Beef liver nutrition is hard to beat.
Beef liver is one of nature’s true nutrient-dense superfoods, and the benefits are undeniable. In this post, you’ll learn overview about beef liver nutrition, its vitamin and mineral profile, and guidelines for eating liver. Then, you’ll get ideas for enjoying beef liver benefits even if you don’t like the taste!
Beef Liver Nutrition
Beef liver has a long history as a traditionally valued food. Just like your grandma knew that chicken soup is good for what ails you, she also knew that liver has superpowers.
Over time, especially in Western culture, organ meats like beef liver have fallen out of use in favor of muscle meats. My local natural food market’s meat section carries beef liver – or other organs – only occasionally. By comparison, the selection of chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and lamb muscle cuts is huge. In my area, it’s far more common to find beef liver at an ethnic food market than a mainstream supermarket.
Besides its traditional food status, it turns out that beef liver nutrition is off-the-charts. In fact, it’s one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
Vitamins and Minerals in Beef Liver
The word “superfood” is overused these days, but when it comes to beef liver nutrition, it’s not an exaggeration. It’s a dense source of key vitamins and minerals packed into a small serving.
A quick look at some nutrients in 100 grams of beef liver paints a powerful picture:
- Protein: 27 grams
- Vitamin A: 26091 IU | 522% DV
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 3.4 mg | 201% DV
- Vitamin B6: 1 mg | 51% DV
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 260 mcg | 65% DV
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 83.1 mcg | 1386% DV
- Choline: 418 mg
- Copper: 14.6 mg | 730% DV
- Iron: 6.2 mg | 34% DV
- Selenium: 32.8 mcg | 47%
Now, compare that to an equal serving size of chicken breast:
- Protein: 31 grams
- Vitamin A: 21 IU | 0% DV
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 0.1 mg | 7% DV
- Vitamin B6: 0.6 mg | 30% DV
- Vitamin B9 (folate): 4 mcg | 1% DV
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 0.3 mcg | 6% DV
- Choline: 85.3 mg
- Copper: 2% DV
- Iron: 1 mg | 6% DV
- Selenium: 27.6 mcg | 39%
When other nutrients are factored in, chicken breast comes out a bit ahead – it’s lower in fat for example – but it can’t compare overall. I’m not saying you have to swear off muscle meat in favor of organs. Rather, see where you can find an opportunity to include beef liver in your weekly routine.
Vitamin A, specifically, is one of the key beef liver nutrition benefits. It’s key for immune, eye, skin, and reproductive health. Liver is also a rich source of Vitamin B12, known for its role in red blood cell production and likely links to skin, bone, and brain health, among others.
Is it Safe to Eat Beef Liver Every Day?
The Vitamin A present in beef liver is fat-soluble and cannot be made by the body. That means you have to get it from the foods you eat. Because it’s fat soluble, Vitamin A can also accumulate in your liver. However, too much active Vitamin A – the kind found in beef liver – in the body can lead to a condition called hypervitaminosis A.
There are different recommended daily allowances of Vitamin A broken down by age range. Considerations are also made for pregnancy or breastfeeding status.
Even though beef liver nutrition benefits are many, it’s generally recommended to not eat liver daily. One serving – about 4 ounces – once a week is often considered sufficient. When in doubt, check with your nutritionist or health care provider for more information based on your specific needs.
Selecting Beef Liver to Eat
It’s important to choose beef liver – or any livers for that matter – that comes from high-quality animals. Ideally, those animals would be pastured or grass-fed and raised without antibiotics. If you can, get to know your local farmer or rancher and ask questions.
Eating Beef Liver if You Don’t Like the Taste
Now you know all the beef liver nutrition benefits. But, what if you don’t like the taste? I personally struggle with this one. Mainly, I didn’t grow up eating liver, and I’m a super-taster. I’ve tried every recipe for “liver haters,” and I still can’t deal. If you’re like me, here are a few options:
- First, choose a milder-tasting liver, like chicken. Meatified and Mel Joulwan have some super popular liver recipes.
- Second, mix beef liver into ground beef to mask the flavor. My Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs have a beef liver nutrition boost.
- Third, make frozen beef liver pills. Par-freeze the beef liver, then chop it up into tiny, pill-sized pieces which you can swallow whole without chewing. See more on that here. That was my go-to strategy for a while. However, I don’t always have time to make frozen beef liver pills. That’s why I like this option the best…
- Finally, opt for desiccated beef liver capsules. I love the Beef Liver Capsules from Vital Proteins. I choose these more often than not because I already spend plenty of time making other homemade things like broth, ferments, and tinctures. Hey, you don’t have to be perfect. Doing the best you can means sometimes purchasing high-quality pre-made options to fill the gaps.
Highlights of Vital Proteins Beef Liver Capsules
Here are a few of the reasons Vital Proteins Desiccated Beef Liver Capsules are a great choice if the other options above don’t work for you:
- The beef liver comes from pasture-raised, grass-fed New Zealand cows.
- Rich source of Vitamins A and B12, plus copper and other minerals.
- Four capsules provide 3500 IU (70% DV) of Vitamin A and 13.6 mcg (227%) of Vitamin B12.
- A convenient, shelf-stable source of liver that’s great for travel.
- Contains 25 mg hyaluronic acid, great for skin hydration.
When I was making frozen beef liver pills, I’d often run out and get too busy to make more. That meant sometimes going for weeks or months without getting any liver. Now that I use Vital Proteins Dessicated Beef Liver Capsules, I find them much easier to work into my routine.
Even better? You can get them on auto-ship so you never run out.
Summarizing These Beef Liver Nutrition Benefits
Beef liver nutrition is hard to beat. It’s a nutrient-dense food with many benefits when eaten in moderation. Beef liver is a rich source of key vitamins – like A and B12 – as well as minerals like copper, iron, and selenium. Opt for the highest quality beef liver you can get.
There are lots of ways to get beef liver into your diet weekly. However, if the flavor is too strong for you, consider desiccated beef liver capsules from a trusted brand like Vital Proteins.
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