Most people cannot imagine eating organ meat. We are so used to eating prime cuts of meats and poultry that we tend to overlook the most nutritious parts of meat products: offal. Persistent dietary myths coupled by misleading information made organ meats unpopular in the west. But in major parts of the world, offal is prized for its amazing health benefits!
If you’re familiar with the term superfoods in produce, then offal is the equivalent of the term in meats. They are a nutritional powerhouse packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Of all the organ meats, liver is the most nutritious. This is the reason why most predatory animals eat it first in a kill.
Facts About Liver
Liver is an excellent source of high-quality protein. It’s also loaded with vitamin A, copper, and iron. Liver also contains coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. CoQ10 is an important nutrient that keeps the heart and skin healthy. Liver is so nutrient-rich that professional athletes love them. It keeps the body energized by increasing the number of red blood cells. Liver also helps improve stamina, endurance, and strength. Eating liver regularly helps fight fatigue and prevent some forms of dementia.
Even better, liver is very low in calories. Just a serving yields 130 calories! This organ meat is very versatile as well. In the South, chicken or pig liver is chopped and then deep fried. In Germany, a liver-based dish called liverwurst is a popular delicacy. In Japan, raw fish liver is a popular sashimi! Liver is also served as a delicious spread and as ingredients in Asian cuisine.
Livers from beef, veal, chicken and geese are loaded with essential nutrients. They are also tender if taken from a young animal.
How to Prepare Liver
Unlike other animal organ, liver could retain certain toxins and chemicals used to raise the animal. So liver of grass-fed animals are the safest, most nutrient rich. It’s free from antibiotics and other drugs used to keep the animal healthy.
Some people do not like liver because of its strong metallic taste. You can tone down the taste by soaking liver in milk or lemon juice for several hours. Also, try not to overcook the liver. Liver should be served lightly seared to maintain tenderness. If it’s been cooking too long, it could turn leathery and tough. The liver will also lose its creaminess when it’s overcooked. High heat also leads to nutrient loss.
Factors to Consider Before Eating Organ Meat
Because organ meat is so nutrient-dense, there is a real danger of overdosing on certain vitamins and minerals. For example, organ meats are very high in vitamin A. Too much vitamin A could cause birth defects in pregnant women. As such, pregnant women should always be cautious of the servings of organ meat they eat.
Organ meat is also very high in iron and copper. Too much of these minerals could cause gout or kidney stones. So when it comes to eating organ meats, the right portion is important.