The liver is not a popular part of a chicken in modern western cuisines. However, in many parts of the world, chicken livers are not thrown away or solely recycled into pet’s food, but also consumed as a part of human diet. The assumption that chicken liver wouldn’t make a good cooking ingredient comes from the appearance that can discourage some people. A chicken liver is not exactly a pretty sight, especially when still raw.
In addition, chicken liver is also quite high in cholesterol content, that makes people believe that eating it will give detrimental effects to health.
However, chicken livers also contain a lot of important nutrients that are good for our health. As long as you consume the liver in moderation, it should not pose any threat to your health. The addition of chicken livers to your diet can even improve your health.
A serving of cooked chicken livers of one ounce contains around 45 calories, which is pretty small. It only has 1 gram of fat, no carbohydrates, and 15 milligrams of sodium. Meanwhile, the protein content is as high as 7 grams. A chicken liver also contains omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin C, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, niacin, iron, selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
It’s just unfortunate that the same serving will give you 180 milligrams cholesterol, nearly 60% of your daily recommended intake of cholesterol. However, as long as you don’t take other sources of cholesterols in your diet, it’s worth eating cooked chicken liver. Additionally, it’s best to not use oil or even butter to fry chicken liver because it will increase the number of calories and fats.
Not convinced enough about the benefits of eating chicken livers? Here are 15 of the most impressive things a chicken liver can do to your body.
1. Promotes Healthy Vision
Chicken liver is a good food to improve your vision because of its richness in vitamin A. A 1-ounce serving of chicken livers contains around 75% of what a human needs each day in a regular diet. vitamin A is very important to promote healthy vision as it protects eye’s surface or cornea. Since vitamin A is also a part of antioxidant compound groups, it also plays an important role to protect eyes against viruses and bacteria. In the end, this reduces the risks of eye infections.
The vitamin A in chicken liver is called retinol, which is the type of vitamin A derived from animal products. This type of vitamin A can directly be used by your body, without having to be converted into another nutrient first.
When combined with other vitamins that are also a part of the antioxidant group, such as vitamin C, retinol will reduce the risk of vision loss as a result of macular degeneration disease.
2. Fights Wrinkles
Vitamin A is one of the best aging fighters that does wonder to your skin. Many over the counter lotions and prescription night creams contain vitamin A in their ingredient list. Vitamin A promotes smoothness, eliminates dark spots, and more importantly, prevents and reduces wrinkles.
By consuming chicken livers that supply yourself with enough vitamin A, your youthful look will be preserved.
3. A Good Source of Vitamin B12
Besides vitamin A, a high amount of vitamin B12 is also present in chicken liver. In fact, a single serving of 1-ounce of chicken liver alone will give you around 79% percent of the daily recommended vitamin B-12 intake. This vitamin is very vital for the development of your blood cells. Providing your body with the necessary intake of vitamin B12 will aid promote healthy production of red blood cells which will help the treatment of anemia.
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A deficiency in vitamin B12 will cause your body to suffer from various ailments aside from anemia, such as vision problems, low sperm count, loss of appetite, weakness, fatigue, and constipation. Because of this, it’s very important to get sufficient vitamin B12 intake, including by getting the vitamin from chicken livers which are a very good source for that.
4. Supplies Folate
The naturally occurring folate is still the best source of folate, whereas the synthetic folic acid is added to prevent and treat the low folate levels in blood or folate deficiency.
Folate deficiency is a serious ailment. The complications of this malnutrition may include anemia, or also sometimes called “tired blood,” and the difficulty of nutrient-absorption in the bowel. Other diseases caused by folate deficiency include kidney disease, liver diseases, alcoholism, and ulcerative colitis.
Because of this, you need to give your body a sufficient amount of folate every day. Eating chicken livers will help you achieve this. A single serving of 1-ounce of chicken liver gives you around 60% of the folate needed by your body every day, based on the 2.000-calorie intake diet.
5. Prevents and Treats Anemia
Because chicken liver is rich in vitamin B12 andiron, it becomes a good weapon to fight anemia. Anemia happens when the hemoglobin level in your red blood cells decrease. Without sufficient level of hemoglobin, your blood won’t be able to transport oxygen to all your tissues.
Most anemia cases are caused by iron deficiency. This is because iron is required by your body to make hemoglobin. Chicken liver contains 13,4 mg of iron for a 2,5-ounce serving. The iron content is even higher than that of a beef liver in the same serving size.
6. Promotes Healthy Body Tissues
The chicken liver also contains a high amount of vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin. Riboflavin is another micronutrient that is needed by our body for normal body tissues growth, development, and repair.
The lack of riboflavin causes some abnormal tissue growth and the inability of our body tissues to repair itself quickly. If you ever feel soreness around your lips and tongue or discover that your skin cracks or peels by itself, it’s very likely that you suffer from vitamin B2 deficiency.
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To overcome this, consume a lot of foods loaded with vitamin B12 like chicken liver.
7. Promotes Fertility and Improves Sex Drive
Some of the main drives of human’s existence is relationships and family building. Despite the shift of family value in the modern world, many partners who decide to be together still believe that having offsprings and raising a happy family are the main purposes of their relationships. Unfortunately, our modern foods and lifestyle pose some harm to our fertility. Infertility has become a problem that haunts many couples.
