Lots of people enjoy a good serving of beef liver from time to time. Reputable online sources on health all advocate for beef liver nutrition, calling liver one of the few superfoods out there. In addition, nutritionists recommend having this dish from time to time in order to strengthen your immunity and gain a decent health boost.
Of course, there is always a concern when it comes to eating a specific type of food. For example, if you eat a few hundred apples, you can die from cyanide poisoning. But then again, nobody is insane enough to eat 200 fruits of any kind to begin with. Of course, beef liver has its share of critics who don’t refer to any exaggerated numbers; they simply claim that eating any amount of beef liver can harm your body beyond repair.
So, is beef liver nutrition good or bad? What are some of the arguments on both sides and which ones should you take seriously? Well, let’s take a good, hard look at the beef liver and see what it has to offer.
Beef Liver Nutrition: Why It’s Good for You
Other than being a low-calorie food, beef liver contains quite a few nutrients and substances that greatly benefit the human body. I’ll cover most of the big ones below, focusing on what exactly each nutrient will benefit.
I cannot overemphasize how important the B vitamins are to the human body. Their primary purpose is to convert food into energy, helping you lose weight but maintaining your muscle mass. In addition, they are an excellent way of strengthening your metabolism, helping form red blood cells, and support proper digestion.
So, which B vitamins do you get from beef liver nutrition? Well, almost all of them. In fact, a serving of beef liver will provide you with a decent intake of:
• Pantothenic acid
Most people tend to buy Vitamin B supplements, and they are a good way of receiving your daily vitamin dose. But why spend so much on supplements when a simple serving of beef liver will cost you next to nothing and still provide you with all the B vitamins you need?
Sadly, lots of people neglect eating food that can strengthen their bones. Having a strong, healthy skeleton is a must, especially if you’re doing hard physical labor or have an interest in sports as a hobby.
There is one nutrient that can help promote bone health, and beef liver nutrition is the best way to consume it. That nutrient is Vitamin K2, the same vitamin you can find in kale.
Now, I know what you might be thinking, and it’s one of these two questions:
1. Wait, if I can get Vitamin K2 from kale, why would I eat beef liver?
2. If I have bone issues, I’ll just take a calcium supplement. That works, right?
Let’s go over these questions one at a time. First of all, yes, you can get a particular type of Vitamin K2 from kale. However, the type you don’t take (but definitely should) is menaquinone-4 or MK-4. It’s the type of K2 that can only be found in animal products, and it has a host of health benefits, including calcium balance promotion.
That’s where the second question comes in; lots of people simply buy calcium supplements and go about their day. However, if you take too many of these supplements, you risk calcifying your arterial walls. That’s why beef liver nutrition is important — it allows K2 to direct calcium to your bones and keep it out of your arteries.
Retinol is an important part of the Vitamin A family. It’s a nutrient that greatly helps your immune system, and it has been linked with improving both vision and reproduction. However, most people, especially women, know Retinol from a particular industry. Namely, it’s an ingredient that almost all skincare products use.
Human skin is prone to oxidative stress. All it takes is a few UV rays and your face starts to feel like sandpaper. So, in order to protect your skin, you’ll need to apply a product rich in Vitamin A, or rather, one rich in retinol. Of course, you don’t need to buy a pricy skincare product to do that; simply have some beef liver and you’ll get your daily dose of retinol easily.
But what exactly can retinol do for your skin? Let me provide you with a shortlist:
• Your acne will be gone
• Your skin tone will look even
• Any and all signs of aging will slow down
• Your skin will produce more healthy cells
• You can say goodbye to wrinkles
Of course, retinol isn’t the only beef liver nutrient to help your skin. Both copper and glycine are essential parts of beef liver, and they help with maintaining skin collagen. There are also other benefits to copper intake, but I’ll be covering those shortly.
Proteins are important macronutrients that you need to build your muscle mass. Of course, some of you might cringe at the idea of proteins, mainly because you have an image of a protein supplement in mind. All of those powders, protein bars, etc. can get a bit annoying, and there are negative stereotypes linking them to gym meatheads who do nothing but pump themselves with products.
