Is Liver Really As Good for You as They Say?

August 18, 2019

The short answer is, YES.

Live is an extremely nutrient dense superfood. We’re not the biggest fans of the term “superfood” because it tends to get greenwashed a bit but liver really plays fits the bill with a rich concentration of protein, low calorie count, and loads of essential vitamins and minerals.

But you’re probably thinking, “yeah yeah I hear people boasting ‘protein packed, vitamins, and minerals’ all the time but never see the hard data or an explanation to back it up. 

That’s true, there are a lot of sources out there who are mostly talking about liver when it’s trending and never really delivering the facts. So we thought we’d take a moment to line up some important facts for you today, before you enjoy your next liver meal. And we have a feeling you’ll be heading to the Store after reading this if you haven’t already tried our 100% grass fed beef liver.

What is the liver?

The liver is an organ. 

What does the liver do?

As one of the largest organs, the liver has many functions. It processes digested food from the gut, stores many essential nutrients like glucose and iron, and filters many toxins from the blood.

What is the nutritional profile of liver?

Based on an 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of beef liver*:

  • Vitamin B12: 3,460% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake). Vitamin B12 helps the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It is also involved in healthy brain function.
  • Vitamin A: 860–1,100% of the RDI. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, immune function and reproduction. It also helps organs like the heart and kidneys function properly.
  • Riboflavin (B2): 210–260% of the RDI. Riboflavin is important for cellular development and function. It also helps turn food into energy.
  • Folate (B9): 65% of the RDI. Folate is an essential nutrient that plays a role in cell growth and the formation of DNA.
  • Iron: 80% of the RDI, or 35% for women of menstruating age. Iron is another essential nutrient that helps carry oxygen around the body. The iron in liver is heme iron, the kind most easily absorbed by the body.
  • Copper: 1,620% of the RDI. Copper acts like a key to activate a number of enzymes, which then help regulate energy production, iron metabolism and brain function.

*amounts are approximations, will fluctuate per cut, and are dependent upon source.

What are the best ways to enjoy liver?

Liver has a unique taste that some have been known to love and others just can’t seem to get a feel for it. One of the most common and classic ways to prepare liver is pan-fried with onions but this can often result in a tougher texture and gamier taste so if you’re not a fan of live’s natural flavor but still want to reap the nutritional benefits, you may want to try it in the following ways:

  • Chop or mince the liver and mix it with ground beef then add it to your favorite meals like burgers, stir fry or spaghetti bolognese.
  • Add a complementary selection of seasoning and spices during preparation.
  • Soak the liver in milk or lemon juice before cooking to balance the natural strong flavor.

If the liver is a superfood, why isn’t everyone eating it?

Part of the reason many people don’t eat liver is because of the flavor, which we addressed in the previous question. Another reason is because the liver is known for being high in cholesterol. Every individual should be conscious of their cholesterol levels prior to making drastic changes to their diet. However, like most natural foods, they are perfectly healthy and should be enjoyed in moderation. It is important to know the source of your meat, no matter what slice or cut you’re referring to, and always best to choose grass fed/pasture raised products free of added chemicals and unnecessary procession alterations of any kind.

If you have any additional questions about liver, please don't hesitate to call the farm. Also, as with any diet change, it's never a bad idea to discuss habits and lifestyle choices with your preferred healthcare professional. 

Dave Stoltzfus

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