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Meat eaters either love or hate liver; its unique texture takes some getting used to. After achieving household popularity in the 50s, liver took a bit of a backseat to other meat varieties, however, in recent years, it’s begun making a comeback. Liver is a superfood with many important health benefits which is likely the reason for its return. Packed with many powerful nutrients, liver as a food source comes from chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and goose; many varieties can be found at local supermarkets and butchers. Liver is such a powerful source of nutrients that it contains more than 100% of the daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals. Check out how adding liver to your diet may improve your overall constitution.
Important Note: All the information reported herein is based on the most current scientific research at the time of this publication.
As mentioned above, liver is a great source of many powerful nutrients. For starters, liver contains more than 3,400% of the daily recommended value of vitamin B12 which contributes to the formation and health of blood cells and DNA. It contains upwards of 1,000% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A which contributes to eye health, immunity, and reproductive health. Moreover, liver contains more than 200% of the daily recommended value of riboflavin which is integral to converting food into energy. An excellent source of folate, a serving of liver meets 65% of the daily recommended value; folate also plays an important role in cell development and DNA formation. Finally, a single serving of liver has more than 80% and 1,600% of the daily recommended value of iron and copper respectively. To say liver is highly nutritious is an understatement; it’s loaded with many of the nutrients that contribute to your overall health.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Liver is loaded with powerful levels of many nutrients. Including liver in your diet can easily contribute to your nutrient intake.
Packed With Protein
Protein is essential to feeding your body and providing you with energy. A single serving of liver is made up of 25% protein which is packed with necessary amino acids. Amino acids are essential to making protein within your body and although they can be made biologically, the bulk of amino acids must come from your diet. For this reason, liver is a great choice for upping your amino acid intake. Some of the benefits of a high-protein diet include a sustained feeling of fullness and improved metabolism. Finally, a protein-rich diet is integral to building and maintaining muscle mass.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Liver as a meat source contains one of the highest concentrations of protein in any meat; protein is integral to your health therefore liver should be a consideration in your diet.
Supports Weight Loss and Management
If you’re looking for an incredibly nutritious, high-protein food source that’s supportive of weight loss and management, consider liver. For starters, when compared to other lean meats, liver contains 25% fewer calories per serving when matched ounce for ounce. For example, a 3.5-ounce serving of lean sirloin steak has 200 calories whereas a liver serving of the same size only contains 175 calories. Moreover, when comparing the same two types of meat, liver contains fewer grams of fat per serving than a sirloin steak. In addition to being low in fat and calories, the high protein makeup of liver works as an appetite suppressant by giving you a longer feeling of fullness. Finally, even though you’ll naturally reduce your calorie and fat intake and increase your protein intake by choosing liver over other lean meats, you don’t sacrifice nutrition. The exceptional nutrient composition of liver means you aren’t forced to sacrifice nutrition when choosing this lower calorie, lower fat option.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Liver isn’t dubbed a superfood for no reason; it’s a superb protein source that’s packed with nutrients and very few calories.
Lowers Risk of Anemia
Anemia, which is defined as an iron deficiency, is one of the most common mineral deficiencies to affect Americans. Anemia can cause weakness, fatigue, and an inability to focus. Thankfully, anemia can be easily remediated by boosting your iron intake. Whether you do so through supplements or diet, balancing your iron intake is important to stave off anemia. If you’re looking for a tasty food source for improved iron intake, consider adding liver to your diet. Of note, liver is an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12, both of which keep your blood cells nourished and in good working order. As previously noted, a single serving of liver provides you with a whopping 80% of your recommended daily intake of iron.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. If you struggle with anemia, regularly incorporating liver into your diet can help you manage this deficiency.
Improves Bone Health
Another important nutrient found in liver is vitamin K which is integral to bone health. Vitamin K facilitates the growth of calcium in your bones which contributes to bone strength. Furthermore, adequate vitamin K intake is associated with a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis. Finally, liver is packed full of vitamins A and B12 which are also contributors to bone health.
General Consensus: 5/5 and here is why. Undoubtedly, liver’s high concentrations of vitamins A, B12, and especially K are powerful contributors to bone health.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. While some sources suggest that a liver-rich diet may reduce one’s risk of breast cancer, there are no scientific studies that support this conclusion.