4 Essential Health Benefits of Eating Animal Organ Meats


Organ meats are among the typical food our ancestors ate. For millenniums, organ meats were not only considered as delicious foods but vitality and energy boosters.

Health Benefits of Eating Animal Organ Meats
Animal Organ Meats May Not Look Nice But They’re Nutritious and Delicious When Cooked

Typical animal organ meats use as foods include the liver, heart, kidney, stomach, and brain. Even today, there are people eating organ meat as part of their diet. For instance, certain cultures do not throw anything but clean, cook, and eat every part of the animal.

Unfortunately, many people, particularly in urban areas, consider organ meat as an unsavory option. Of course, in many Asian countries, it’s a different story as organ meats are part of typical street foods.

Different Types of Organ Meats

Here are the most common types of organ meats. You may have already eaten or tasted at least one of these organ meats.

When properly cooked, they’re delicious, and you won’t even notice you are eating organ meat. However, there are still people these days, especially in remote areas where organ meats are eaten raw.

Among the organ meats eaten raw include liver and kidneys. In today’s conventional way of farming animals, it may not be a good idea to eat organ meats fresh and uncooked.

However, in places where animals are organically and naturally raised, that may not be a problem. The only problem is if you’re not used to it, it is highly likely you won’t be able to eat it raw.

1. Liver

Animal Organ Meat - Grilled Pork Liver
Grilled Pork Liver (Beef & Chicken Liver Can Be Cooked and Prepared Similarly)

Just like any liver including humans, it functions as a filter or detox organ. The liver is a nutritional powerhouse, and you may hear it refer to as nature’s multivitamin.

2. Tongue

Fried Pork Tongue
Fried Pork Tongue (Beef Tongue Can Be Cooked Similarly)

While the is a muscle, it is considered as organ meat. It is tasty and tender as tongue contains mostly of fats.

3. Heart

Chicken Hearts
Chicken Hearts with Basil and Pepper – Can Be Grilled Just Like Beef and Pork Livers

Just like in human and other animals, the heart’s role is to pump blood to the entire body. The first impression, the heart may not be edible. However, it is lean and delicious.

4. Kidneys

Stewed Animal Kidneys
Stewed Kidneys

Mammals have a pair of kidneys with the role of filtering toxins and waste in the blood. When eaten, kidneys are tender and delicious.

5. Tripe

Beef Stomach Soup
Beef Stomach or Tripe Soup (Pork Stomach Is Just as Delicious)

It is the stomach or the lining of the animal stomach. The best-tasting tripe comes from cattle. It has a chewy texture. Hence, it needs more time to cook.

6. Brain

Fried Veal Brain Prepared In Bite Size
Bite Size Fried Veal Brain

It may sound and look disgusting to eat the brains of animals. However, brains are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some cultures consider brains as delicious delicacies.

7. Sweetbreads

Sweetbreads or Animal Glands
Sweetbreads or Animal Glands on Traditional Turkish Offal

It is not your typical bread made from flour or wheat, and they are not sweet tasting. Sweetbreads come from the pancreas and thymus glands.

8. Small and Large Intestines

Lamb and Cow Intestines Barbecue
Cow and Lamb Intestines Braided Barbecue

When properly cleaned, the small and large intestines are delicious. However, thorough cleaning is necessary to eliminate the foul odor.

Once clean, boil in water to pre-cook it, plus it eliminates further odor by adding some spices while boiling. Then, it can be cooked to various recipes or even fry it.

Organ meats are delicious and packed with nutritional content. Perhaps, the most challenging thing in transforming these gross-looking meats into palatable dishes is preparation. With that in mind, most people may need a cookbook for animal organ meat preparation.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organ Meats?

Organ meats are highly nutritious. Although the nutritional profile of each organ meat varies and also depends on which animal it came.

However, the majority of organ meats are highly nutritious containing more nutrients than typical muscle meats.

They are rich in B-vitamins like folate and vitamin B12. Other nutritional contents include various minerals essential for multiple processes in the body like iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium, which is also present in Brazil nuts.

Moreover, they also contain fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Of course; they’re high in protein containing all the nine essential amino acids the body needs for optimal function.

The Health Benefits of Eating Organ Meats

Now that we’ve learned the various nutritional contents of organ meats let us learn the benefits we can reap when consuming it. 

1. Best Natural Source of Iron

The iron present in meats contains heme1, a type of iron that is highly bioavailable2. Hence, our body absorbs the iron from organ meats more efficiently than iron coming from plants.

2. Makes You Feel Full Longer

Studies have shown that eating a diet high in protein increases and prolong fullness sensation. Hence, it is an excellent way to reduce cravings and reduce appetite3 4 leading to less or even eliminate food cravings.

Additionally, eating organ meats can somehow effective in losing weight as it increases metabolic rate5. However, organ meats are best to consume with vegetables as organ meats lack fiber, which may result in constipation.

The dietary fiber contents in vegetables or fruits help prevent constipation.

3. Helps in Maintaining Muscle Mass

Proteins are the basic building blocks of muscles. Since organ meats also contain high proteins, it is beneficial in retaining6 and building lean muscles.

You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to eat organ meats. We need to have lean muscles as this help in increasing the metabolic rate. With a high metabolism, the body becomes a fat-burning machine making it easy to maintain an ideal weight.

4. Source of Choline

Choline is essential for brain health. Even our muscles and liver needs choline. Organ meats are the best sources of choline our body needs.

Other widely eaten food rich choline is egg.

Cholesterol Issues

When it comes to meat consumption, there is always an issue of cholesterol. And, yes, meats indeed have high dietary cholesterol regardless of what type of meat.

However, cholesterol is not bad at all, in fact, the liver itself produces and regulates cholesterol.

Eating meat increases the cholesterol level in the body. One reason cholesterol has been known for its bad reputation because it is linked with clogged arteries and heart disease.

However, many experts today that it is a myth. Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra explain this cholesterol myth in their book.

Final Thoughts

Organ meats are healthy. They are rich sources of vitamins and minerals the body needs, which can be challenging to obtain from other food sources, including plants.

Additionally, eating organ meats not only allows us to reap the health benefits but also reduces food waste. Not to mention, organ meats are a lot cheaper than usual cut meats.

Hence, through the consumption of organ meats, we spend less while reducing food waste and enjoying the high nutritional contents.

As always, I prefer those meats coming from conventionally raised animals. For instance, prefer grass-fed beef. The same is true with other sources, including chickens.


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