Organ Meats and Their Nutritional Value

Holistic Nutrition

Experts will tell you that you need to eat kale, berries and sweet potatoes since these are described as the super foods. All the same, did you know that offal is another type of super food, well of sorts. That means that the hearts, brains, tongue and kidneys, are seen as super foods.

You might not like the idea of eating these type of cuts of meats, but they are packed with important vitamins and minerals.

When you are looking out for organ meat, and then look out for where the meat comes from. The health of the animal will affect the quality of the organs. Therefore, look at local farmers that produce grass-fed cattle, as these are the best. The reason why, is that they contain good bacteria that our guts needs, and by eating these type of produced meat then you get the good bacteria in as well.

Different organ meats

The heart

You can hearts pre-cut or whole. More so, you can get hearts from beef, veal, lamb, pork or even chickens. The heart of the animal will contain a good amount of zinc, iron, selenium, and essential B vitamins. In addition, the heart is a good source of coenzyme Q10 that is vital for both balancing energy and protecting your body against oxidative stress.

The liver

Many people do not like liver, mostly based on its texture, which is smooth and tender. On the other hand, it is very nutritional as it contains substantial amounts of retinol, which is a form of vitamin A. It also boasts good amounts of iron, folate, choline, and vitamin B-12. You can find beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken, duck, and goose livers on the market. However, beef liver offers the best nutritional value.

The brain

Not the easiest to find, since brains go bad rather quickly. Still, they are packed with omega-3 fatty acid. Furthermore, brains are very high in cholesterol. In fact, a 4-ounce serving of beef brains offers a gigantic 1,134 percent of your daily-recommended cholesterol intake. Still, you can use the brains from veal, as they have a milder flavor and a subtle texture.

The kidneys

Bean-shaped, the kidneys like that of beef kidneys contain 20 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving. More so, kidneys are also a good of vitamin A and vitamin C, but also iron.


Sweetbreads are the thymus glands of calves or beef, and are seen as a delicacy. They are pinkish-white in color and their size really peaks when a calf is between five and six weeks old. The nutrition of this gland includes a good source of vitamin C, loads of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-12, and pantothenic acid. However, these organ meats have a smooth and tender texture, although some would describe them as mid and even creamy.


The muscular lining of beef stomach is tripe. Tripe can be both smooth or have a honeycomb texture. The texture will depend from which part of the stomach it comes from. Either way, tripe is a good source of selenium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin B-12.


The tongue form beef, veal or lamb is normally eaten. The flavor is dependent on the high amount of gelatin within it. Still, tongue contains good amounts of potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, in addition to it is a source of protein. Tongue is also high in vitamin B12.

Things to think about

Organ meat might not be everyone’s thing, but if you have no problem with eating these type of cuts of meats then you will be adding concentrated vitamins and minerals to your diet.

If, however, the idea of sitting down to a meal and you have to stare at a tongue is not your thing, then you can opt for some lovely fruits and vegs, as well as dairy products. Go for apples, berries like blueberries, broccoli, salmon, nuts, grapes, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, pumpkin, kale, tomatoes, beans and artichokes. All of these are super foods.

The idea is to get your vitamins and minerals in with real, good quality foods instead of opting for supplements. Supplements should be your last option not the first.

Do speak to your dietitian, she or he will be able to create a good and healthy eating plan.