But you don’t need to take any protein supplements, especially if you try beef liver nutrition. The liver actually contains most of the nutrients that promote healthy muscle growth. They are as follows:
• 10g of protein per each individual serving
• No carbs
• Lots of Vitamin A (as mentioned above)
• All of the amino acids, including leucine as the most anabolic acid
• K2 (also mentioned above) which increases testosterone levels
Protein powders are not the safest product out there, especially if you take them regularly. You need the healthiest alternative out there, and few are healthier than beef liver nutrition.
Detox juices are all the rage nowadays. However, instead of whipping yourself some pricy juice, why not simply have a serving of beef liver?
Beef liver contains molybdenum. This trace mineral plays a vital role in detoxing your body. As a coenzyme, it converts sulfites to sulfates. Sulfites can build up and when they do, they have a toxic effect on the human body.
Aside from sulfite conversion, molybdenum is also great for boosting alcohol and med metabolism. To put it simply, it’s a nutrient that your body needs, and all it takes to get it is roughly an ounce of beef liver.
Choline, Copper, Iron, and Selenium
Sometimes, you and I need to consume food that boosts cognitive performance and improves the overall mood. Luckily, there are several nutrients in beef liver that can help you with that.
1. Choline has several benefits when you consume it: it boosts cognitive performance, prevents mood disorders and anxiety, and might help battle dementia and Alzheimer’s
2. Copper is vital to balance out the zinc in your body; a balance that can mitigate some health issues like ADHD, autism, and Alzheimer’s
3. Iron is required so your body can create neurotransmitters
4. Selenium can help boost your mood and reduce symptoms related to anxiety and depression
A serving of beef liver contains several antioxidants, mainly A, C, and E. Human cells can suffer damage from various sources, which can lead to them becoming cancer cells. Some of this damage can come from:
• Poor diet
• Inhaling polluted air
• UV rays
An antioxidant prevents the so-called oxidative stress or free radical damage. By far, the healthiest way of consuming antioxidants is having a nutrient-rich diet. Beef liver nutrition is, indeed, just that — nutrient-rich and healthy.
Of course, there are other nutrients aside from antioxidants within beef liver, such as Vitamin C and zinc. Both are well-known for boosting and strengthening your immune system.
Beef Liver Nutrition: Why Some People Think It’s Bad
As you can see, beef liver has quite a few things to offer. However, that doesn’t stop people from worrying if eating too much of it can harm them. So, let’s go over two common issues associated with consuming beef liver.
1. Beef Liver is Full of Toxins!
There’s a popular myth that the liver stores all of the toxins within the body before it has the chance to get rid of them. So, by taking the liver from a cow, you and I are essentially eating a chunk of flesh full of toxins that can harm us.
Of course, that’s absolute nonsense. The mammal liver does not store anything. In fact, here is how liver detoxification actually works:
• The liver first filters the blood to remove the toxins
• It then neutralizes these toxins into compounds that are less harmful
• It breaks fat-soluble vitamins into water-soluble compounds ready for excretion
2. Beef Liver Can Cause Hypervitaminosis A!
Unlike storing toxins, hypervitaminosis is an actual threat. If you consume too much Vitamin A, it will build up and cause toxicity, called hypervitaminosis A. This toxicity can lead to several health issues, such as:
• Joint pain
• Skin problems
• Intracranial pressure
Per 100 grams, beef liver contains roughly 5,070 mcg of Vitamin A. The upper limit per day for adult humans is 3000 mcg. So, does that mean that we should avoid beef liver altogether?
The answer is No, of course. As I stated earlier, consuming too much of anything can be harmful. However, having a serving of beef liver once or twice a week will be perfectly fine.
Beef Liver Nutrition: Final Thoughts
There is a lot of information floating online about beef liver nutrition. Some of it is questionable, at best, while some do have merit to it. It all depends on what you know about the liver and how it can affect your body.
However, the benefits of eating beef liver are well documented. It contains all the right nutrients your body needs, and it’s a budget alternative to some of the popular supplements out there. Furthermore, doctors and nutritionists can’t seem to recommend it enough. So, unless you happen to be vegan, you might give beef liver nutrition a shot.