Welcome back the What Supp Blog, your first stop for nutrition, supplementation and biohacking. Today’s topic is going to be one for the carnivores amongst us. This post is going to have a dive into the nutritional benefits of organ meats and explain why you should include them in your diet.
Organ meats, or Offal as they are also commonly known, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs excluding the muscle and bone of the animal. Now I know this description, for me anyway, does sound a tad grim. However in many countries and cultures using organ meats is not just standard business, their often considered a delicacy.
In nature there’s a reason that upon catching their pray, most predators will go directly for the liver and kidneys prior to the flesh. Organ meats are the most concentrated source of just about every nutrient, including important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and essential amino acids.
Compared to the muscle meat we are used to eating, organ meats are more densely packed with just about every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and the important vitamin B12.
Organ meats are also loaded with minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc and manganese and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Organ meats are known to have some of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin D of any food source. Organ meats also contain high amounts of essential fatty acids, including arachidonic acid and the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA which are essential for optimum brain health and function.
Although there are plenty or organ meats to choose from, I’d probably suggest starting with the three organ staples: liver, kidney and heart. Below I’ll present a quick summary of nutrient density for each one of these meats.
Per 68-gram serving of beef liver (approximately one 2.5-inch by 2.5-inch slice)
One of the most common organs, liver is a great source of high quality protein and is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin A, along with copper, folic acid and iron. It also contains Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is important for cardiovascular functions. Athletes love liver because it improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood cells, increasing endurance and strength and fighting fatigue, while its B vitamins can also aid those suffering with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Liver can retain toxins from drugs and other chemicals, so buy grass-fed & organic meat where possible as it will be without added antibiotics or hormones
Per 4-oz. serving of beef liver (approximately one 4-inch by 4-inch slice)
If you’re looking for a way to get lots of protein without lots of fat, opt for kidneys, which contain a shedload of B12, riboflavin and iron, as well as healthy amounts of B6, folate and niacin.
Two of the key components in kidneys are vitamin B12 and folate. These two perform several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy. A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause a wide range of problems, from lack of energy, muscle weakness to poor memory and even depression.
Per 4-oz. serving of beef heart (approximately one 4-inch by 4-inch slice)
Since it’s a muscle, heart shares many similarities with steak, roasts and ground beef, is less expensive (funnily enough) and has a higher amount of protein, thiamine, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, CoQ10 and several B vitamins. It’s a great way to rack up amino acids that can improve metabolism and compounds that aid the production of collagen and elastin, which ensures skin elasticity, joint repair and combats many signs of ageing. This mixture of unique nutrients helps build muscle, store energy and boost stamina and endurance.
Ok, so there’s a look at just some of the benefits of what organ meats can do for you and why they’re worth incorporating into your diet. So, below is a quick and simple liver recipe that can be completed from start to finish in 25 minutes and is a delicious option to start you off!
Liver & Onions
– Lamb (optional) liver
– 1 large Onion
– 3 cloves of Garlic
– 1 tsp of rosemary
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 chicken stock cube
– 275ml of boiling water
– 1 tsp of butter
– Chop liver and onions into rough slices. Place to one side.
– Finely chop Garlic cloves. Place to one side.
– Heat butter in medium frying pan on low to medium heat.
– Add liver & onions, cooking till liver changes colour and onions are translucent.
– Add spices and garlic, mixing thoroughly.
– Add stock cube to boiling water, mixing till dissolved. Now add stock to liver & onions.
– Place on low heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
– Serve with roasted or mashed root veg.
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