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Beef Liver Nutrition, Benefits & How to Prepare
By Jordan Rubin
December 4, 2022
While meat, fish and eggs provide you with high amounts of protein, organ meats including beef liver are unique in terms of their nutrient density. In fact, beef liver has been considered a superfood for much of history, considering it’s packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A and zinc.
While cultures around the world have traditionally benefited from liver, today it’s rare for most people who eat modern, western diets to include organ meats in their meals. This is a real shame, given that beef liver benefits include helping you to feel energized, supporting healthy blood and a healthy metabolism, and supporting detoxification.
If you’re opposed to cooking and eating fresh beef liver, a good alternative is taking dried beef liver supplements — such as Ancient Nutrition’s Grass-Fed Liver capsules, made with beef and sheep liver, which provide more than 100% of your daily needs for B12 plus iron.
Beef liver, also called bovine liver, is a nutrient-rich organ meat that’s derived from cows.
Organs, as well as what’s called “glandulars,” are edible organs and glands of animals that are reasonably close in composition to human organs and glands. Animal glands contain most of the nutrients necessary for supporting healthy human glandular function, much like how eating muscle meat provides protein that helps to build our own muscles.
Because animals store nutrients within their glands/organs, consuming them provides us with a source of valuable nutrients that we must acquire from our diets. Glandulars are also considered adaptogens, meaning they support your body’s ability to adapt to the effects of physical or environmental stress.
How good is beef liver for you? There’s a reason that beef liver nutrition has been valued for centuries and caught the attention of health experts more recently.
Liver is packed with higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than any muscular tissues that we normally eat, such as beef, chicken or turkey. It’s also a good source of fatty acids in addition to essential fat-soluble vitamins, plus protein and enzymes.
Within beef liver, you’ll find:
Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins
Highly-absorbable heme iron, the type the body uses most easily
The active form of vitamin A
Amino acids, the “building blocks of protein”, and polypeptides
Enzymes that help promote a healthy liver
Healthy fatty acids
Nucleic acid (RNA and DNA)
Why is beef liver healthy? Because of its impressive supply of many nutrients, fresh beef liver and beef liver supplements offer the following health benefits:
Supports healthy blood
Supports healthy detoxification
Supports liver health
Supports healthy energy metabolism, endurance and performance
Supports healthy hormones
Supports immune system health
We recommend beef liver for both women and men, since liver contains nutrients that are beneficial for reproductive/hormonal and metabolic functions. For example, beef liver provides iron which many adult women are lacking in their diets, plus zinc which supports a healthy immune system that most all adults can benefit from.
Ancient Nutrition’s Grass-Fed Liver capsules are made with a combination of bovine and ovine (beef and lamb) liver plus plants such as beetroot and spirulina, mushroom and probiotics.
Sourced from grass-fed Argentinian beef and wild, free-roaming Icelandic lambs, this is one of the cleanest liver supplements available. Our capsules contain ingredients that are raised without hormones, antibiotics, additives and pesticides.
You’ll also find beef liver in our Organ Blend capsules, made with grass-fed liver, heart and kidneys and other glands. This combo helps support organ health, cognitive health, immune system health and a healthy metabolism.
Unlike other liver capsules on the market, we use a Patented Six Kingdom Approach when creating our grass-fed liver supplements and organ supplements. This involves combining elements from every biological kingdom in order to create products that provide you with energy and nutrients that are optimized for absorption.
Additionally, our grass-fed liver capsules also provide you with soil-based organism (SBO) probiotics to help reduce occasional constipation, gas and bloating while promoting healthy elimination and healthy digestive function.
The suggested usage for adults is to take 6 capsules daily with water or another beverage. For convenience, you can split up the dosage into three capsules, taken twice per day. Liver supplements can be taken with or without a meal, at whichever time of day you prefer.
You can find fresh beef liver at butcher shops and farmer’s markets. We recommend seeking out grass-fed liver, since this helps ensure that the liver is free of certain additives and potentially also higher in nutrients.
What does beef liver taste like? Most people describe it as tasting “earthy” and slightly sweet. It tends to have a stronger flavor than chicken liver, but you can improve or disguise the taste by combining it with other meat, such as beef or veal, as well as spices.
Try fresh beef liver in this recipe for liver and onions. Other ways to enjoy it include by adding some to meatballs or meatloaf.
While it’s generally safe for most people to eat, there are potential beef liver side effects to be aware of. Given that liver is very high in vitamin A — and that consuming too much vitamin A within a short period can cause complications — you want to eat beef liver in small amounts.
Having 1-3 servings per week of fresh beef liver (about 3 ounces per serving) is a typical recommendation, since this is enough to provide a significant amount of vitamins and minerals. Stick with one serving of liver supplements daily (usually about 3–6 capsules, depending on the brand), though.
As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.
If you take any daily medications, speak with your healthcare provider before beginning to take liver supplements. Some medications may interact with vitamin A, so ask for your healthcare provider's opinion if this is a concern.
Jordan Rubin is one of America’s most recognized and respected natural health experts. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet and 29 additional titles, including his latest work The Probiotic Diet. An eco-entrepreneur, author and lecturer on health and nutrition, Jordan is the co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, where he currently serves as CEO. Jordan is also the founder of Heal the Planet Farm and the Ancient Nutrition Center for Regenerative Agriculture located in southern Missouri and middle Tennessee respectively.