The Benefits of Eating Grass Fed Organ Meats

Many organ meats offer denser source of nutrition than muscle meat. Liver is not a source of toxic metals, as is mistakenly believed, but kidneys should be avoided. Learn why!

It seems like the culinary world is finally embracing what we’ve known all along: offal, or organ meats offer a whole new range of delicious tastes and textures. And when you indulge in grass fed beef tongue, heart, liver, brain, sweetbreads, and tripe you open yourself up to powerful health benefits.

For instance, there are 20 grams of protein, 4.1 grams of calcium, 4.4 grams of iron, and 14.3 grams of magnesium in just one serving of beef liver! Liver is so nutrient dense you should try eating it on at least a weekly basis! I like to add liver to chili.

You want to make sure you eat grass fed organ meats. Grass fed meat and organ meats are far more nutrient dense than conventionally raised meats and organ meats. Organic grass fed meat will have less inflammatory omega-6’s and more anti-inflammatory omega-3’s, while GMO grain fed beef is just the opposite — they cause inflammation because they contain more omega-6 fats and fewer omega-3’s. They also contain more toxic metals.

Conventional meats are, in fact, chemically different from organic grass fed meats. That is why another benefit of grass fed meats is that they will have less toxins and chemicals!

Are you convinced to make the switch to grass fed meats yet? Great!

Do organ meats have metals?

There are a lot of myths out there that one should avoid liver because it is the filter of the body and thus contains toxic metals. Sound logical, but lacks an understanding of how the liver actually functions. Liver is perfectly safe and healthy to eat.

Liver contains a lot of metallothionieis and they bind to metals. When a liver dies, it dumps metallothioneins and the metals attached to them into the blood stream. Thus, liver no longer contains metals when you consume it.

I recommend avoiding chicken or goose liver, the main ingredient in pates. Poultry livers bioconcentrate arsenic and should be avoided. I successfully became arsenic toxic by eating goose liver pate thinking I was eating a nutrient dense food.

Try these organ meats

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you reap the benefits of grass fed organ meats. Here are some of my favorites…

1. Tongue

Beef tongue is not only flavorful and really shines in soups, but it packs high levels of iron, zinc, potassium, choline, and vitamin B-12. Beef tongue is also one of the most versatile meats — It can be grilled, used as taco meat, layered in a sandwich, or mixed into soups.

Big Benefits:

  • High in iron, zinc, potassium, choline, vitamin B-12
  • Complete protein
  • Boosts immune system

2. Heart

grasslandbeef_heartYou can prepare beef heart similarly to a steak, add it to stew, make it into a burger, or even grill it up as a shish kabob.

Beef heart has the equivalent amount of protein and calories to white-meat chicken—which is roughly 95 calories and 15 grams of protein and boasts a high amount of vitamin B-12 and iron. Beef heart is also cost-efficient too as its ticket price is half the cost of beef chuck roast.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein, vitamin B-12, and iron
  • Very cost-efficient

3. Liver

grasslandbeef_liverAs the most consumed organ meat in the US, liver proves to be one of the most concentrated, natural sources of vitamin A.

Beef liver is additionally a great source in iron, copper, folate, cholesterol, and offers an “anti-fatigue” element when consumed as well—making it a favorite meal among athletes.

You can create a beef liver pate, turn it into meatballs, or stick with the traditional liver and onions!

Big Benefits:

  • Very high in vitamin A (retinol)
  • Perfect ratio of copper, zinc and iron
  • Keeps you alert and energized

4. Brain

Beef brain is brain food! It comes with a punch of protein and healthy fat (Omega-3 fatty acids to be exact).

This protein also helps to maintain healthy muscles and a properly functioning immune system. It is also rich in copper and selenium; this means more energy and more help for your immune system.

Beef brain can easily be fried, used in curry dishes or with scrambled eggs!

Big Benefits:

  • Loaded with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Maintains healthy muscles and immune system

5. Kidneys

I don’t recommend eating kidneys because they contain very high amounts of arsenic.

6. Sweetbreads

grasslandbeef_sweetbreadsSweetbreads are harvested from cows and consist of both the pancreas and gullet of the animal.

Sweetbreads provides all the amino acids you need to repair your body tissues, and it boasts 25 grams of protein per four ounces.

Grill these delicious morsels on skewers, fry them up Southern style, or pair them with bacon.

Big Benefits:

  • packed with amino acids and protein
  • Repairs body tissues

grasslandbeef_tripe7. Tripe

Although tripe requires at least 12 hours of slow cooking time for most dishes, it’s low in calories (about 80 calories per serving), high in protein, and low in fat.

Mineral-wise it offers rich amounts of selenium, B-12, and zinc.

Tripe adds an amazing texture to stews and soups, easily soaking up the flavors of the broth it’s cooked it.

Big Benefits:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein
  • Minimal amounts of fat
  • Rich in selenium, B-12, and zinc

in Articles/Diet/Modern Paleo/Nutrition

Wendy Myers, FDN, CHHC, is a functional diagnostic nutritionist, certified holistic health coach and founder of Live to 110. Her passions include getting you healthy, Modern Paleo, retoxing and detoxing. Discover her Mineral Power Program and enjoy freedom from fatigue and brain fog with metal detox.