The foods we consume have an essential role in how our brains function, and concentrating on specific nutrients can help with mental health. Holistic psychiatrist Ellen Vora, M.D., advises a “food first” philosophy when it comes to mood balance: When it comes to lowering someone’s stress, “we look at food first and foremost—your brain is a part of the flesh in the body. It is an organ, and it works effectively only if it is physically balanced,” she explains on the mindbodygreen podcast. We could not have put it any better ourselves.
Chicken liver is one of Vora’s favorite foods for supporting emotional resilience, and she prefers it by the spoonful.
Why a holistic psychiatrist would recommend eating chicken liver.
Although chicken liver isn’t on your weekly shopping list, Vora thinks it’s well worth a try: “I consume a lot of chicken liver pâté. I make an effort to keep it in my refrigerator at all times—a spoonful each day,” she adds. It’s no surprise that organ meats—including brain, heart, kidney, chicken liver, (a rich source of omega-3s) thymus, pancreas, tripe—are nutrient-dense and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Ellen Vora even calls them “Mother Nature’s multivitamins.”
Manganese, copper, Zinc; vitamins A, C, D, E, and K; B vitamins (that support methylation, the process that causes the synthesizing neurotransmitters that regulate mood, among other important bodily functions), phosphorus, choline, iron, and selenium are all examples of nutrients that promote a good mood “If you can eat a spoonful of pâté once or twice a week, it’ll go a long way toward getting your nutritional requirements,” Vora explains for mbg. Furthermore, because organ meats include the building blocks for peptide neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is well-known as one of the “happy hormones,” another benefit of organ meats? They’re uncommon (i.e., unique, not raw), so they’re more likely to be higher quality than mass-produced meats: “I believe that the weirdest animal has a better chance for higher quality,” Vora adds. “So it’s more likely to be a love-filled passion project rather than a big agribusiness.” Vora, however, personally goes out of her way to get pastured chicken liver pâté from her butcher.