioregion make up the pasture grasses. What do you get besides vitamin K-2 and the factors presnt in natto) when you ferment raw buttermilk and/or raw milk from these cows? All of the maximum synergistic components for its utilization and absorption: adding to those factors provided by natto – Vitamin D plus loads of probiotics. And if the farm is local (within 100 miles) you get the benefits of the healthy adaptations of the microbiological community within the fermentation – refered to as “transfer factors”- something not understood by science very well. Healthy cultures around the world have proven the health benefits of fermented dairy under similar conditions to those described above. Almost all small farmers raised their animals under those types of conditions because it worked, and practically no off-farm inputs were required – they couldn’t afford them. This is the way Russian and Poland supplies 85% of the food for their nations – from small farmers like that. They have already gotten past the collapse of industrial agriculture. Learn about the small farmers close to you who are doing things right – it pays off for your health.

  55. Shellfish? Seriously? The last I heard, Elohim forbade the eating of shellfish. So did I take your advice over Elohim’s to eat unclean food? NOT A CHANCE!

  56. I add turmeric to fruit smoothies sometimes. It doesn’t have much flavour, and you don’t need a lot of it to get the benefits. Or throw it into soups or stews, especially if you’re using spices like curry or cumin. Turmeric is in most commercial curry powders, but not all. If you buy curry powder or garam masala without turmeric, you cna add your own to the dish.

    1. That’s a really good idea -lots of turmeric really eases those little aches and pains, but I forget to use it in my cooking. Will try this!

  57. With respect to bone marrow and broth — I have been making my own bone broths for several months and usually let it simmer for 24 hours. After that time I generally find that the marrow from the beef bones has dissolved into the broth. I assume I am getting the full nutrients from the marrow in my broth. Does anyone know if this it true, or is there a benefit (other than yumminess) to eating the marrow? I’ve never actually tried marrow, but wouldn’t be adverse to roasting a few bones before making broth from them on the next batch. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tricia C, when I can get my hands on grass-fed marrow bones sawn into troughs and rounds, I sprinkle salt on the middle bits and roast them for half an hour. In this time they soften completely, with a crisp, umami shell that.. I have to keep swallowing… is so delicious, satisfying, a full hit of deep sustenance you literally feel the enamel on your teeth grow back, your spine straighten and strengthen, nails harden, mind clear.
      Then chuck the bones in broth and carry on.

  58. Great post, as usual, thank you, Mark!
    And it’s good to know that I take most part of what you say on a weekly basis!
    Another way to eat whole animals (organs) for those who are not used to it is in stews.
    Here there’s an old recipe for a rabbit stew with all the organs, even the brain and the eyes but without seeing them:
    Note: you can use the translator on the top right, as my web is in Spanish
    http://spartangourmet.blogspot.com.es/2011/02/conejo-guisado-al-vino-tinto.html

  59. Hi all. I’m confused. I joined the primal road a couple of months ago and have read everywhere that dairy is out. Why are cheese and yogurt on the list. Love them both by gave them up in my effort to be paleo.

  60. Turmeric is a daily addition to my power primal smoothie. As are Brazil nuts and macadamia. Have not quite stretched to putting fish in the blender yet!

    1. Here’s a way to put some fish in your blender (or food processor, more accurately). Before giving up bread, my husband and I made this sandwich from Mark Bittman all the time. Now we just spread it on lettuce and/or celery instead of serving as an open-face sandwich:
      Tuna-Anchovy Sandwich
      Mash oil-packed tuna with some anchovies, garlic, & lemon juice. Fold in some pitted black olives, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil, parsley & other fresh herbs available in garden. Spread on veggie of choice!

  61. The list is a little overwhelming as I am just starting primal. I’m super happy that the list was created. As I become accustomed to this new way of life I will try to find ways to incorporate these super foods.

  62. Bite-sized grass fed cows? Hilarious! And then I thought….they sell little bite-sized frozen mice (called pinkies)at pet food stores, to feed snakes, etc. Not sure they’re grass-fed, Mark, but an unusual and whole source of protein……

  63. I so wish I can get on board with eating fish guts, raw egg yokes and liver.

    1. I agree about the fish guts and liver…but raw egg yolks are the bomb! You can easily avoid any squeamishness by putting them in a smoothie, or using them to make mayo, or making hollandaise sauce…you can really mix egg yolks into anything and not know they’re there.

