Your Guide to the Health Benefits of Organ Meat

Discover the health benefits of organ meat, learn about potential downsides, and find easy ways to incorporate it into your diet!

Your Guide to the Health Benefits of Organ Meat | Real Food RN

Discover the benefits of organ meat, why you may or may not want to include it in your diet, and easy ways to incorporate organ meat into your routine. 

What Is Organ Meat? 

According to Merriam-Webster, organ meat is, “any edible part of a slaughter animal that consists of or forms part of an internal organ (as the liver, kidney, heart, or brain).” 

Simply put, organ meat is the internal organs and other parts of an animal other than the muscle meat. 

Types of Organ Meat

The most common types of organ meat come from cows, pigs, lambs, goats, chickens, and ducks. These include: 

  • Tongue
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Brain
  • Sweetbreads
  • Tripe
  • Testicles
  • Intestines

Is Eating Organ Meat Healthy? 

Yes, not only is it typically budget-friendly, but organ meat is also extremely nutrient-dense. It contains high levels of essential nutrients including various vitamins and minerals, surpassing those found in other meat sources.

Therefore, including organ meats in your diet can help boost your immune system and provide many health benefits, which we get into below. Of course, consult your doctor with any specific questions or concerns. 

Benefits of Organ Meat in Your Diet

The exact amount of vitamins and nutrients in organ meat depends on the specific cut of meat. However, in general, there are many health benefits of organ meat. For instance, organ meat: 

  • Is Rich in Iron – Iron is crucial for our bodies to make hemoglobin, a type of protein that carries oxygen throughout our bodies. 
  • An Excellent Source of B Vitamins – Organ meat is particularly rich in vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 helps break down protein, carbs, and fats in our bodies and supports healthy immune function. Meanwhile, vitamin B12 is crucial to the formation of brain and nerve cells, DNA, and red blood cells. 
  • High in Protein – Admittedly, organ meats are not as rich in protein content as more traditional cuts of meat. However, they do contain a decent amount, which can help build cells and maintain muscle. 
  • A Good Source of Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) – This is an antioxidant that protects the mitochondria and helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • Rich in Minerals – The amounts vary from source to source. However, organ meats in general, are a good source of essential minerals including magnesium, selenium, and zinc. 
  • Contains Fat-Soluble Vitamins – Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K2 are found in organ meats and contribute to various functions within the body, helping it function properly. 
  • Is a Good Source of CoQ10 – This is an antioxidant that our cells use for growth and maintenance

Is It Safe to Consume Organ Meat? 

In general, organ meat is safe to consume in moderation. However, it is often high in cholesterol and saturated fat, meaning it may not be a great option for those with heart disease risk factors. 

In addition, it is recommended that those with gout limit their intake of meat including organs. Meat contains purines, which can worsen gout.

Additional reasons people limit or avoid consuming organ meat include the risk of: 

  • Mad cow disease – This spreads to people if the brains or spinal cords of diseased cattle are consumed. However, the likelihood of getting mad cow disease in the U.S. is low. 
  • Excess vitamin A and iron consumption – Organ meat has large amounts of vitamin A, which can cause birth defects when consumed by pregnant women. In addition, the exorbitant amount of iron can cause problems for those with hemochromatosis
  • Bladder cancer – Studies have shown that frequently eating organ meat may raise the risk of developing bladder cancer. However, the research is not conclusive.

Finally, it is recommended that children consume less organ meat than adults, keeping consumption limited to account for their specific dietary and nutrient needs. 

Ways to Consume Organ Meat

One of my favorite ways to consume organ meat is with capsules. There are many options on the market, but Paleovalley Grass Fed Organ Complex capsules are my favorite! THIS LINK gets you 15% off and can be reused for future purchases.

Made with 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef organs, they’re gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, and free from fillers. Even better, they’re virtually tasteless and easy to take! 

However, you can also reap the benefits of organ meat by including it in your meal prep routine. Some common sources of organ meat include hot dogs, sausages, bone marrow, bone broth, and pork rinds. 

Personally, I like to include it in recipes like:

Common Questions

Which organ meat is best? 

The best organ meat is the one you like most and can easily incorporate into your diet. However, the most common options include beef tongue, heart, beef liver, kidney, and brain. 

Does organ meat build muscle? 

Yes. Organ meat, like all other sources of protein, can help build and maintain muscle when included in a well-rounded diet. 

Does organ meat have omega-3? 

Yes, organ meats are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Grass-fed/grass-finished varieties 

tend to have even more than conventionally raised sources. 

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Your Guide to the Health Benefits of Organ Meat | Real Food RN
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