The Health Benefits of Eating Liver

The Health Benefits of Eating Liver

- Revive a Sunnah

In the narration of Bayhaqi, it is reported that the first thing which Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم consumed on Eid ul Adha was the liver of the sacrificial animal.
(Sunan Alkubra 6161)

Eating liver is usually said to have three main health benefits:

-Glowing skin
-Muscle growth

After taking a closer look at the nutrition facts, it seems evident that these three abilities can only represent a fraction of liver’s health benefits.

Therefore, I would like to explain the various benefits of eating liver.

1. Cognitive Function
Choline, which you can find in large amounts in beef liver, can improve cognitive performance, according to studies (Poly et al. 201125).

In contrast, choline deficiency can trigger dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (Zeisel et al. 200926).

In addition to choline, the minerals iron and copper are essential for brain function.

For this reason, copper deficiency can lead to ADHD and autism (Viktorinova et al. 201627; Li et al. 201428).

And most people do not consume enough copper in their diet.

Furthermore, liver is a natural source of iron, the micronutrient that is most commonly deficient in people worldwide – especially in women.

Also, offal contains particularly easily absorbed heme iron, which helps synthesize neurotransmitters and support brain function (Beck et al. 201429).

On top of that, the selenium in liver also supports improved memory function and prevents dementia (Cardoso et al. 201630).

2. Mental Health
According to studies, choline can likewise improve depression, anxiety, and mood disorders (Bjelland et al. 200931).

Besides, liver is an excellent source of folic acid and riboflavin. These are both substances whose consumption may be instrumental in preventing depression (Naghashpour et al. 201132; Bender et al. 201733).

Finally, eating liver is a great way to provide selenium.

With this in mind, a recent study suggests that optimal selenium levels are essential for reducing depressive symptoms and improving mood (Conner et al. 201534).

3. Skin Health
Beef liver is a rare natural source of vitamin A1, which we also know as retinol.

This antioxidant protects skin cells from oxidative stress such as UV rays. Accordingly, it can slow the aging process, promote skin renewal, smooth it, and counteract acne (Park 201535).

Accordingly, recent studies recommend natural foods rich in zinc, vitamin A and E to fight acne (Ozuguz et al. 201436).

These are, of all things, the nutrients found in calf and beef liver.

Moreover, offal such as liver are sources of collagen, which is healthy for skin and hair.

4. Detoxification
If you eat liver, you can confidently kick fructose-laden detox juices, which at best promote a fatty liver, to the curb.

That eating liver is healthy for the liver and detoxifying the body can’t be a coincidence.

Chicken liver, in particular, is full of coenzyme Q10 – a potent natural antioxidant (Hernandez-Camacho et al. 201837).

Moreover, even a tiny piece of beef liver can provide another vital coenzyme’s entire daily requirement, molybdenum.

Since molybdenum helps convert sulfides to sulfates, it helps the body break down and metabolize alcohol, and other toxins, such as drugs.

With this in mind, eating liver helps avoid high levels of sulfites, which can cause adverse health effects (Mendel et al. 200638).

5. Cancer Prevention
In addition to CoQ10, liver also contains antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and selenium, which protect cells from oxidative stress (Rayman 201239).

Therefore, they may scavenge free radicals that enter the body from UV rays, smoking, pollutants, or highly processed vegetable oils (Nishino et al. 200440).

Accordingly, these noble knights protect cells from damage, decreasing their chance of mutating into cancer cells.

And as we all know, prevention is better than cure. And the right natural foods like liver are a cornerstone of this strategy.

6. Immune Function
When it comes to the immune system, we continuously hear about vitamin C, which you can also find in all sorts of liver.

For a good reason, vitamin A deserves more limelight because it has been discovered to be the anti-infection vitamin (Green et al. 192841).

For example, the intestinal wall relies on vitamin A to form or maintain cells (Huang et al. 201842).

Furthermore, this barrier is essential in keeping pathogens away from organs.

Thus, the intestinal wall is better protected from lectins’ attacks such as gluten, breaking it down and causing leaky gut (Sturgeon et al. 201643).

Accordingly, adequate consumption of vitamin A by eating liver helps to ensure intact immune function.

Based on a recent study, vitamin A in the diet also reduces infections and mortality associated with pneumonia, tuberculosis, or malaria (Huang et al. 201844).

7. Muscle Gain
Firstly, liver is a premium protein source, vital for building and maintaining muscle mass.

For example, it can help combat age-related muscle wasting (Lord et al. 200745).

Also, it contains leucine. Since this is the most anabolic essential amino acid, it stimulates muscle growth on a cellular basis.

However, we now know that excessive growth can also harm health (Bremer et al. 201246).

Therefore, it is not purposeful to consume proteins and amino acids in isolated form from dietary supplements.

For this reason, we should return to eating more liver and other offal, as they have a far better balance of nutrients, healthy fats, and leucine than lean meat.

Eating Liver Instead of Pills Is Good for You

What always fascinates me is why people prefer to eat artificial foods.

Liver is the best example of how nature offers us better ways than swallowing 20 different supplements a day.

With this in mind, there has been much debate as to whether synthetic nutrients can provide the same benefits as natural nutrients.

But recently, researchers put an end to this debate.

They declared that whole foods are superior to synthetic supplements, as clinical studies have supported many isolated compounds’ lack of effect.

While natural food synergy increases immunity and bioavailability of nutrients, it reduces infections and chronic diseases (Natarajan et al. 201947).

Accordingly, whole natural foods contain nutrient combinations that we are better able to absorb and process overall.

In short, eating liver is healthy in a holistic way that supplements simply cannot reveal.

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