Animal organ meat, including the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, and abdominal organs, are known as offal. This broad term also incorporates the tail, feet, brain, tripe, and tongue. Many people choose not to eat these parts of the animal, but some countries use these extras in their most popular cultural dishes. Offal is the basis of Scotland’s haggis, France’s pâté, Mexico’s menudo, and the chitterlings of the UK and the southern United States. In addition to taste, the health benefits of offal make it a great addition to your diet.
Low in Fat and High in Protein
Protein is essential to cellular growth and repair. It forms the basis of our bodies’ bones, muscles, skin, and blood. Consuming lean protein is the best way to fortify our bodies to run efficiently. Many types of offal are very lean compared to the other parts of the animal, and they are rich in protein. One serving of kindey provides as much protein as a steak. Beef heart is equivalent to white meat chicken in calories and protein. Liver has 20 grams of protein per portion. Offal is low in fat and relatively low-cost, making it a great protein option.
Rich in B-Complex Vitamins
Much offal is high in B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, B12, niacin, and thiamine, all of which are lnked to heart health. Beef liver has 50 times more B12 than steak. B-complex vitamins protect against heart disease and aid in lowering blood presure and cholesterol. They also benefit brain health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and improving memory, can prevent infections, and aid in the growth, maintenence, and repair of cells.
Contains the Coenzyme Q10
Certain types of offal, such as liver and heart meat, are great sources of the coenzyme Q10. This coenzyme acts as an antioxidant, halting the oxidation process that leads to cell damage. Consuming antioxidants can reduce your risk of disease and slow the effects of aging. Higher instances of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have been found in people with lower levels of Q10. Coenzyme Q10 may also boost energy levels throughout the day.
High Levels of Vitamin A
Liver ranks as one of the greatest sources of Vitamin A. This vitamin packs a punch, working as an antioxidant to reduce the risk of disease and slow the aging process, and protecting the cornea, helping to improve or maintain vision. Research shows vitamin A is linked to a lower risk of macular degeneration. It also fights against inflammation and helps keep skin firm and youthful.
Contains Trace Minerals
Offal is a great choice of protein for its abundance of trace minerals. Many types of offal contain copper, chromium, and zinc. The body uses copper to form collagen, an important protein in various connective tissues. Collagen can help reduce joint pain, slow the aging process, and help build muscle. The mineral is also needed for the absorption of iron. Zinc aids the immune system, treating colds and various infections. Research shows zinc also supports cardiovascular and liver health, and fertility.
Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Organ meats contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. While it is important to watch your dietary fat intake, omega-3 fatty acids are loaded with health benefits. They promote healthy vision, as DHA is a major component of the retina and a lack can contribute to eye problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly powerful when it comes to heart health, reducing triglycerides and blood pressure while increasing the good cholesterol in your body.
Great Source of Iron
Offal such as heart, kidneys, liver, and tongue are chock-full of iron. Iron helps form the basis of hemoglobin and aids in transporting blood throughout the body. A lack of iron in your body can lead to anemia, causing fatigue, dizziness, cramps, trouble breathing, and insomnia. Iron supports brain health by ensuring sufficient oxygen is transported to the brain, improving memory recall and concentration. It also aids muscle elasticity, the immune system, and metabolic functions.
High in Vitamin D
Liver, tripe, and kidney have some of the highest concentrations of vitamin D of any foods available. While humans get much of their required vitamin D from exposure to the sun, diet provides a good alternative or addition. Vitamin D is crucial to maintaining healthy bones, and it aids in the absorption of calcium; a vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis. A healthy level of vitamin D also reduces the risk of cancer, flu, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Of all meats, offal ranks among the top in calcium content. Calcium is a mineral vital to bone and teeth health. A calcium deficiency can result in muscle aches, heart palpitations, insomnia, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Sufficient consumption of calcium strengthens bones, relieving bodily aches and pains. It also supports the cardiac and nervous systems.
Rich in Vitamin E
Offal is rich in the fat-soluble vitamin E. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant that helps halt the oxidation process that can lead to cell damage. Antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, as well as slowing the aging process. Vitamin E also strengthens hair and helps repair damaged skin.