Is Liver Good For You?
It’s an unfortunate reality that the foods we tend to eat the most of are the ones that are the least packed with nutrients. Many of us will eat large quantities of potato chips, chocolate bars, processed sausage rolls and various other heavily processed and mass-produced foods that fill us up but don’t provide us with any actual goodness (and don’t even fill us up for all that long!). This is the mistake of looking at food as fuel rather than as the crucial resource that the body uses to build itself.
And by extension, an awful lot of the very most nutritious and healthy foods actually don’t get eaten at all!
This is why it’s so important that we do our research and we consider which foods are the most healthy and which we need to get more of. There are some incredibly nutritious and healthy ingredients at your local food store and you are probably ignoring them!
So, is liver good for you? The simple answer is yes and then some. This is one of those overlooked foods that is an incredibly good source of nutrients and that provides some real bang for your buck.
Why You Need to Start Eating Liver
As mentioned, one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to eating, is to think of your food purely in terms of fuel. Your food is not fuel but rather it should be thought of as building blocks. The expression ‘you are what you eat’ could not be more literal: the body actually recycles whatever you eat and then reuses that when it rebuilds tissue, creates hormones and strengthens muscle and bone.
When we eat animals, we are recycling those animals into ourselves. And this is why meat is particularly good for us.
But now think about it: where does all the really nutritious stuff go? Your skin and flesh are relatively unexciting and fairly inert, they don’t really need a complex interaction of chemicals.
Rather, the most important nutrients go to our organs and even our brain. This is where the complicated stuff happens and these are the most important parts of our body.
So, does it really make any sense to kill an animal and then ignore the organs? Just because they are a little on the less appealing side?
In fact, if you had killed a cow in the wild, you would have eaten the entire animal thereby getting the entirety of the organs and even the connective tissues. If you were struggling to survive off the land, do you really think you would turn your nose up at liver? At fat? At a piece of meat that was a bit sinewy?
This is why paleo diets involve large amounts of organ meat. This is why there are so many benefits of eating liver.
What Are the Benefits of Eating Liver?
Firstly, liver is a rich source of a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals, protein and fat. And it is actually particularly good for the brain, providing many of the nutrients that we need for healthy cognitive function. These include EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and AA (arachidonic acid). Our brains are made from healthy fats and these are many of those healthy fats that the brain uses.
Oh, and DHA will also raise testosterone levels in men. That means greater muscle mass, more virility, more strength and generally more masculinity.
Many of the benefits eating liver though will come down to the inclusion of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is the single best source of this crucial nutrient that many people are deficient in.
The role of vitamin B12 is to enhance the nervous system and to help carry signals around the body. If you are experiencing brain fog, tiredness, dizziness or tingling in your hands and feet then you might be low on vitamin B12. Likewise, low vitamin B12 can lead to agitation, depression, loss of balance and panic attacks.
It is possible to get vitamin B12 from other sources but it is best absorbed when consumed naturally in meat. Liver is the best source and this is one of the big benefits of eating liver.
However, if you want to try and get your B12 from other sources, then you can also try: sardines, mackerel, herring, lamb, salmon, swiss cheese, haddock, beef, blue cheese, scallops, cottage cheese, chicken, milk or halibut. Once again, a lot of foods that we don’t tend to explore in there!
If you really want to use a supplement, then opt for supplements made from desiccated liver. These can be added to food in order to improve the taste.
More Benefits of Liver and How to Buy
Of course, liver also has all the benefits you would usually expect from any meat. That means it is high in protein for building muscle and healing wounds, as well as being a good source of various other important minerals and fats. On top of that, beef of any kind is actually a source of creatine and CoEnyme Q10. Both of these can help to improve your energy levels and further improve the function of mitochondria (the cells’ energy factories). At the same time, CoEnzyme Q10 may also be effective in combating against cancers.
The great thing about liver is that no one likes it… This is a great thing because it means you can buy it surprisingly cheaply and this is a great way to get more protein in your diet without breaking the bank.
When buying liver though, keep in mind that you do get what you pay for to an extent. In particular, if you want a good quality liver, then you should look for liver from ‘grass fed beef’. Remember: we are what we eat and the same goes for cows. If you eat beef that has been corn fed, then it won’t contain all the same nutrients that it would have gotten naturally from the grass.