To solve this problem, one of the most effective ways is by consuming sufficient amount of folate. Because folate is naturally found in chicken livers, it’s a good idea for women who plan to get pregnant to eat this food regularly. A single serving of chicken liver contains 560 mcg of folate. Thus, it promotes women’s fertility.
Chicken livers also contain pantothenic acid which is a huge benefit for our body’s adrenal system. When our adrenal system works properly, our hormonal production will also be supported, including the hormone of testosterones. The high testosterone level in men is related to fertility. In addition, men with a high level of testosterones will have a higher sex drive and an improved sex performance.
8. Eases Stress
Our hectic modern life also puts a lot of us under constant stress. School, work, relationship problems, and living cost can be the causes of chronic moderate to severe stress. Stress is not only a mental problem as it also directly affects our physical well-being. Prolonged stress can lead to high blood pressure, depression. weak immune system, cardiovascular problems, stroke, and even death.
Our cortisol hormones, or stress hormones, are responsible for those risks. The stressful environment stimulates the production of cortisol hormones. However, if our adrenal gland works properly, the system will also release other hormones to relieve the stress. Chicken liver contains substances that are able to support the adrenal glands.
Liver is rich in folate which will help you get some good night sleep after a stressful day. A sound, peaceful sleep will stimulate the work of adrenal glands to produce more relaxing hormones. Your body will then get its time to relax and repair its cells and organs.
In addition, chicken liver also contains pantothenic acids that can help your body to fight stress by supporting the function of adrenal glands.
9. Boosts Energy Level
Besides carbs and fat, protein is also a macronutrient needed by your body, meaning that you have to consume a relatively large amount of the nutrient every day. This is because protein is an important cell’s component. Your body won’t be able to repair its tissues without enough protein.
Protein is also an energy source along with carbohydrate and fat. In fact, the currently trending diet is a diet high in protein, low in carbs. This type of diet allows people to consume calories that can be directly metabolized into energy and not stored in the body.
It’s also considered as one of the best diets to improve muscle mass and promotes satiety.
10. Boosts Immune System
The iron in chicken livers, besides being a good nutrient for anemia prevention, also contributes to the health of your immune system. The mineral is involved in many actions of the immune response.
When a suspicious foreign organism like virus or bacteria enters your body, iron will be involved in the complex mechanism of defending your body and destroying the organism at the same time.
11. Promotes Healthy Teeth and Bones
Strong bones and teeth are necessary to function normally in life. Without strong bones, we won’t be able to perform our daily activities. Without strong teeth, the foods that we eat won’t be properly processed and it may affect the nutrition breakdown and absorption. Therefore, it’s important to have strong organs, including teeth and bones.
A chicken liver may improve the health of your teeth and bones as it has a high amount of phosphorus content. A single 1-ounce serving will fulfill more than 40% of your daily recommended phosphorus intake. It also works for children. A diet consisting of chicken livers along with other healthy foods will accelerate and support the growth of bones and teeth in children.
12. Maintains Healthy Nails and Hair
Our hair and nails are made of similar structure. They also need similar nutrients to grow properly. Among the nutrients needed, protein is probably the most important. The strength and growth of your nails and hair depend on how well you supply yourself with the necessary protein.
Chicken liver contains a large concentration of protein. A single serving of the liver will give your body 52% of its daily recommended intake of protein.
13. Prevents Memory Loss Due to Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is a disease that is common among the elderly. The memory loss and impaired cognitive ability make people who suffer from it fail to perform normal daily tasks. Dementia or the loss of memory is one of the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The memory loss can be prevented by taking enough vitamin B12, which will boost brain’s health and functions.
Chicken liver contains a lot of vitamin B12, so cooking the livers and eating them regularly can be an effective preventive method for people who are at risk from memory loss problems, like the elderly. The vitamin also boosts overall mental health, not just memory, and other cognitive functions.
14. Provides The Necessary Nutrients for Pregnancy
Expecting mothers need a higher amount of folate or vitamin B-9 than other women. During pregnancy, folate ensures the healthy development of the baby and prevents abnormal development. A 1-ounce serving of chicken liver contains at least 70% of the daily recommended folate intake for pregnant mothers.
This will ensure the well-being of the fetus’ health. However, it’s not wise to have an excessive consumption of chicken liver. Besides folate, chicken livers are also high in vitamin A. Several studies suggest that pregnant mothers should not consume too much vitamin A because it may cause birth defects to the baby.
15. Boosts Thyroid Gland’s Health
Chicken liver contains selenium which is vital to support the work of thyroid hormones and regulation of the endocrine system. Lack of selenium is a form of nutrient deficiency which is commonly overlooked by people. This is an unfortunate condition because your thyroid gland is one of the critical components that support your overall health.
When it doesn’t function properly, you are at risk from some thyroid disorders. One of the most common thyroid disorders is hypothyroidism and the most common type of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s disease.
It is an autoimmune condition where your body immune system attacks your thyroid gland. As a result, the thyroid gland will suffer from inflammation and unable to produce the necessary amount of thyroid hormones.
People associate hypothyroidism with the lack of vitamin D intake, excess iodine, stress, and gut health. However, not many people understand that selenium also plays an important role in keeping their thyroid glands functioning. Chicken liver contains this nutritional factor that will help the production of your thyroid hormones.
As a result, your body will be able to fight toxins and stay fit.
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