January 9, 2012

Liver; tasty and healthy

You probably know liver from when you were a kid and ate 'liver sausage' or pate. I used to love liver sausage.. These days I won't eat stuff like that anymore, after all, it's made to go on a sandwich and usually contains much, much more than just liver; stuff we don't want to eat. However, I did read that liver actually is very healthy to eat every now and then, as it contains a whole lot of vitamins; more than a steak, just to name something. And we're talking about the kind of vitamins you can't easily get from plants.

Still, something was stopping me; the thought. I didn't see myself frying some liver in a skillet just yet. I still can't believe that just a few years ago, I'd be digusted by the touch of raw meat and wouldn't eat anything that contained bones. I was fine with it as long as it didn't resemble an animal in any kind of way. And then I went paleo.

These days I roast whole chickens and large pieces of meat, I love bacon and my meals aren't complete without a piece of something that used to roam around freely on grassland. Why wouldn't I eat liver? While I was on the train this morning and checking facebook updates, I found this recipe: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/01/08/crispy-spiced-chicken-livers/

Crispy chicken livers, somehow it appealed to me. I did have to do some grocery shopping after all, so I looked out for chicken livers. For just under 2 euros ($2,50), I got my hands on 400g chicken livers; that's insanely cheap! And in the back of my head I stll had the thought that, for that price, it wouldn't be that much of a shame if I really didn't like it and had to throw it away.

About an hour later, I was frying my livers in some coconut oil. They tasted great! Delicious! I can definitely recommend them to anyone.

So, if you still need some more information before you decide to start eating liver? Here are some facts:

- It's a good protein source.
- It's the concentrated source of vitamin A, which is beneficial for good eyesight.
- It contains a lot of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 which plays an important role in preventing anaemia. A lack of B12 is often found in people with chronic fatigue.
- It contains a lot of folic acid; important for fertility.
- It contains iron in an easily available form; it's easily absorbed into your body to use.
- It contains copper, zinc and chromium.
- It contains a certain 'anti fatigue factor'; scientists found out that rats are able to swim much longer after eating liver than rats who got something else to eat, no matter how much nutrients were in there.
- It contains co-enzyme Q10; which is anti-aging and important for heart health.
- It contains purines; something DNA and RNA are made of.
- It contains panthotenic acid; this supports the adrenal glands and helps the body fight stress.

Many people still think it's unhealthy to eat liver because of the high amount of toxins in there. This is a misunderstanding: while the lever does neutralize toxins, it doesn't store them. Toxins are stored in fat tissue.

Here's a table where nutrients found in apples, carrots, red meat and beef liver are compared:

APPLE (100 g)CARROTS (100 g)RED MEAT (100 g)BEEF LIVER (100 g)
Calcium3.0 mg3.3 mg11.0 mg11.0 mg
Phosphorus6.0 mg31.0 mg140.0 mg476.0 mg
Magnesium4.8 mg6.2 mg15.0 mg18.0 mg
Potassium139.0 mg222.0 mg370.0 mg380.0 mg
Iron.1 mg.6 mg3.3 mg8.8 mg
Zinc.05 mg.3 mg4.4 mg4.0 mg
Copper.04 mg.08 mg.18 mg12.0 mg
Vitamin ANoneNone40 IU53,400 IU
Vitamin DNoneNoneTrace19 IU
Vitamin E.37 mg.11 mg1.7 mg.63 mg
Vitamin C7.0 mg6.0 mgNone27.0 mg
Thiamin.03 mg.05 mg.05 mg.26 mg
Riboflavin.02 mg.05 mg.20 mg4.19 mg
Niacin.10 mg.60 mg4.0 mg16.5 mg
Panthothenic Acid.11 mg.19 mg.42 mg8.8 mg
Vitamin B6.03 mg.10 mg.07 mg.73 mg
Folic Acid8.0 mcg24.0 mcg4.0 mcg145.0 mcg
BiotinNone.42 mcg2.08 mcg96.0 mcg
Vitamin B12NoneNone1.84 mcg111.3 mcg

All in all, there are more than enough reasons to eat liver every now and then. I, for one, am certain I'll make this again.
Also make sure to check out this liver pate recipe: http://balancedbites.com/2011/05/easy-recipe-chicken-liver-pate.html

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