Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Newest "Forgotten" Superfood

Superfoods aren't all Grown on Trees
Way to Die Young #5: Eat Only Ground Beef

When most people think of superfoods they think about an exotic fruit tucked away in some far distant jungle.  A more brilliant color or foreign appearance means greater perceived health benefits. Food manufacturers have recently capitalized on this trend by adding “super foods” such as goji or acai berry to their products while marketing them as health foods.

But this new superfood I speak of isn’t plucked from a tree or unearthed by any native hands. This superfood is animal based. Offal, more commonly known as organ meat is the granddaddy of all super foods. People don’t realize the tremendous health benefits of these types of meat. Someone practicing a carnivorous diet could obtain a good amount of all their essential vitamins and minerals by supplementing organ meat on a daily basis.

Notice the table on the left comparing two parts of the cow. The liver provides much more nutrition per serving than the steak. Many people struggle to fulfill their daily mineral intake. A small serving of liver once a day could help you add additional minerals and lean protein to your diet. While liver is high in cholesterol, it has recently been proven that dietary cholesterol does not contribute to overall cholesterol levels.

Another exciting piece of offal is brain. Brain is quite taboo but offers one great advantage over other traditional cuts of meat- its rich abundance of omega 3 fatty acids. These are the same types of fats found in wild salmon and walnuts that the majority of Americans are lacking in their diet. These fatty acids improve brain and skin function.

Some people might be hesitant to eat these cuts of meat due to social stigmas and conditioning but, the truth is they are the most nutritious part of the animal. This might explain why the first thing a predator in the wild will eat is the prey’s vital organs. Why waste a perfectly good piece of meat?

Many offals are best stewed, slow cooked or braised due to the amount of connective tissue they contain. But this tissue also offers another benefit- collagen and elastin for great skin into old age.

Other benefits include generous amounts of CoQ10, an enzyme that helps cognitive ability, reduces oxidation, repairs gum tissue, increases energy, possibly  prevents Parkinson’s disease and even increases lifespan.

While eating offal remains a stigma in the western world, other parts of the world consume it for the unique taste and benefits. Be sure to buy your offal from a butcher you know and trust or a reputable grocer chain.

5 comments:

  1. I agree with most of the post, but have to quibble with one thing: Co-enzyme Q10 is in fact synthesized by the human body, however there are real benefits to getting it from organ meats.

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  2. Andrea, you are in fact correct. The body can synthesize co-Q10, but this process is limited by many peoples diets and lifestyles. I have edited the article to correct this. Thanks!

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  3. Your body can synthesize but at a certain age (mid 40s) it declines. Also if you are on statin drugs they will deplete your coq10 stores.

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  4. Your body can synthesize but at a certain age (mid 40s) it declines. Also if you are on statin drugs they will deplete your coq10 stores.

    ReplyDelete