Predators in the wild are instinctively drawn to this secret to ensure survival.
This practice has fallen out of favor in Western society, but there are still cultures all over the world who still follow this practice and enjoy amazing health benefits.
So what is this amazing secret?
Organ meats such as liver, heart, and kidneys. These are nature’s true multivitamins, arguably more effective than any fad super fruit, vegetable, or grain you could eat. Let’s dig in (no pun intended) to some of the specific benefits of these foods.
Liver is the most commonly recognized organ meat and is the victim of a lot of stigma and jokes. Case in point…liver and onions. Cue the collective “ewwwwww”. Liver gets a bad rep, but this food is a powerhouse of easily absorbed vitamins and minerals.
A 4oz serving of beef liver contains:
- 32g of protein
- 712% of your RDA for Vitamin A (A more easily absorbed version of Vit A than the carotenes found in plants)
- 1316% of your RDA for Vitamin B12
- 476mg of Choline (almost as much as 4 large eggs)
- 40% of your RDA for Iron (again, in a more easily absorbed form than those found in plants)
The taste isn’t as bad as it is made out to be. I cook mine in a little butter seasoned with salt and pepper. It tastes pretty much like a steak, but a little off. Don’t really see what the fuss is about…
HeartAdmit it. This was the first thought that crossed your mind.
Starting to get a little more squeamish? Don’t be. The heart is a muscle just like that steak you ate the other day, just denser. If it’s just another muscle, what’s so special about it?
A 4oz serving of beef heart contains:
- 20g of protein
- 161% of your RDA for Vitamin B12
- 35% of your RDA for Selenium
- 24% of your RDA for Phosphorus
Beef heart also has a high concentration of CoQ10, a coenzyme only found in animal foods that supports your mitochondria in producing energy.
An easy way to sneak this food into your diet is to grind it up and add it to ground chuck. From there you can make tacos, meatloaf, burgers, etc without ever knowing the difference.
I’m not going to lie… you will probably never catch me eating kidneys. That being said, I can’t deny the health benefits.
A 4oz serving of beef kidneys contains:
- 20g of protein
- 189% of your RDA for Riboflavin
- 518% of your RDA for Vitamin B12
- 228% of your RDA for Selenium
- 29% of your RDA for Iron & Phosphorus
I don’t even want to think about how you’d prepare kidneys so don’t ask.
So just how powerful are the organ meats?
Liver has an endurance enhancing quality that is not quite understood (at least through the articles that I have read regarding the matter). The classic experiment to test this claim was performed by Dr. Benjamin H. Ershoff in 1951. He had 3 groups of rats that he fed a specific diet:
- Group A was fed a standard American diet
- Group B was fed the same diet with a Vitamin B supplement added
- Group C was fed the same diet with dried liver added
All three groups of rats were then throw into a bucket of cold water and forced to swim until they drowned. I know, a little barbaric. Don’t ask me why they let them drown. Here were the results:
- Group A swam for an average of 13.3 minutes
- Group B swam for an average of 13.4 minutes
- Group C was still swimming strong after 2 hours! That’s 15 times longer than the other groups!
Anecdotal evidence from athletes and bodybuilders claiming performance benefits and quicker recovery rates seem to support this conclusion. I have been supplementing with liver tabs and, more recently, eating liver and it seems like I don’t get nearly as sore from my workouts no matter how hard I push myself. Take from that what you will.
There was another story I read recently (can’t locate the site) where a zoo was having issues with keeping some of their carnivorous animals healthy and reproducing viable offspring. After studying their diet, they decided to incorporate organ meats. The animals’ health quickly skyrocketed and many healthy babies soon followed.
Cultures that lived in colder climates, like the Inuit, thrived despite having very little plant-based foods in their diets. This was because they consumed animals in their entirety, extracting all the nutrients and leaving nothing to waste.
Predators in the wild will instinctively eat the organ meats of their kill first before filling up on the muscle meat. Typically the part of the animals we normally eat are left for the scavengers. Do they know something we have long forgotten?
Other things you should know
- Because offal is so high in bio-available vitamins and minerals, it is only suggested you eat them a few times a week.
- Keep them on the rarer side in order to preserve more of the nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed by overcooking.
- Find 100% grass-fed organ meats. These will have the most nutrients and least toxins.