The Benefits of Eating Organ Meat
by FarmClub Editorial
Benefits Of Eating Organ Meat: Is It Worth Eating Offal?
According to Our World in Data, more than 340 million tons of meat are consumed worldwide yearly. Among which, organ meats are the healthiest foods on the planet. However, many people are afraid of them and thus miss out on the numerous benefits that this amazing food has to offer.
Nevertheless, organ meats are actually quite nutritious. Let's take a closer look at organ meats and their health effects.
Organ Meat | What It Really Is?
Organ meat, AKA muscle meat, offal, sometimes known as "viscera," are the internal organs of certain animals like cows, buffalos, goats, lambs, poultry like chickens, and ducks. It refers to all parts of the animal left over after being slaughtered, including the internal organs.
The consumption of animal organ meat is popular in many countries, from the liver of duck in France to the tongue of beef in Latin America to the liver of pork in Germany. Asian dishes often include many parts of the animal's body, including the kidneys, stomach, and intestines.
What Types Of Organ Meat Do People Eat?
Internal organ meats include the following:
The liver is the most nutritious organ and, most likely, one of the most nutritional meals on the planet. It has unique nutritional complexes that are easily digested. The liver has a high concentration of vitamin A in its purest form, retinol. Folic acid, choline, and vitamin B12 are abundant in the liver. Many people who live healthy lifestyles choose to eat organic meat.
According to research liver has three times as much vitamin B12 as the kidneys, seven times as much as the heart, and 17 times as much as the tongue or steak. [i] Other nutrients, such as selenium, iron, and zinc, are also abundant in the liver.
Although it contains a large amount of fat, the tongue is more of a muscle. The tongue is one of the most tender cuts of meat because it contains 70% fatty acids. Many people prefer the flavor of the tongue to other varieties of meat.
This organ is especially useful for pregnant women since it includes Folate. This vitamin is beneficial for fertility and prevents embryonic malformations in a newborn, such as spina bifida and heart abnormalities.
Offal heart contains more collagen and elastin than ordinary meat. It is high in protein, selenium, phosphorus, folic acid, and zinc.
The heart is nourishing and relatively low in fat (2-3% fat), and it contains a lot of iron and B vitamins like B2, B6, and B12. According to research, Vitamin B12 aids in the healthy functioning of the neurological system and the brain and is required for blood formation. [ii]
Moreover, it contains a lot of CoQ10, which is essential for mitochondrial function and energy production. [iii]
The kidneys are low in lipids (less than 4%), high in B vitamins, iron, and zinc, but low in uric acid and cholesterol.
According to one study, vitamin A (retinoids) in beef kidneys helps to preserve healthy skin and eyes. [iv]
Offal kidneys boost immune defenses and aid in wound healing. Include a high concentration of saturated omega-3 fatty acids, are extremely healthful, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
By far, the largest source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA is the offal brain. The brain also includes high levels of nutrients essential for the nervous system, such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine. Carnosine, carotenoids, and tocopherols are antioxidants found in the brain that protect neurological tissue from oxidative damage. It is also high in cholesterol, another key antioxidant for neural tissue, and optimizes endocrine system function. [v]
Is Organ Meat A Superfood?
You've probably heard of superfoods like garlic, sweet potatoes, and berries. What you may not know is that organ meat is also considered a superfood.
Organ meat is high in nutrients and is often more nutritious than muscle meat pound for pound. The key difference between offal and meat is that offal includes more tryptophan and collagen, both of which are necessary for cellular regeneration. With the significant exceptions of tripe (intestines) and brain, most organs are rich in vitamins and minerals such as many B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
The Benefits Of Eating Organ Meat
The benefits of eating organic meat are numerous. Let's find out some.
1. Boosts Strength
Animal organs, particularly the liver and kidney, contain iron. Many people suffer from iron deficiency. Consuming organ meat raises the iron level in your blood. It has been suggested that people with iron shortages may benefit from eating organ meats, particularly liver and kidney, to boost their energy levels.
2. Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Almost all internal organs contain high levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12, in combination with folate, which is also found in the flesh of internal organs, supports the regulation of homocysteine levels in the blood. Because according to research, high homocysteine level is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. [vi]
3. Stronger Immune System
Zinc is a mineral that is necessary for metabolism, neurological system function, immune system, and digestive system strength. And many organ meats, including the liver, kidneys, and heart, are high in zinc.
Zinc is needed for the immune system to function effectively. Because people who are poor in zinc are more prone to sickness.
4. Support Cognitive Health
Some of the essential brain nutrients are only found in organ meats.
Like Choline, a primary source of nutrients linked to brain health. According to research, choline improves cognitive performance and helps to prevent anxiety and mood problems. [vii]
Organ meats are also high in heme iron, the most accessible type of iron that is beneficial to cognitive health. [viii]
5. Support Overall Health And Wellness
According to research, vitamins are essential d for immunocompetence. Many are greater in concentration and can only be found in organ meats. [ix]
Furthermore, selenium is extremely advantageous to immunological and antioxidant function. Selenium is abundant in both the liver and kidney. A single serving of kidney has roughly one-third of the daily need for selenium, a vital mineral that serves as an antioxidant to preserve cells. Selenium also aids in the repair of damaged DNA, which aids in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer. Selenium also contributes to heart health by preventing circulatory system inflammation (*). Finally, selenium promotes a healthy immune system, which we could all use a little help with!
What Is The Healthiest Organ Meat?
It is nutrient-dense, and its rich supply of vitamin A makes it one of the best sources of protein in the human diet. As discussed earlier, Vitamin A is beneficial for eye health and reduces diseases that cause inflammation, including Alzheimer's disease to arthritis.
Internal organs, as previously stated, are less appealing to some of us than a juicy cut of steak - both because of the associations linked with them and because of their distinct taste. Regardless, as previously stated, if you consume meat, it is highly recommended that you include offals in your meal.
If you have previously avoided eating internal organs, it is recommended that you begin with organs that are deemed more popular in flavors, such as the tongue and heart. Internal organs can also be combined with muscular meat to improve its flavor.
[i] Biel, W., Czerniawska-Piątkowska, E., & Kowalczyk, A. (2019). Offal chemical composition from veal, beef, and lamb maintained in organic production systems. Animals, 9(8), 489.
[ii] Calderón‐Ospina, C. A., & Nava‐Mesa, M. O. (2020). B Vitamins in the nervous system: Current knowledge of the biochemical modes of action and synergies of thiamine, pyridoxine, and cobalamin. CNS neuroscience & therapeutics, 26(1), 5-13.
[iii] Saini, R. (2011). Coenzyme Q10: The essential nutrient. J Pharm Bioallied Sci, 3(3), 466-467.
[iv] Zasada, M., & Budzisz, E. (2019). Retinoids: Active molecules influencing skin structure formation in cosmetic and dermatological treatments. Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii, 36(4), 392-397.
[v] Hashioka, S., Han, Y. H., Fujii, S., Kato, T., Monji, A., Utsumi, H., ... & Kanba, S. (2007). Phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine-containing liposomes inhibit amyloid β and interferon-γ-induced microglial activation. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 42(7), 945-954.
[vi] Ganguly, P., & Alam, S. F. (2015). Role of homocysteine in the development of cardiovascular disease. Nutrition journal, 14(1), 1-10.
[vii] Poly, C., Massaro, J. M., Seshadri, S., Wolf, P. A., Cho, E., Krall, E., ... & Au, R. (2011). The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 94(6), 1584-1591.
[viii] Hooda, J., Shah, A., & Zhang, L. (2014). Heme, an essential nutrient from dietary proteins, critically impacts diverse physiological and pathological processes. Nutrients, 6(3), 1080-1102.
[ix] Maggini, S., Pierre, A., & Calder, P. C. (2018). Immune function and micronutrient requirements change over the life course. Nutrients, 10(10), 1531.