    2. Try making a smoothie and pop a raw egg in. You won’t taste it but you get all the benefits! 🙂

    3. With the little fishies like anchovies you don’t know you’re eating the guts. Or ground up in home made salad dressing. Egg yokes are GREAT in smoothies, home made ice cream, or even home made bars! And I normally don’t like liver, but I LOVE pate. Try just a little on celery or a paleo cracker and work your way up.

  64. On a trip to Venezuela I earned a reputation the I would eat anything that didn’t eat me first.
    Where do you buy “whole” sardines and anchovies?
    Also, I make my own saurkraut and pickled peppers using brine, then drink the left-over juice, for added probiotics.

  65. Great article- thanks! I have a question… If you are aiming for low carb high fat how many sweet potatoes and fruit should you be eating? Or are the fruits you mention here lower in sugar and thus better to eat a lot of? Ditto the sweet potato.

  66. I need beef liver recipes!!!! The wonderful farmer I get my grass fed beef from gave me about 25 pounds of beef liver. I have a hard time eating it, however, and am looking for good recipes for hiding the taste – pates, or anything else that hide the flavor (liver and onions isn’t enough), is helpful.

    Any suggestions?

    1. I soak beef liver in a bit of lemon juice overnight before cooking. That seems to improve the flavor and texture. I like a pate made with sauteed beef liver, mushrooms, onions, a couple of cloves of garlic, a piece or two of bacon, sauteed in lard or butter or coconut oil. Cook and blend. Yum.

    2. How do you eat 25lbs of liver? One bite at a time:

      Liver Vitamins:
      While still frozen, cut up some liver in small, easy to swallow pieces and use it as a daily vitamin. (Swallow it still frozen).

  67. Have you tried Wildbrine sauerkraut or kimchi? SO bomb and raw cultured

  68. Great know that most of the things on the list is part of my regular diet. Cheese no. Sardines or anchovies are great mashed with hard boiled egg and curry along with a hit of turmeric, makes for an interesting curry egg, on corn crisp bread.

  69. Thanks Mark. I went out today and bought some seaweed salad — delicious!

  70. Great post! Yup, capitalize Brazil in Brazil nuts. 😉 But be sure to let everyone know to get rid of those anti nutrients by soaking then drying them plus they taste even better done the WAPF way. They are a lot easier to digest done that way also.

  71. I’d just add a note of caution about seaweed and shellfish for 4 reasons–mercury (recognized for some time now), Corexit and oil pollution from the Macondo spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the antibiotics given farm-raised fish, and ongoing radiation from Fukishima. I think it’s now vital to know where your fish and shellfish is coming from.

  72. Anchovies and sardines are safe to eat as entire fish, but it is not safe to consume the internal organs or intestines of many fish. People clean fish after catching them for good reason! Unrefrigerated fish can become toxic. Do your homework before eating whole fish and before harvesting fish or seafood from the wild. Seafood that’s safely harvested and processed is good for you. Other fish or seafood may not be, so buy from reputable producers. I love shellfish myself, as well as some finned fish like cod, salmon, halibut and so on. And anchovies and herring, not so big on sardines. I’ve eaten freshwater fish and saltwater fish, and live in an area that has red tides, where shellfish periodically become toxic due to overgrowth of a certain algae. It’s good to expose yourself to new foods and tastes, but don’t make yourself sick by doing it unwisely.

  73. I have heard that 70% of Brazil nuts have molds. I try to get my selenium from mushrooms and other foods.

  74. What is primal about cows? I’m not trying to be a smart-ass or anything, I’m genuinely curious. Seems to me they should not be considered as a food source, even grass-fed ones.

    1. What’s your take on why they should not be considered primal? Are farmed chickens, etc, food sources? Domestic cattle are just friendly, dumb bison. 🙂

  75. When it comes to liver, many love chicken liver..
    As a liver hater since childhood, with Mark’s recommendation, I’m going to get some at WFs.
    Any suggestions on best cooking method?
    and how much is considered a “serving” for a man..?
    Thanks..!

  76. OK, who are you and what have you done with Mark? Advocating grass-fed GMO mini-cows? Really?

    What’s next…pastured GMO Big Ass eggs? Fermented GMO franken-bacon?

