Organ meats — particularly beef liver and chicken liver — are not only a great source of protein but are full of essential nutrients such as iron, folate, and B vitamins. Even though beef liver and chicken liver come from different animals, they are very similar to each other.
If you are searching for nutrient-rich food and can afford to spend some time in the kitchen cooking, then beef liver is best for you. On the other hand, if you are willing to dip the nutrient scale lower in favor of shorter cooking times and a lower calorie count, then chicken liver may be the right choice.
Let’s learn more about these healthy, nutrient-dense superfoods.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
About Chicken Liver
Chicken liver is a superfood — from Vitamin A and B to Folate and minerals, it has nutrients that are essential for optimum body function. Adding chicken liver to your diet can help you with weight management as it is full of protein, which is incredibly filling, yet low in calorie count.
Vitamin A is not only crucial for your eyesight, but is also important for proper immune function, cell communication, and reproduction. You will find over 3300 µg of Vitamin A in chicken liver per 100g.
You can find the entire spectrum of B vitamins in the chicken liver — it is like a natural supplement of B-complex. Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of RBCs and DNA while B1, B6, B5, B3, and B2 are important for energy production, healthy brain function, and cell growth.
Folate present in the chicken liver — 588 µg per 100g — is required for building your DNA and correct cell division.
Chicken liver is one of the best naturally occurring sources of iron — 8.99 mg per 100g. Iron is very important for your body. It produces hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen to your body. If your iron levels are low, it becomes hard for you to breathe. Moreover, iron is essential for producing various hormones that help in regulating your body’s functions.
Another mineral that you will find in the chicken liver is Selenium. It is vital for DNA production, thyroid function, reproductive health, and keeping your body safe from free radicals. It also keeps your heart healthy and assists in managing and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
About Beef Liver
Beef liver is another superfood that you should add to your daily meals. It is a great source of protein — 26.3 g per 100 g — and healthy fat.
With 82.5 µg of Vitamin B12 per 100g, eating beef liver is like getting a B12 shot! B12 keeps your nerve cells healthy and keeps you safe from megaloblastic anemia — a condition that drains your energy and makes you weak and tired.
Another vitamin that is hard to find but is abundant in beef liver is Riboflavin, with 3.4 mg per 100g. It is not only important for the growth and development of your cells, but also helps in turning the food you consume into a usable source of energy.
From maintaining your blood vessels and immune system to creating new connective tissue and activating genes, Copper is important for various functions in your body. It is essential for the development of your brain. Beef liver has 14.5 mg Copper per 100g, which gives you 100% of your RDI of Copper.
Another important mineral that beef liver contains is choline, at 415 mg per 100g. It is helpful for mood regulation and cognitive function. It also aids in muscle control and the formation of cell membranes.
If you are looking to add more magnesium to your diet, beef liver is a great way to do so with 22 mg per 100 g. Plant-based foods and the standard American diet don’t contain enough magnesium. A magnesium deficiency leads to chronic issues such as depression, sleep disruption, and insulin resistance.
Beef liver vs Chicken Liver: Which Should I Choose?
Both chicken liver and beef liver are full of essential nutrients that are beneficial for you, so you can’t go wrong with either of them. Chicken liver has a creamy and light texture and a strong taste, though not as strong as beef liver.
Beef liver has a dense texture and rich color that darkens as you cook it. It has a more robust flavor than chicken liver. Chicken liver is easy to cook and stays juicy even if you overcook it slightly. However, beef liver becomes chewy and hard if overcooked.
There is no shortage of delicious recipes that you can try. You make beef liver tacos or go for beef liver stew. However, if you want to keep things simple, you can pan-fry chicken liver and enjoy it right away.
If you are looking to get the most minerals, vitamins, and nutrients in one meal, you should go for the beef liver. However, if you want to manage your weight while keeping your body healthy, go for chicken liver as it is less fatty.
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