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The 9 Health Benefits of Eating Liver You Desperately Need

Eating liver gave me superpowers. Okay…it didn’t give me x-ray vision.

But it helped me:

  • Rejuvenate my skin
  • Supercharge my energy
  • Increase detox
  • Accelerate my muscle growth

Before you turn your nose up at the thought of eating organ meat, let’s take a look at why it’s a health food and what it may do for you.

Most people eat the muscle meats of animals and avoid organ meats. But this is a relatively new way of eating compared to the rest of modern human history.

Organ meats used to be the most coveted part of an animal. And it’s no surprise! Liver is where many vitamins and minerals are stored. Think of it as nature’s multivitamin.

There are some health benefits you’ll potentially get from eating liver. Read more to to find out about them.

Be wary of these fake nutritional science

The 9 Health Benefits of Eating Liver You Desperately Need

1.   Might Give You All Day Clean Energy (without the crash)

Forget the Starbucks run. Liver might be a better alternative. That’s because its filled with B vitamins.

One of the many functions of this family of vitamins is converting food energy into chemical energy for your cells. As a result, your food can fuel you much better.

B Vitamins play other important roles like supporting fat burning – another method of fueling our cells with the added benefit of improved body composition for you (less fat, more muscle). 

Which B’s are most prevalent in beef liver and how do they help give you an energy boost? The better question to ask is what B’s aren’t in liver?

Beef liver is basically a good source of all the B’s. Check out what 100g (3.5 oz, a little bigger than a deck of cards) of beef liver supplies relative to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), (*,*):

Complicated Keto Meal Prep Cookbook

2.   Liver May Benefit Your Skin

Liver is chock full of retinal – the active form of Vitamin A. Vitamin A has long been known to support skin health but is also vital for reproduction, vision, cancer prevention and supporting the immune system.

How exactly does vitamin A contribute to providing a radiant, blemish free glow? Vitamin A is an antioxidant, so it protects skin cells from oxidative stress like damage from UV rays.  It also serves other integral functions. Studies show retinol can  (*):

  • Slows signs of aging
  • Encourages healthy skin cell production
  • Evens skin tone
  • Clears, soothes and heals acne
  • Smooths wrinkles

In addition to vitamin A, liver is a good source of copper and glycine. Both these nutrients contribute to maintenance of collagen under the skin. Collagen under the skin reduces the presence of wrinkles and fine lines by plumping and firming the tissue beneath the skin. 

3.   Liver May Strengthen Bones

Liver is a source of vitamin K2. You may be thinking – hey, can’t I get that from kale Vitamin K yes, but not MK-4, the type only found in animal foods. In fact, most people consuming a traditional Western diet get almost no vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 helps with calcium balance – an essential nutrient for bone health. We know insufficient calcium intake can result in low bone mineral density and ultimately increase the risk of fracture.

While many people are quick to take a calcium supplement, high intake of calcium supplements has been associated with calcification of the arterial walls.

Enter Vitamin K2, research shows that vitamin K2 helps direct calcium into the bones and keeps it out of the arterial walls (*,*).

Calcium in the arterial walls can be very, very bad, calcifications on arterial walls essentially = heart disease. So if you want strong bones and not stiff arteries, K2 is an essential nutrient.

Yes…beef liver definitely doesn’t taste like a ribeye dripped in butter. Sign up below if you’re interested in 5 ways to cook beef liver and answers to the most frequently asked questions. 

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4.   Liver Might Promote Heart Health

Liver contains many nutrients that contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of preventable disease in the United States and many other developed countries around the world.

As mentioned above vitamin K2 found abundantly in liver helps keep calcium out of your arteries and in your bones.

Other nutrients promoting heart health include choline, folate and riboflavin. All of these nutrients help to clear homocysteine, an amino acid found in your blood (*).

Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk of heart attack and cancer (the second leading cause of preventable death in the US btw).

Finally, copper is other super star nutrient in liver promoting heart health. Both animal and human studies show that copper deficiency can cause ischemic heart disease (IHD) and when it is added to the diet it reduces risk factors for IHD (*).

5.   Liver Might Boost Mood and Aid Cognitive Performance

How might liver help the brain? Well, there are several nutrients in liver that support cognitive function, emotional health, and delivery of nutrients and oxygen.

Choline is the front runner for nutrients associated with brain health and a single 3 oz serving of liver (about the size of a deck of cards) has almost all the choline you need for the day (*).

Research shows that choline improves cognitive performance and prevents anxiety and mood disorders (*,*).

Choline is so imperative for a healthy, functioning brain that deficiencies are associated with the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease.

The brain relies on oxygen and nutrients via the cardiovascular system which is made up veins and arteries that act like highways to the brain and other parts of the body. When arteries start to build up plaque, brain function can suffer.