  77. Wow, nice list! I’m getting a lot of these already: eggs for breakfast, bone broth from leftover turkey and duck, canned oysters and sardines as a snack, homemade giblet gravy (and I’m just a liver lover in general), purple potatoes on occasion, and a restaurant served bone marrow as a special appetizer and it was so amazing that I can get on board with eating more!

    I can’t do the cheese thing; two years of trial-and-error tell me that it’s probably the hormones in the fat that gives me painful cystic acne. Seriously, after two weeks of eating Kerrygold butter that I clarified and strained through cheesecloth, I still broke out. Blech. My husband, who is quick to point out when I overreact, will quickly point out that I’m not overreacting when I say I can’t eat full-fat dairy anything!

    I’ll work on adding seaweed to my diet, since I love it anyway, and I have some home-fermented beets that need some love; probably time to make some sauerkraut, too. I guess maybe it’s time to hop on the Brazil nut train, too.

    I’m not ready to jump on the natto train. I don’t even know where to buy it, but I’ve seen pictures of it and think it looks so unbelievably disgusting. And I’ll try almost anything once.

    1. “I’m not ready to jump on the natto train. I don’t even know where to buy it, but I’ve seen pictures of it and think it looks so unbelievably disgusting. And I’ll try almost anything once.”

      Me neither. 😉 Anytime I see soy, I think “no real food available”. Natto sounds like an awesome way to supplement a meat/vegetable poor diet. But I have both available. And how much K2 do I need exactly anyway? And it sounds like the real benefits are from eating the bacteria, not the soy slurry it grows in. Is there anyway to just eat the bacteria and be done with it?

  78. I am still new to this PB way of thinking but I’m loving it so far! Thanks Mark for this list as it confirms that I am on the right track! I eat about 50% off the list but I have no idea what natto is (nor where to get it – I live in South Australia); we can get fresh sardines here plus numerous other small whole fish too; I keep and breed my own chickens, turkeys etc so always have a supply of good free-range eggs and when I cull them, I use most of the giblets for myself (my family gag at the mere thought!). Love offal – esp liver and shellfish so will up the intake on that a little more! One question though – the bone broth – what the heck do you do with it? Are you drinking it or using it as a base stock for stews/soups? Like I said, I am a newbie, so there is much to learn!

    1. OK – just found the related article about bone broth! Strike question from above! DOH!

  79. I realize that many other food items could be on your list. What about coconut oil?

  80. Anyone try a hydrolized collegen supplement in a pinch when you dont have any bone broth whipped up?

  81. What about curcumin suppliments? I started taking 500mg about 3 years ago. My brother recommended it. We both suffered from RSI, hands & arms, from too much computer. 2-3 days later the pain started to subside. A few weeks & I was pain free.

    Any time I’ve stopped, the pain returned, usually in a week or two. What an amazing anti-inflammatory!

  82. Questions about bone broth- In the early stages, should you skim the foam off? That’s what I’ve done in the past following conventional beef stock recipes, but wasn’t sure if it’s different for making “bone broth” (I think the foam is mostly protein). At the end stage, how thoroughly do you strain it? I removed all the bones and big pieces of meat, but left in the little bits, and the gritty stuff at the bottom. Did I do it right, or wrong?

    1. Skim the junk off as it heats. Strain it through a sieve in to a jar or glass jug and fridge it up.

  83. What about sprouts?? Broccoli sprouts are supposed to be very nutritious aren’t they?

  84. This Japanese girl is so happy to see NATTO on this list. As a kid our mom always mixed NATTO, raw eggs, soy sauce and served over a bowl of rice. If you don’t do rice, eat it over spaghetti squash or grilled eggplant.
    But beware, the stuff stinks. Don’t eat it in the lunch room at work!!

  85. That depressed and possibly sent me over the edge…I am not going to be healthy if I have to eat all that stuff. Sorry to be negative but I’m just realistic.

    1. Have you read his books or have a basic understanding of the paleo lifestyle? If not, then I suggest reading a few books and scouring his blog, tons of useful information to be had for free. If you are already paleo then I don’t understand your thoughts behind your comment.

  86. I can’t handle soy at all. However, I have been able to add in the Vitamin K2 from grass-fed butter.

    Bone marrow is wonderful, hot out of the oven with salt, pepper and garlic.

