, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed that beef liver – a must-have for many people on the first day of Bakra Eid – had ‘magical’ healing properties. They were clearly on to something, because beef liver, in addition to being a treat for your taste buds, contains a host of nutrients that provide several health benefits.

Promotes growth and healing. Beef liver should be a grocery list essential if you have children between the ages of seven and 15; it is loaded with protein, essential for healthy muscular growth and for healing wounds. Furthermore, the presence of iron prevents anaemia, which can result in palpitations, chronic fatigue and dizziness.

Ensures a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B found in beef liver helps prevent neural disorders – such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia – caused by nerve degeneration, as well as delaying the onset of age-related cognitive decline.

Protects against cancer. Beef liver is one of those rare meats that contain above average levels of copper. Given that recent research has shown that copper deficiency is one of the lesser-known causes of cancer (copper regulates enzymes that increase antioxidant activity in the body) weekly consumption is recommended by physicians, particularly for people with a family history of cancer.

Improves eyesight. Beef liver is often recommended by ophthalmologists to people suffering from severe eye infections, as well as those with a genetic history of night blindness and ocular cancer, due to the high levels of vitamin A it contains. Regular intake helps improve short- and long-sightedness.

A word of caution: Despite its many health benefits, avoid the daily consumption of beef liver; excessive amounts of vitamin A and copper can cause blood toxicity.

– Saba Gul Hasan
The writer is a dietician.

First published in the HEALTH ADVERTISER Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on September 13, 2015.