The liver is one of those meats that have people on two extremes regarding matters of taste. This organ meat has a distinctive, strong flavour that people either tend to love or hate. Liver is an offal or organ meat (the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal) that is very rich in important vitamins and minerals. Chicken and beef are the most common choices for liver. Though high in cholesterol, the amount of cholesterol consumed in liver has a small impact on cholesterol levels in the blood for most healthy people.
Iron is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of liver. Liver meat provides at least five grams of iron, which is 62 percent of the recommended daily intake for men, and 28 percent for women. Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. A slight deficit in iron causes anaemia while a chronic deficiency may lead to organ failure.
Liver is also a great source of vitamin A, which is necessary for the creation of cells in your eyes that convert light into the nerve impulses that result in vision. It is also essential for the production of mucus that lines the respiratory and digestive tracts to block germs, as well as the protein that forms skin. Liver meat from all sources also provides vitamin B-12 and other significant doses of all the other B vitamins that build amino acids and genetic material, metabolise food into energy and benefit your cardiovascular health.
Liver is stocked in most butcheries and meat sections in supermarkets. Tenderise beef liver by soaking it in buttermilk or a mixture of lemon juice and water for several hours. Cook it with onions, garlic, bacon or aromatic herbs such as thyme and rosemary to counteract its strong flavour. When cooking chicken livers, ensure that you first remove any green parts as they have a bitter taste.
Published in August 2013