  87. I do not like liver, seaweed, fish, shellfish, or bone marrow. I think I would enjoy making my own bone broth. Natto is too funky, so I take it in high-quality capsule form. I’ve read that it gobbles up the plaque in the blood vessels and veins in about 24 hours. I use only one bottle a year. I use it daily until it is all gone.

  88. Cheese is great. Brazil nuts = great. Liver is … to a degree .. great. Have chickens so I eat the whole thing – fried, scrambled, boiled, etc.

    I’m really good with it until – shell fish. fish in general are ok. shell fish like crawdad, shrimp, mussels . . . Nope. cannot go there.

    But coool on the most of it.

  89. The Stokes purple sweet potato is even more purple than the Okinawan sweet potato. Hard to find though.

  90. Great post. Not eating ALL, but close, plus some others I think you should add. I’d debate one of yours, too.

    For the two years that I’ve been doing Primal/Paleo (after 10 years of Atkins), I’ve had my own “daily” list, not dissimilar to yours. “An egg yolk a day keeps the doctor away” has been my mantra. Scouring stores and websites for tasty grass fed, raw milk, aged cheese is almost a hobby. My only dairy foods are, in fact, cheese, cultured ghee, and/or home made raw milk kefir every day — only GF of course. I have a sip of red palm oil and one of coconut oil each morning upon rising. In the afternoon, I always have a handful of raw soaked/sprouted nuts and seeds (I’d add these to any daily list), always including at least one or two Brazils as well as a mouthful of ruby red sauerkraut (which is both pro-biotic and anthocyanin rich). I have a half an avocado (also a list must) most days, with sardines twice a week. At least once a week I have shellfish, liver and seaweed, typically at yakiniku, but I take freeze dried whole (which I consider real food) green lipped mussels, buffalo liver, anchovies & sardines, fermented tumeric, and seaweed in capsule form every day since I can’t easily get or choke these down day after day. I take FD blueberry, kale, and pomegranate caps, too.

    I don’t have broth or marrow regularly, but I’ll see how I might segue them into my diet. As for natto, I’ve just said no to soy, but I will reconsider this K2 source since it would take 20 times as much gouda and egg yolk to get the same amount. My initial research indicates that the MK-7 in natto isn’t as useful as the others MK-4, so I might stay soy free. Heck, even my eggs are soy free!

  91. Everything on here is delicious. I made the mistake of reading this before working out and now I’m hungry.

  92. Wow. Add mushrooms to that, and you have a list of all the foods that me retch (literally). Sad. :/

  93. Pastured chicken ? Really ?
    I thought chicken ate grains. If one put some chicken on a grass field, in a few weeks, there will not be no any grass left, just dirt.
    Am I misunderstanding ?

    1. Chickens are omnivores, and will eat pretty much anything they can peck, including plants, seeds and grains, insects, their own eggs and egg shells, and even other chickens, given the chance.

  94. Sardines are really tasty when simply put in the oven with olive oil,oregano,salt/black pepper.I like to crisp em up a bit to make them more easy to eat whole.Let me tell you,the taste is AMAZING. hope you try 😛

  95. Mark, if natto is allowed, what about miso? Isn’t that fermented soja as well?

  96. I like peppers as a non-fructose source of vitamin C. 60% US RDA in one ounce.

  97. Liver is the one I have a difficult time stomaching–the first time I tried it I thought it was decent, but I tried eating it about once every 1-2 weeks and got sick of it quick–as in, I cannot eat it anymore because I hate the taste! Anyone else run into this problem? Any good recipes to combat this?

  98. My mother used to make us eat liver and I hated it. Haven’t had it as an adult. I just finished reading Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” and she advocates lots of liver. She says to soak it for several hours in lemon joice or yogurt before cooking to remove the bitter taste. I’m going to try that tonight and cook it in lots of ghee. Am cautiously obtimistic.

  99. This morning I made an omelette with smoked sardines in olive oil, shredded cabbage, tumeric and black pepper. Fabulous!

  100. Lived in Japan for 16 years with my Japanese wife and did natto all kinds of ways that Japanese found odd: my favorite is natto with avocado, kim chee and a hard cheese. It is also very good mixed with fresh diced tomatoes. The traditional natto gohan (natto and rice) is good but with some grilled onions and the other things I mentioned it is even better.

