Organ meats are very good for anyone but particularly for those who are living the paleo and autoimmune protocol (AIP) diets. Many people even in the Paleo and AIP movement still don’t fully appreciate what organ meats have to offer so hopefully we can motivate you to explore. It has been recommended to eat organ meat between 2-3 times weekly. So what are some examples of these foods, how are they prepared, and what are the nutritional benefits? Here are a few:
- Beef Tongue: It may be an odd idea to eat tongue, but really, what’s in a name?! If your Paleo/AIP mind can just get passed the name you’ll find that bee…we’ll call it BT, really is quite tasty and good for you. About 70% of its calories come from fat which makes it one of the tenderest cuts of beef available and it tastes quite delicious. It is really simple to cook and is a good place to start for anyone starting to eat organ meats. It is loaded with iron, choline, vitamin B12, zinc, and other trace minerals.
- Heart: This brisket tasting organ meat is much leaner than BT so before preparing your tasty Paleo/AIP meal you may want to do a bit more research. An easy way to get started is to grind the heart up and add it to some ground beef for something like a paleo salad. Like BT, heart is a good source of iron, zinc and B vitamins but it also has high levels of selenium and CoQ10. In fact, heart is the best CoQ10 source out there…CoQ10 is imperative for oxidative stress prevention and energy production.
- Kidney: It is essential that if you are going to consume kidney or liver that you get them at minimum grass-fed and grass-finished if possible. Kidneys and livers are a direct reflection of the life of the animal…if they weren’t fed the best food and were exposed to any kind of toxins then you may taste the byproduct. This is why you must get them from the purest source. Look for kidneys that have a natural layer of fat around them rather than buying the diced up version. Be sure you do your research on the recipe you prefer because this is a much more sensitive organ to prepare. Though it has its flaws the kidney is an outstanding source of vitamin B12, selenium, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. From one 3-ounce serving of kidney meat you receive an average of 30% of your daily requirement of iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
- Liver: Maybe grandpa was on to something with his staple liver and onions meal? Did he know that it is the most important organ meat? Did he know that it contain retinol, pre-formed vitamin A and is great for those with skin issues? Was grandpa Paleo? AIP? Either way grandpa was right! Liver seems to score higher than any other organ meat or meat for that matter. Large amounts of choline, folate, and vitamin B12 are found in liver. Liver has three times the amount of vitamin B12 as kidney, seven times as much as heart, and seventeen times as much as BT! You may have to get creative in your preparation of this organ meat but the benefits will prove it is worth it…try giving grandpa a call! J
We hope you can let down your guard toward these truly amazing paleo and AIP food options to better your health!