Before you click away, just hear me out. I know that liver has fallen out of fashion in many cultures across the world, and that our unfamiliarity with the look, and particularly the taste, causes most to recoil in a combination of nausea and fear. I was in the same boat as you. In fact, I’m still partly in the boat. I guess I’m still holding onto the side of the boat in case I encounter something in the scary world of organ meats that puts me off of them for good.
However, my persistence in finding ways to include liver in my diet (and actually enjoy it) stems from a few really compelling reasons. I’ll go over them with you, and I hope you at least give it a shot. I’m warning you, it may not be a great first date. You’re going to have to give liver a chance, like I did. But I hope you do!
Liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in existence
I don’t enjoy calling foods “superfoods”. I’ve found that often, the health claims that we hear about specific foods aren’t particularly that…super. It all boils down to marketing, and superfood is a great word that definitely makes you want to buy said food and eat it as much as possible, right? Well, I’m going to go ahead and say that liver is a superfood. One of the few real superfoods that exist. Let’s look at this comparison of some popular health foods, but including liver:
|Nutrients||Avocado (100 g)||Garlic (100 g)||Spinach (100 g)||Wild salmon(100 g)||Beef liver (100 g)|
|Choline||14.2 mg||23.2 mg||5.4 mg||78 mg||418 mg|
Pretty insane right? Liver is a fantastic source of copper, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, to name a few. They’re also absurdly good sources of folate and choline, which I’ve written about before. Leafy greens are another great source. But back to liver.
Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse
Liver is chock full of vitamin B12, which is a key nutrient in brain and nerve health. It also helps support energy, and is protective for your heart and bones. Finally, it’s also an important anti-aging nutrient, since it plays a role in new cell creation via the creation of DNA and RNA. All very cool, and all benefits of eating liver on a regular basis!
But isn’t the liver where toxins are stored from the body?
Actually, no. Toxins aren’t stored in the liver. It functions simply as a filter to remove toxins for the body. In fact, the reason why it’s so good for is that it’s a storage center for tons of vitamins and minerals. So don’t worry about the claims that liver is toxic or somehow bad for you. It’s in fact, quite the opposite.
That said, I only get my liver from healthy, pastured animals that have been predominantly fed on grass. I’m fortunate enough to have access to small sustainable farms that make their liver available at a good price. Do a search in your area and find out if there are any options near you!
Ready to try liver?
I have a recipe coming up next week that is a fantastic first taste of this healthful organ meat. It’s simple, delicious, and is a great way to ease yourself into eating it more regularly as you adjust to the unique taste.
One of my favorite ways to introduce myself to new meats of any kind is to order them in a restaurant. Even better, find simple recipes that don’t overcomplicate things and try them out at home.
Have you tried liver or any other organ meats? What was your reaction? Share below!