  101. Great list Mark! The only thing I can’t “do” is the Seafood stuff. I wish I could. My wife loves it too. But I just can’t stand it.

    I have prepared seafood probably 2000 different ways and have tried in in over 30 countries and every time I have any, I feel sick to my stomach.

    But for most people, this list is great.

  102. Great list.

    I opened my new Consumer Reports today and it covers the PALEO diet!! WTF. I guess it’s MAINSTREAM.

    When I began this, I didn’t know a soul eating this way. How intresting it’s been to see all the others out there doing this.

  103. I read somewhere a while back (perhaps in Sam Graci’s book “The Food Connection” – OUTSTANDING book) that one thing the longest living groups of humans had in common was that they ate formented food. I have been primal for quite some time but do like to add miso to soups once in a while. Can’t get too hung up on eating a bit of soy-based food! Happy New Year (with capital N & Y) to everyone!

  104. Becareful with those brazil nuts. One nut will supply you with 174% of your daily requirement of selenium.

    Google selenium toxicity brazil nuts

  105. I have loved Brazil nuts since I was a kid. I’d pick them out and eat them from the mixed nuts before anything else.

    I wonder how much K2 might be in low (and slow) pasteurized grass fed cream top whole milk? I have a local source for this, so this is what I get.

  106. Cultured butter/buttermilk counts as fermented, no?

    It’s SO easy to make, using RAW unpasturized creams.
    Otherwise add 1/3 C of excellent yogurt.

    Let creams sit at approx. 78′ in an openmouthed cloth covered jar for 48 hours.
    Put it in the fridge if necessary, till you get to it; however let the cream come back to room tem before ‘churning.’
    I’ve used the flatdisk attachment on my stick hand blender at high speed.
    Takes awhile over 5 min.; but you can see the seperation ‘bits’ very well on the mixers ‘stem’ to determine the buttermilk seperation from the butter.
    You may have even done this process by accident once or twice making whipped cream.
    Use ‘your’ own method to achieve the seperation of the buttercream from the buttermilk.
    Then strain the mix into four layers of cheesecloth, over a handheld strainer over a large bowl, and this buttermilk collected is excellent as the cream in your scrambled eggs, gravies, and steak sauces, especially with mushrooms and onions ;D
    Important step is to take your soft freshly drained buttercream gently by the cheesecloth corners and squeeze very gently, but not so much so that the butter also comes out, and gently rinse under coolish water till it runs clean.
    I’ve got wooden molds I’m trying, however you need to soak them in cold water for awhile so the butter will come out, especialy if they’re carved.
    Also, the cultured butter you’ve made is an excellent medium for deviled eggs, instead of mayonaise, or creamcheese, or whatever. It’s a perfect match, try it.

  107. Have you ever tried canned Portugues or Morrocan sardines? they are a bit more expensive but worth it.
    I also love Liver, I cook it with bacon and lots of onions. for those of you that do not like the texture of it; place this same recipe in a blender and make the most delish pate…enjoy !! 🙂

  108. Amen to all of these foods, kind of…

    Egg yolks being #1 – I’m all over that and have felt this for months.

    One of many simple things that is a detrimental factor to our disease epidemic is millions of folks eating egg whites without egg yolks.

    Thankfully the tide is turning in a favorable matter. It seems so at least…

  109. Used to eat sardines as a kid years ago and lost the taste for them somewhere along the way. Think I’ll give them another chance 🙂

  110. Good stuff. A few cautions:
    1. Egg yolks. Don’t cook them. Don’t blend them (with air). Let the chickens eat bugs, too.
    2. Seaweed. Powerfully alkalinizing, which can be a problem in hypometabolic people. If you get tired, brain fogged, migraines, or asthma attacks, raise your metabolic rate before eating much seaweed).
    3. Bone marrow. Test your serum ferritin every 5 years.
    4. Aged cheeses. Need to know more about rancid fat and cholesterol oxides.
    5. Red palm oil. Too much beta-carotene. Use with moderation.
    Keep up the good work! —Steve

  111. Don’t go crazy on Brazil nuts. It can cause selenium poisoning, and yes going over 4 a day can do the trick to really get the hurt on.

  112. How do you get your marrow? In your diet. You touched on it probably being of benefit, but how exactly do you supplement with it?

