Throughout human history we’ve eaten organ meats but in recent years they’ve been eaten less and less. Although our ancestors didn’t know it scientifically, organ meats have lots of nutritional benefits.

Below we list the nutritional benefits of some widely available organ meats and also signpost to some tasty recipes for you to try during Organuary. With that in mind, we just wanted to mention that although we signpost to websites, we’re not responsible for the content on those websites.

If you have any specific dietary requirements then you will need to adjust some of the recipes to become more suitable for your way of eating. For example, if you’re following a gluten-free or low-carb diet then you should remove the bread, flour or potato from the recipes that contain them. And if you’re avoiding industrial seed oils then you’ll want to replace them with natural fats such as beef dripping, butter or lard.

Finally, if you’d like to find out about the environmental impact of organ meats feel free to visit our page by clicking here.


Bone Marrow

Although not strictly an organ meat, bone marrow is still generally considered offal. Bone marrow contains protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, collagen and conjugated linoleic acid. This can support joint function, decrease inflammation and promote skin health.


Heart is rich in CoQ10, which is 10 times more potent than vitamin E, making CoQ10 one of the most potent antioxidants available. CoQ10 also helps you synthesise usable cellular energy. Heart is also high in selenium, iron, and zinc. And since the heart is a muscle, it tastes more like steak than other organ meats do. Chicken hearts are probably the mildest option.


Kidney contains many of the nutrients that liver does, as well as high amounts of selenium — an antioxidant mineral required for immune health and sex hormone production. Selenium is also important for kidney function. In other words, eating kidney is good for your kidneys.


Beef liver is the best source of vitamins and minerals. Chicken, lamb and pork liver are good as well but a portion (approximately 100g or 4 ounces) of beef liver can give you almost a week’s worth of preformed vitamin A (immune health) and B12 (cellular energy production.

Liver also has lots of zinc for hormone production, choline for cognitive health, folate for DNA repair, iron for red blood cell production and copper for increasing iron absorption in the gut.

With the high amounts of vitamin A in mind, we recommend not to exceed 150g of beef or lamb’s liver per week. Chicken liver has slightly less vitamin A and so we recommend not to exceed 230g per week. If you’re pregnant you should avoid liver altogether.


Stomach (tripe) isn’t packed with nutrients like liver, but it still contains a decent dose of selenium. Plus, like most entrails, stomach is very high in collagen protein. Collagen is rich in rare amino acids (glycine and proline) that support skin health, hair health, wound healing, and stable blood sugar.


Sweetbread refers to the thymus or gullet (esophagus), of an animal. Typically sweetbread is calf, lamb, cow, or pig gullet. Sweetbread contains B12 and selenium, but it’s not quite as much a nutrition powerhouse like liver.


Oxtails, pig tails and bison tails are not internal organs, but they’re still considered offal. They’re gelatinous cuts that are rich in beneficial collagen protein and are perfect for stews or broths.


Tongue has a similar micronutrient profile to other meats — high in iron and zinc — but it’s especially high in fat. The high fat content not only makes tongue tender, but also a great option for healthy high-fat diets.

Hopefully this summary has given you an idea of how nutrient-dense organ meats are and how helpful they can be for health. If you haven’t already, be sure to take the Organuary pledge by subscribing your email by clicking here.