In the pantheon of foods that make people go “ewwwww!” you can bet that few share the same place in the stratosphere of legend that is occupied by liver. Liver has become such an iconic figure of disgust that it occupies an equally high spot on the list of foods that are fodder for cheap comedy. A movie or TV scene featuring beef liver is highly unlikely to be one that doesn’t produce some sort of comedic effect or one designed to induce a feeling of gross discomfort. Too bad, because while beef liver is definitely not designed to make an appearance on the menu of those trying to keep their cholesterol down, it is most certainly a nutritious choice for just about anyone else.
Beef liver is pack so robustly with vitamin A that the advantage it offers from this perspective is almost enough to cancel out the disadvantage of its high cholesterol. That is hyperbole, of course: do not eat beef liver if you are trying to keep your cholesterol down. On the other hand, if you don’t have any problem with high cholesterol and you have been advised to increase your intake of vitamin A, then beef liver is actually a better choice than a supplement. Just one 81 gram slice of beef liver will provide you with a whopping 420% of the average recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. Adding beef liver to your diet one or twice a week will therefore allow you to enjoy all the health benefits that come with vitamin A such as its value as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are enlisted by the body to fight the good fight against free radicals that want to destroy your body through cancer. The copious amounts of vitamin A that you get by eating beef liver will help fend off cancer as well as offer added protection against heart disease.
If you thought that beef liver affords you far more vitamin A than you even need, then be prepared to lift your jaw up off the floor. That very same 81 gram slice of beef liver that bounces up above the 400% RDA level of vitamin A provides a truly astounding 1122% of vitamin B12. This is the exact same member of the family of B vitamins that many people receive in the form of an injection in order to receive a metabolic boost that provides energy and fights off fatigue.
In comparison to vitamins A and B12, the amount of your daily recommended intake of riboflavin that you can get from a slice of beef liver is almost embarrassingly low. When you realize that those 81 grams of organ meat from the innards of a cow still lifts you up to nearly two-thirds more than the amount that qualifies as 100%, however, things start to look to pretty good. That 2.8 milligrams of riboflavin can work in tandem with its B-complex sibling B12 to give you a nice little kick of energy thanks to increased efficiency of your metabolic processes. That slice of beef liver also allows you to take advantage of riboflavin’s ability to facilitate the production of body tissue that ranges from skin to the connective muscles found beneath.