Chicken livers are high in protein and a rich store of folate, which is important for fertility and helps prevent certain birth defects. Chicken livers are also one of the top sources of vitamin A, which helps eye health.
WHY ARE CHICKEN LIVERS GOOD FOR ME?
Chicken livers are high in protein and a rich store of folate, which is important for fertility and helps prevent certain birth defects. (Food Standards Authority advises pregnant woman not to eat liver because too much vitamin A can harm the baby.)
Livers are also loaded with iron to give you energy and a treasure trove of certain B vitamins, most notably B12. This nutritional profile makes them a good choice for anyone prone to anaemia. Chicken livers are also one of the top sources of vitamin A, which helps eye health.
WHAT IS LIVER?
The liver is a vital organ in humans and animals. It is typically the largest internal organ and has many important functions, including:
●Processing digested food from the gut
●Storing glucose, iron, vitamins and other essential nutrients
●Filtering and clearing drugs and toxins from the blood.
Liver, along with other organ meats, used to be a very popular food, however, muscle meats now tend to be favored over organ meats. Regardless of its declining popularity, liver is possibly one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
People often look to fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, but liver far surpasses them all in terms of nutrient content. A small amount of liver provides well over 100% of the RDI for many essential nutrients. It is also rich in high-quality protein and low in calories.
Liver is cheap and readily available from grocery stores and butchers. While most animal livers can be eaten, common sources are cow, chicken, duck lamb and pig.
Liver is possibly the most nutrient-dense food in the world. It’s packed with essential nutrients, rich in protein and low in calories.
■ LIVER PROVIDES HIGH-QUALITY PROTEIN
Protein is vital to life and found in nearly every part of the body. It’s required to make and repair cells and turn food into energy. Over one-quarter of beef liver is made up of protein. Moreover, it’s very high-quality protein. As it provides all of the essential amino acids.
Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins. Some amino acids can be made in the body. But those known as essential amino acids must come from food.
A high protein intake has been shown to help with weight loss, as it reduces hunger and appetite. Additionally, protein has been found to satisfy hunger better than fat or carbs.
Furthermore, a high protein intake can boost you metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body uses to function.
Having a higher metabolic rate means you use more calories, which can be useful for weight loss, particularly if combined with a reduced calorie intake. Lastly, a high protein intake can help build muscle and protect against muscle loss while losing weight.
Liver is a great source of high-quality protein. A high protein intake has been shown shown to increase metabolic rate, reduce appetite, help build muscle and preserve muscle during weight loss.
■ LIVER HAS FEWER CALORIES THAN MANY OTHER MEATS.
Per calories, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods there is. In fact, more commonly eaten muscle meats are nutritionally poor in comparison.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gra) sirloin steak or lamb chop contains over 200 calories.
The same amount of beef liver contains just 175 calories, all while providing way more of every single vitamin and most minerals than either a sirloin steak or lamb chop.
When reducing calorie intake, you can often miss out on vital nitrition. Therefore, it is important to choose nutrient-dense foods.
While plenty of foods contain high-quality protein or vitamins and minerals, no single food contains the same variety or amount of nutrients as liver.
What’s more, eating foods that are high nutrients but low in calories has been shown to reduce hinger.
Liver is low in fat as well. Only around 25% of its calories come from fat, compared to 50-60% of calories in steak and lamb.
Per calorie, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. Compared to muscle meats, it is lower in calories and fat and far superior in terms of vitamins and minerals.
COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT EATING LIVER
Many people have concerns about eating liver and wonder whether it’s unhealthy.
One of the most common questions is if its cholesterol content is problem.
While liver is high in cholesterol this isn’t an issue for the most people.
people used to believe that cholesterol in food caused heart disease. However, more recent research has shown that this isn’t true for the majority of people.
Most heart disease-related cholesterol is actually produced in the body. And when you eat foods high in cholesterol, your body produces less to keep the balance.
However, around a quarter of the population appears to be more sensitive to cholesterol in food. For these people, eating cholesterol-rich foods can increase blood cholesterol.
Another common concern about eating liver is that it constains toxins.
However, the liver does not store toxins. Rather, its job is to process toxins and make them safe or turn them into something that can be safety removed from the body.
In conclusion, toxins in liver are not an issue, and it should certaintly not be avoided for this reason.
Common concerns about liver include that it’s high in cholesterol and may store toxins. However, its cholesterol content is not an issue for most people, and it does not store toxins.
LIVER MAY NOT BE FOR EVERYONE
There are certain groups who may want to avoid eating liver.
■ PREGNANT WOMEN
Concerns regarding the safety of liver intake during pregnancy are largely due to its vitamin A content.
High intakes of preformed vitamin A, the type found in liver, have been linked to birth defects. Yet, the exact risk is unclear, and more research is needed.
Nevertheless, it only take 1 ounce (30 grams) of beef liver to reach the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin A during pregnancy. This is a very small amount, so quantities must be monitored.
Although it may be safe to eat a small amount of liver occasionally during pregnancy, it’s necessary to be cautious
■ THOSE WITH GOUT
Gout is a type of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints.
Liver is high in purines, which form uric acid in the body. It is therefore important to limit your intake if you have gout.
However, if you dont’t suffer from gout, eating liver will not necessarily cause it. While a number of factors can increase your risk of developing gout, dietary factors only account for about 12% of cases.
It may be best to avoid liver during pregnancy. Although liver is unlikely to cause gout, it might be sensible to avoid it if you already suffer from gout.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Liver is a greatly underrated food. It’s low in calories and rich in high-quality protein, all while containing an incredible amount of vital nutrients.
References: theguardian.com / healthline.com