10 Powerful Beef Liver Benefits (Is it the #1 Superfood?)

Evidence based

| 5 min read

10 Powerful Beef Liver Benefits (Is it the #1 Superfood?)

PLEASE NOTE: The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment

Often called “nature’s multivitamin”, beef liver has a strong case as the ultimate superfood. 

Liver is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Cultures across the globe have treasured liver for centuries, and it’s now seeing a resurgence due to its various health benefits. 

Beef liver on the table

This article will answer questions such as, is beef liver healthy? You’ll also learn about 10 benefits of beef liver and the nutrients found within. 

Let’s take a look! 

Why is Beef Liver Good For You?

To put it simply, beef liver is a nutrient powerhouse. 3 ounces worth of beef liver provides the following nutrients:  

The nutrients found in beef liver

These nutrients are highly bioavailable, meaning much of what’s eaten is absorbed and utilized by your body (1, 2).

10 Powerful Beef Liver Benefits

The health benefits of beef liver are widespread. Potential beef liver benefits include:

1. Mineral density

The nutrient profiles of the liver differ depending on the animal, but each is a bioavailable source of selenium, zinc, copper, iron, and other essential minerals (3). 

Beef liver is a rich source of both copper and iron, which are needed for immune function, physical performance, and antioxidant defense (4, 5, 6)

2. Immune system support

The iron, copper, and vitamin A in beef liver make it an ally for your immune system (7, 8, 9). Each of these nutrients can enhance immunity to help you fend off invaders. 

3. Fetal growth

Bovine liver contains nutrients needed for fetal development, like folate, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin A (10, 11, 12). Vitamin A, in particular, is crucial for developing organs, the immune system, and the skeleton (13).

4. Eye health 

One of the beef liver benefits is improved eye health

One of the most overlooked benefits of beef liver is that it may improve eye health. Sounds crazy, right? It’s widely known that vitamin A (also called retinol) is essential for vision (14, 15). 

Ancient cultures such as the Egyptians and Greeks even used animal livers to treat night blindness (16)! 

5. Sexual health

Researchers examined the dietary habits of 189 men between 18 and 22. They found that organ meat intake was associated with 53% higher sperm count and 8% higher motility compared to men who weren’t eating organs (17). Vitamin A is also essential for reproduction (18).

6. Brain function

A teenage girl taking a test at a desk.

Many of the nutrients found in beef liver can support brain health. 

Copper is involved in brain development, and vitamin A is essential for the infant and adult brain (19, 20). Beef liver has even been added to meatballs to improve children’s cognitive function (21).

7. Athletic performance

An experiment placed three groups of rats in a drum of cold water with no choice but to sink or swim. The group with no liver or synthetic vitamins swam for 13.3 minutes. The next group was given synthetic B vitamins and swam for an average of 13.4 minutes. 

The final group of rats was given a ration that contained liver powder. The three rats that consumed liver swam for 63, 83, and 87 minutes before giving up (22)!

8. Energy levels

A man playing with his son.

Although beef heart is a better source, cow liver is an important source of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)(23). CoQ10 is a known antioxidant with many health benefits, such as assisting energy production within your body (24).

9. Anemia & red blood cell count

Due to its nutrient density, beef liver has been used to correct anemia and improve red blood cell counts. 

Two physicians constructed a special diet for patients with pernicious anemia. The diet revolved around iron-rich proteins such as beef liver and an abundance of fruits and vegetables (25). 

All 45 patients “showed a prompt, rapid and distinct remission of their anemia with at least rather marked symptomatic improvement.” This special diet also improved patient red blood cell counts (26).

Another study on Egyptian children examined beef liver’s impact on anemia. A group of children (43% of which were anemic) were fed meatballs that contained liver. After 90 days, the anemia vanished in the group less than six years old and decreased to 12% for those greater than six years old (27). 

10. Skin health

Adequate consumption of vitamin A is needed to grow and maintain hair and skin (28, 29). As an amazing source of vitamin A, beef liver can improve both of these areas! 

Take it from Nikki W., who saw remarkable results with the help of Bone Marrow & Liver

A customer review of Bone Marrow & Liver from Heart & Soil

“How Much Liver Should I Eat?”

One of the benefits of eating beef liver is that, compared to muscle meat, you can eat far less, given how nutrient-dense it is. 

It’s suggested that children eat liver once weekly (30), while adults can include it more frequently. Many adults on an animal-based diet include 0.5-1 ounce of liver daily. This comes out to be about 7 ounces per week.

Check out our article for more details about vitamin A toxicity and the importance of finding balance with this key vitamin. 

Beef Liver: The Hype is Real! 

Treasured for centuries, beef liver is a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Eating beef liver benefits your skin, energy levels, sexual health, and so much more. 

While less popular than it once was, beef liver can be found at local farmers markets or in the frozen section of grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Sprouts. 

Beef Organs from Heart & Soil supplements

If you can’t stomach the taste (or don’t have easy access), Heart & Soil offers a wide range of products (such as Beef Organs) made with grass-fed, grass-finished beef liver from regenerative farms. 

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