  113. I eat all of these things with the exception of cheese (can’t do dairy), bone broth (well, I’ve done fish bone broth) and natto… Hands down my favorite is tiny whole fish with head and guts with a cracked whole egg on top! 😉

  114. If you capitalize Brussels, you should capitalize Brazil 🙂

  115. Not everyone can enjoy turmeric. It gives me horrible hives. This is completely outside of curry or spice mixes with nightshades. Turmeric in coconut milk made me practically itch my skin off in one night…

  116. Great post! I’m slowly trying to add these into my diet, just made my first batch of bone broth! I have a question about the oysters, I am not a fan, how can you cook/incorporate them to mask the taste while still benefiting from the nutrients? If I can eat them with bacon I am sold!

    1. I know I’m late to the party, but: oysters Kilpatrick! Bake ’em on the shell with chopped up bacon and a smear of Paleo BBQ sauce. Most delicious thing ever.

  117. Shellfish and bottom feeders in particular contain excessive cadmium, mercury and other toxic metals. Please avoid all shellfish, forever, as the problem is just getting worse in most nations of the world. Once again, they are not bad foods if they are processed correctly, but the toxic metal levels are incredible at times. This is why many people are “allergic” to them. This is a mild term. They are really poisoned by them.

  118. Wish I could egg yolks, cheese or turmeric. Intolerant to all of ’em.

    Got most of that list down, tho. WOO!

  119. I do not eat fish of any kind because of the high mercury content. I do think garlic should be on the list, it has many healing properties and is easy to grow. Somebody mentioned that they don’t eat natto because people are cutting down the rainforest to make it. It’s made from soybeans, which are grown plenty here in in other places around the world. You can make your own, cheap. Just mix a tablespoon of natto with some other food and cover up the taste with some soy sauce, the health benefits are worth it. I also think cantaloupe should be on there….full of vitamins.

  120. What about Beets? Lots of color and it seems to do good things for my blood pressure. Just get 2 or 3 organic ones wash don’t peel. Shred on a box grater, make sure you put on some old cloths when doing this operation as color goes everywhere. After shredding is done mix with raw apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt to taste. Keeps well in the fridge.

  121. Finally read my emails! What a great list, and some of my favorite food. So many match what my Inner Guides have been urging me to eat for a decade. Cheese is not for this body, but everyone has to tailor the list to themselves. WooHoo!

  122. the commonest family table lamp today still employ incandescent lamp while some other people of which use lightweight fluorescent lamps that happen to be cool to touch..

  123. Brazil begins with a capital letter and I list them as Brazil’s when I log what I eat!
    Like your info. Easy to read, precise, and complete!
    THANK YOU MARK!

  124. If those products are included in ratio, can I say that I have healthy and vitamized diet or there is still necessity of additional supplements and vitamins?

  125. Some help on the natto eating front…(note: I am not Japanese)

    1) It comes in the ‘whole bean’ and the ‘chopped-up bean’ kind. Get the ‘chopped up’ kind – when you open the package, you’ll see something that looks like warm rice krispie squares! It is called ‘hikiwari natto’ – google for images.

    2) do NOT stir it. NO STIRRING!! Everything you read will tell you to stir it before eating but that has zero effect on its nutritional value and gross-ifies it exponentially. I think this custom comes from trying to get children to eat.

    I find the taste to be fairly mild. I would say that beer, mustard, onions, many hard cheeses, wasabi paste, salsa and even peanut butter are much stronger tastes. Parmesan cheese is probably stinkier. I think it is the aesthetic element that repels people but if you do the above, you will avoid that.

    I am eating it with hot mustard, soy sauce, green onions and rice. I notice a mildly earthy taste under the mustard and onions. The first time I had it, I was also drinking beer. I think most people could manage the flavour /smell of natto (provided they avoid the aesthetic issues). It really is much more do-able than you’ve heard plus the health benefits are massive.

  126. ”More genetic material for your gut flora”

    Not necessarily a good thing.

    1. I just made cornish Sardines. Was very excited…until I got a mouth full thos tiny bones. I deboned it, the spine and most larger bones. Couldnt eat it. Was a bummer. Any tips on preparing or deboning these? All the recipes I found they say to just eat those tiny bones. I have Crohn’s and that seems like a very bad idea. Possible perforated bowl. Otherwise do like the canned ones as long as no bad oils. Are herring and/or smelt just as healthy?