There a few foods that actually deserve the title of “superfood”. Liver, along with many other organ meats like kidneys and hearts are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Our bodies evolved to eat these foods and to draw nourishment and energy from them. We didn’t spend millennia gulping down multivitamins and sports supplements.
Once a popular and treasured food source, liver, along with other organ meats, have fallen out of favour as nutritional staples.
The reality is that our palates and routines have evolved far from some of the foods we most need for optimal health. Instead, people are chasing the regular sugar highs that come with more modern, overly processed and hyper palatable “foods”.
Organ meats have an excellent nutrient profile. High in protein and low in calories, some of the key nutrients that are important to optimal human function are found in organ meats such as liver, include:
- Retinol. The active form of vitamin A, which is crucial for healthy skin, fertility and pregnancy, vision, and immune health;
- Choline. Critical for DNA synthesis, brain function, and a healthy nervous system;
- Iron. Another essential nutrient that helps carry oxygen around the body. The iron in liver is heme iron, the kind most easily absorbed by the body;
- B12 and folate. These nutrients are crucial for methylation, which affects everything from gene expression to the production of neurotransmitters to detoxification;
- Zinc and copper. Zinc and copper work together to influence immune function, metabolism, and the nervous system. A single serving of liver provides enough copper for an entire week.
Sadly, most people today don’t like the taste of liver, and beef kidneys and heart aren’t high on the list either.
How to get more organ meats into your diet
Here are a few ways to get more organ meats onto your plate:
- Pan fried. Liver goes well when fried with onions;
- Bolognese sauces. Liver and other organ meats can be chopped or minced and then mixed with regular ground beef and added to pasta or vegetable dishes;
- Burger patties. As with Bolognese sauces, chop or mince organ meats and mix it with ground beef to make highly nutritious burgers;
- Adding lots of spices. By adding lots of herbs and spices, you can use strong flavours to help disguise its taste.
- Soaked in lemon juice. Prior to cooking will reduce the strong flavour.
The bottom line is that liver and other organ meats like kidneys and hearts are a greatly underrated food source. Naturally nutrient dense and low in calories, they make a truely valuable addition to any nutritional strategy.