Amazing Health Benefits for Eating Organ Meats! Recipe Included.

I’m always looking for ways to get my B vitamin intake. It gives me energy, better sleep, calms my mental health and supports elimination.

I grew up eating organ meats at extended family dinners for holidays or Shabbat dinners. We ate beef liver, tongue, sweetbreads, cheeks, chopped liver (chicken livers) and tripe or Kishka as we called it.

 A few I liked, most I hated.

At 14, I rebelled and started eating vegetarian meals. I loved baking bread, granola, and growing a garden.

Much later, when I became a nutritionist, I ate more plant-based foods, little meat and practiced basic food restriction such as limited sugar, no wheat or dairy. I do this becuase I beleive food is medicine and I can optimize my body’s best function and heal my symptoms of joint and muscle pain, chronic sneezing and interrupted sleep.

Recently, I heard the term Nutrivore, meaning a passion for nutrient dense foods (taken from the website of Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, The Paleo Mom) , which best describes my quest to educate others about taking ownership for their health.

I think one good outcome from the covid  pandemic, is that it has spurred public awareness about taking better care of their health. Adding more minerals and vitamin into your diet are key to supporting your immune system. Essential nutrients increase absorption into the body that actively protect you from viruses, bacterial infections, colds or flus.

Part of our vulnerability is the high consumption of sugar and processed foods that aggressively pulls out the nutrient value from the liver or digestive system. It destroys the healthy absorption of these nutrients to travel to the rest of the body which feeds the cells (the energy centres of the body). The storage of these nutrients allows the liver to maintain homeostasis (balance) of blood glucose (for energy) and for the digestive system to do its natural process of disseminating nutrients and eliminating waste.

Back in the late 60’s or early 70’s organ meats went out of fashion. It could have been from escalating heart disease increasing cholesterol levels, the outbreaks of mad cow disease and in the 80’s to today, the rampant use of hormones and antibiotics in factory farmed animals. More negative press focused on the fact that organs eliminate wast are loaded with toxins therefore becoming harmful to our health.

The reality is organ meats are the most concentrated source of just about every vitamin, mineral, heathy fat, and essential amino acids (proteins).

In the animal kingdom, when animals catch their prey they immediately eat the organs. Our ancestral hunters revered organs as prize catches because of their nutrient dense value (loaded with minerals and vitamins) to nourish themselves and they were considered a food delicacy!

Organ meats include a combination of trace and primary minerals of calcium, magnesium phosphorus, copper, manganese, zinc. selenium, chromium and iodine for digestion to thrive and are the frontline of defense against diseases.  Additionally, vitamins B1, B2, B6, folate, B12 and fat-soluble vitamins such vitamins A, D, E, K  are found in organ meats too.

It’s almost like taking a multi-vitamin!

Organ meats are also loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamin C and high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that are rich in EPA and DHA fatty acids good for healthy skin, hair, lower triglycerides(fats), fights infections, reduces arthritis pain, eczema and most importantly  inflammation the cause of pain, swelling and chronic illness.. EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) improves function i.e. heart, mood balance and reduces inflammation. While DHA (Docosahexanoic Acid) builds structure integrity for the brain (retention/memory), cardio vascular tissues and membranes. 

The heart is a muscle and a delicacy eaten in many cultures. It is loaded with Coenzyme Q10 beneficial for heart function and has an abundance of Vitamin A, B12, folic acid, selenium, phosphorus, copper and zinc. The heart also includes high amounts of collagen and elastin essential for bone, skin, connective tissue, joint health and digestive health.

If you don’t want to eat liver or heart, beef liver supplements are available.

Personally, I’m taking a a supplement loaded with bovine, porcine glands and organs to support my adrenal health whihc is not uncommon for women struggling with fatigue, sleep and stress.

I hope you will consider adding organ meat every now and then (over months) to your meals.

Last week, I made a liver and onions dish for dinner and it was delicious, much sweeter tasting than I remembered. The secret is not to overcook the liver!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut or olive oil, ghee or butter
  • ½ tsp of sea salt
  • 4 to 5 pieces of beef liver (chicken livers are also good too)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley.

Directions: 

  1. Thinly slice the onion into rings. Add the oil, or ghee whichever using and melt in the pan. Add the onion and salt and cook for about 20 minutes until caramelized. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the liver pieces to the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes on each side to a slight pink. Add back the onions to the pan and sauté a bit more grinding some black pepper, salt and any other spices you may desire (i.e. oregano). Place on a place and add the chopped parsley.
  3. Note: Don’t overcook the liver, it will become rubbery and less tasteful. It was delicious with green beans and mashed sweet potatoes (any green veg is great).

Before you eat, spend a few minutes looking at the food with your feet on the ground and back upright against the chair.  Take a few deep breaths and absorb the smells from the onions, liver, beans and visually scan the room to feel a sense of calm and gratitude. Enjoy your meal!

My best in health,

Rani Glick is a certified holistic nutiritionist, mindful eating and mindfulness facilitator. If you are interested in knowing more about mindfulness or mindful eating, contact me at wellness@raniglick.com.

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