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August 01, 2019

Liver is something of an acquired taste for most. But it’s a taste worth acquiring. The cut of meat contains a wealth of nutrients and vitamins, as well as an alternative to chicken and fish.

Liver is sometimes referred to as a ”super food” because of the all the health benefits. It’s the only cut of meat that could arguably replace much of what people get by taking  multi-vitamins and minerals.  

But one of the most important aspects of eating liver is finding out where it came from. Liver from industrial farm cattle can contain drugs the cattle were given, as well as pesticides and antibiotics. 

Grass-fed and pasture-finished cattle raised on environmentally friendly farms don’t have the same issue.

The Many Benefits of Liver

There’s no argument about the health benefits of liver. “Ounce for ounce, liver is probably more nutritious than any other food,” according to Berkeley Wellness. 

Berkeley Wellness reports that a 3.5-ounce serving of liver contains:

  • More than the daily requirement of vitamin B12
  • Large amounts of other B vitamins
  • Rich amounts of protein, zinc, copper, iron, and vitamin C
  • Only about 180 calories
  • Only six grams of fat.

Not bad from one piece of meat. It also contains elevated levels of vitamin A, which can be an issue if you eat too much of it, potentially leading to a higher susceptibility to fractures.

Medical News Today also points out that liver contains folic acid, iron, chromium, copper and zinc. It’s also “known to be particularly good for the heart and for increasing hemoglobin level in the blood.”

Why Grass-Fed Beef

The biggest issue with liver, which is pointed out by Berkeley Wellness and many other sources, is that liver from industrial beef can contain a much higher level than other products of pesticides used in animal feed, antibiotics and any other drugs that an animal is given. 

That’s not an issue if you buy grass-fed beef that is raised on a sustainable farm like Acabonac Farms. 

Cattle raised and finished on grass do not have the same high levels of antibiotics, because they aren’t given antibiotics. On Acabonac Farms, no growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics are given to cattle. The farm also does not use any type of pesticide or herbicide. 

That eliminates any issues with toxic chemicals in beef livers. 

Fighting Depression

In her book “Rebuild From Depression,” author Amanda Rose writes about nutrients that can help fight depression. She writes in this blog that “liver is a depression-buster food and probably in a class of its own providing in large quantities every depression-fighting nutrient in my book,” with the exception of magnesium.

The author writes that during a stressful week or when she hits “down-cycles in my depression,” she eats liver about three times a week and feels improvement in mood and energy. 

Many years ago, famous food writer Adelle Davis wroteabout the liver, saying it acts as a savings bank of the body’s nutrients and minerals. When the body needs an extra dose of something, it taps into the liver.

That means the liver is one of the most nutrient-rich areas of the body, according to Davis.

Liver is a cut of meat that many don’t always think about. It certainly is an acquired taste. But with the high nutritional value available through grass-fed cattle, it’s something every health-conscious eater should consider.

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