If you’re like most people at the moment, you will have started the New Year off feeling fat, sluggish, unhealthy, and ready to hit the gym with the force of a thousand angry gods. It’s safe to say that many of us overindulged during the holidays, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with that, many of us can now all agree that it’s time to get serious and to take charge of our health. Some of you will be fortunate enough to have only gained a pound or two of fat, so you may not have much work to do, whilst others may be looking for a complete overhaul of their bodies. Whether you’re looking to build muscle and lean down, to burn fat, or to simply eat a little cleaner, you will first need to address your diet before you go any further. In terms of a healthy diet, virtually all experts out there will agree on the fact that offal is hugely beneficial and offers numerous health benefits. If you’re like most people and you’re put off by the thought of eating offal, here’s a look at five reasons why you may wish to re-think your diet and eat more offal in the upcoming year.
Heart is good for the cells
When people think of hearts, generally they do not think of it in terms of food, but rather health. However, animal hearts are actually incredibly good for you, and what’s more, they taste great as well. Heart is often compared with brisket or sirloin steak in terms of taste and texture, but as well as tasting great, heart also has much more to offer. Heart is packed full of B vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, which all have benefits for the body and its various systems, but it is heart’s CoQ10 content that is of interest here. CoQ10 has been proven to be beneficial for our cells, as it strengthens the mitochondria and assists with cellular energy and regeneration properties. As we are made up of billions upon billions of microscopic cells, this just goes to show how beneficial eating heart can be.
Liver is full of nutrients
Whilst many organs that can be considered as offal are healthy and beneficial, liver is by far the most nutrient-rich and many actually considered it to be a super food. Liver is packed full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that the body absolutely thrives upon. For example, liver contains Retinol, also known as vitamin A, which boosts macular health in the eyes, helping to promote healthy vision. Liver is also rich in iron and zinc, which promote healthy circulation levels and immune health respectively. It is also full of other minerals and B vitamins, which not only make it essential for energy production, but also for so many other functions that it would take an age to list them all. Put simply, liver is a nutritional powerhouse that provides so many health benefits that we simply do not have the time to list them all.
Offal is rich in protein
If you’re looking to make some serious muscle gains in the New Year, of course you will be following a high protein diet. Rather than consuming chicken breast, eggs, canned tuna, and steamed cod several times per day however, to meet your protein macros, why not eat offal instead? Offal, which includes liver, heart, kidney, tongue, spleen, and even brain, is packed full of protein and amino acids, which makes it absolutely perfect for people looking to build muscle. Protein is vital for building muscle as it is responsible for protein synthesis, which means that it not only helps the body to repair muscle fibres which have been damaged whilst you train, it also helps to create new ones in the process. Many sources of offal contain just as much protein, if not more, as other bodybuilding staples including chicken, eggs, turkey, fish, and red meat.
Offal is often enriched with omega 3 fatty acids
Now, before you head out and stock up on offal to meet your omega 3 requirements, you should first ensure that your offal is of top quality and comes from a healthy animal. If the animal has been fed well, its diet will often include omega 3s, which means that it will be taking more in, so it too will become omega 3 enriched. Offal from grass-fed animals is generally the richest in fatty acids, so ideally you should opt for that. Omega 3 fatty acids are very beneficial for the brain, they strengthen the heart, they lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels, they boost the metabolism, they provide anti-inflammatory properties, and plenty more on top of all of that. Kidney in particular, is often packed full of omega 3s, as grass-fed kidney will contain a good quantity of healthy fats.
Offal tastes great
Finally, as if all of the aforementioned health properties were not quite enough to convince you to eat more offal, how about the fact that it tastes great as well? If prepared correctly, offal is not just an ‘okay’ food source, it can actually taste divine. Lightly fried liver and onions for example, is a dish fit for royalty, and it is very good for you. Throw in a baked sweet potato and some green veggies and you have yourself an incredibly healthy and nutritionally balanced meal that will help you to build muscle, lose fat, and improve your health, whilst tasting great. In reality there are all kinds of healthy and delicious offal recipes out there for you to choose from, so take a look and see what catches your eye.