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2013 Will Be the Year of the Liver

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2013 will be the year of the liver.

That's David Grotto's prediction, anyways.

The Chicago dietitian stumbled upon the detoxifying organ while researching his forthcoming The Best Things You Can Eat: For Everything From Aches to Zzzz, the Definitive Guide to the Nutrition-Packed Foods That Energize, Heal, and Help You Look Great (out January 8).

"Beans, spinach, salmon and kefir always pop up on the 'Best of' food lists, but the more I researched, the more I saw liver coming up over and over," he says. It's got B-vitamins for energy, vitamin A for immune functioning and vision, "and there's no better iron-rich food." That's good news for his clients -- more and more of whom are showing up exhausted by iron-deficiency anemia. The organ meat is so packed-to-the-hilt with the energy-producer that some* say it stands poised to replace Red Bull as the nightclub pick-me-up of choice.

Put off by this organ meat's gamey taste? "The liver gurus I've talked to recommend soaking it overnight in milk to break down some of the fibrous and protein tissues and take away that 'off' flavor," Grotto suggests. "Maybe dredge it in cornmeal or flour and lightly pan-fry it, then pair it with grilled onions." (Just don't go crazy, because liver is high in cholesterol.)

Ok, let's be honest: No one is going to start eating liver, unless you're 80+ and have been consuming it since you were a young boy living in early 19th-century Eastern Europe.
Fortunately, you can still nab iron from spinach, edamame (soybeans), white beans, lentils and kidney beans. Or, as a last resort, swallow a multivitamin with up to 18mg of iron in it.

I asked Grotto: What are some other, more mainstream must-eat foods that should be on everyone's shiny new grocery list for 2013? Here are his top picks:

The Healthiest Foods For 2013
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*In this case, "some" refers to the NLLA, the National Liver Lovers Association.

Follow Dave on Twitter: @DavidGrotto

References:

[1] Grotto, Dave. The Best Things You Can Eat: For Everything from Aches to Zzzz, the Definitive Guide to the Nutrition-Packed Foods That Energize, Heal, and Help You Look Great. Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Lifelong Books. 2013. [Link]

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