K2 in liver  has been shown to help prevent brain plaque [*]. As you now know, K2 inhibits calcium buildup in arteries and it also helps prevent diabetes, a known strong risk factor for Alzheimer’s.

In fact, diabetes and Alzheimer’s have such a close relationship, some experts call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes or diabetes of the brain (*).

Liver also contains copper, iron and selenium – three additional nutrients required for optimal brain function.

Carnivore Aurelius as Energizer Bunny

Copper is required to balance zinc in the diet, experts suggest the ratio of 8:1 is ideal. Most people, particularly on a carnivore diet, get enough zinc but not enough copper.

An imbalance in this ratio is associated with neurologic health issues like Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD and autism (*,*,*).

Liver is a good source of iron, the most common micronutrient deficiency in the world. Iron is required for the synthesis (creation) of neurotransmitters and it helps prevent oxidative damage to the tissues of the brain (*).

Finally, liver is a good source of selenium. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that optimum serum selenium levels were associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms and improved mood (*).

6.   Liver May Accelerate Muscle Growth

Beef liver is packed with nutrients and protein that your muscles need to grow. The best part: unlike all other protein supplements, it’s just meat. No carbs. No fillers. No bullshit.

It’s time to throw your BCAAs and whey powders in the trash. This has it all…and more.

  •     Contains all essential amino acids
  •     10g of protein per serving
  •     Zero carb protein snack
  •     High in Vitamin A, which increases testosterone and muscle synthesis
  •     High in leucine, the most anabolic (muscle building) amino acid
  •     Good source of K2, which enhances exercise performance and increases testosterone 
Carnivore Diet Results: Before and After

7. Liver May Reduces Toxins

Forget juice cleanses. Liver may be a better detox plan. Why? The answer is molybdenum. Molybdenum is a trace essential mineral found in high amounts in organ meats, especially liver.

Eating liver is certainly not as pretty as the rainbow array of perfectly filled detox juice bottles but the proof is in the pudding! A little over an oz of liver provides the entire RDA for molybdenum.

How does it work? It acts as a coenzyme supporting the conversion of sulfites to sulfates and supporting the metabolism of medications and alcohol. The buildup of sulfites is toxic to the body and too much can be dangerous (*).

8. May Help the Body Prevent Cancer

Liver is rich in antioxidants A, C and E. Antioxidants protect cells against oxidative stress, also known as damage from free radicals like UV rays, smoking, inhaling pollution, inflammation, poor diet, stress etc (*).

Antioxidants can be thought of as the protectors of cells. When a cell is damaged, it has the potential to become a cancer cell. Preventing cellular damage in the first place is the essence of every cancer prevention strategy – eating nutrient rich foods, not smoking, wearing sunscreen etc. 

9. Liver May Boost Immune system and Prevent Colds

Nutrients found in liver support the health of your gut. Now don’t get your pants in a bunch, we are getting to preventing colds…stay with me. It may come as a surprise but about 70% of your immune system lives in your gut (*). 

Beef liver has protein, vital for maintaining the lining of the digestive tract (itself a muscle). But beyond that, it has three amazing nutrients that boost the immune system to prevent colds and other common infections – vitamin C, vitamin A and zinc. 

Most people already know about vitamin C and zinc but vitamin A is no slouch! In fact, vitamin A has held the title of the “anti-infective” vitamin for last century because of its importance in normal immune functioning (*). 

The gut is one of the body’s primary barrier tissues, protecting our vital organs from viruses and bacteria. The lining of the digestive tract relies on vitamin A to create cells that make up the tissue as well as the mucous they produce (*). 

And it’s not just the gut – the tissues that line our airways rely on vitamin A as well. These tissues are the first line of defense for keeping out harmful substances like some types of bacteria and viruses. 

Carnivore Diet Benefit #5: Rejuvenate Your Skin

The organs of the immune system need a constant supply of vitamin A to produce cells that help to fight off infections in the body. Research shows that vitamin A reduces infection and death of many serious illnesses including tuberculosis, pneumonia, measles, and malaria (*). 

If you’ve ready any of my other articles you already know – whenever I’m getting sick, I load up on beef liver and my cold virus vanishes. Forget about effervescent tablets loaded with artificial sweeteners and synthetic, low quality vitamins, get yourself some liver!

Bring Home the Bacon, I Mean Liver

Short of delivering it to your house, there is not much more I can do to get you to make this a regular staple in your diet! 

We’ve gone over the nutrient content of liver, how those nutrients touch nearly every aspect of human health from the brain, to your bones, to your immune system and beyond.

Now it’s up to you. 

Yes…beef liver definitely doesn’t taste like a ribeye dripped in butter. Sign up below if you’re interested in 5 ways to cook beef liver and answers to the most frequently asked questions. 

Get 5 Delicious Beef Liver Recipes & Answers to FAQ

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