A common question that people keep asking is, “Is liver good for the health?” In general, organ meats like liver are considered one of the most powerful superfoods in nature. In fact, duck liver, chicken liver and beef liver are all high in various essential nutrients. When we think of superfoods, we usually think of plant-based foods like berries, green leafy vegetables, green tea, cocoa and more, but there are many animal-based foods that are highly loved for their rich nutritional content. This is especially true for organ meats, which is why they’ve been incorporated into various traditional diet plans for thousands of years. Keep reading to learn more.
Why is Liver Good for You?
Liver is an organ found in the abdominal cavity of both animals and humans. Most liver sold at grocery stores is calf, beef or chicken liver. Throughout history, people all over the world have eaten it with the view that it helps with growth, development and fertility. It can also boost energy levels, promote mental health and wellbeing and more.
Not only is liver a great source of vitamin A and iron, it’s also a great source of various B vitamins, magnesium and phosphorus. In fact, liver is probably your best source of vitamin B12, and it may even beat healthy foods like apples, carrots and spinach in terms of sheer density of minerals and vitamins per calorie. The key to availing of these benefits is consuming the right kind. You should always buy liver that comes from grass-fed, organic or pasture-raised animals. Avoid eating the organs of animals that are not suitably raised.
Nutrition Facts of Liver
Liver may provide capricious levels of micronutrients. Just one ounce of cooked chicken liver may contain the following:
|Principles||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Vitamin B12||6 micrograms||79%|
|Vitamin A||4076 international units||75%|
|Pantothenic acid||1.9 milligrams||19%|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 milligrams||11%|
Overall, liver is not that high in fat compared to other animal products like butter, full-fat dairy or dark meat poultry. One ounce of liver has only about 2 grams of fat. This isn’t to say that the fat derived from various animal products is bad for your health, though. Healthy fats help your reproductive health, neurological function and hormone production.
Health Benefits of Liver
Here are some of the best health benefits of liver:
- Helps provide CoQ10. Both the heart and liver of beef are rich sources of CoQ10. This is usually taken in supplement form and is beneficial in producing energy. As a matter of fact, it is linked with cardiovascular health, vascular health, improved blood pressure levels and more.
- Great source of protein. Eating about 1-3 ounces of liver may provide approximately 21 grams of quality protein. Protein is vital for dozens of bodily functions, including tissue repair, growth and development during childhood.
- Helps support liver function and detoxification. The essential B vitamins in liver, specifically folate, are important for cellular function, supporting the detoxification process of the body. In essence, eating liver can help your liver.
- Great food for pregnancy and fertility. There is an ample amount of essential nutrients in liver, making it a perfect food for pregnancy. It also provides vitamin A, which is beneficial in reducing oxidative stress.
- Rich in folate, biotin, and vitamin B6. The liver is oozing with B vitamins, which are all essential for the body.
- Great source of vitamin A. There is an ample amount of vitamin A in liver. This is a beneficial fat-soluble vitamin which acts as an antioxidant, helping reduce inflammation by fighting free radical damage.
- Rich in vitamin B12. The best among all the health benefits of liver is its rich levels of vitamin B12. This is beneficial in the formation of red blood cells and improving cellular function.
So, the answer to the question is, “yes, liver is definitely good for your health!”