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- Nutrivore Score for Beef Kidney – 2543
- Beef Kidney Nutrition Facts
- Health Benefits of Beef Kidney Nutrients
- Beef Kidney Nutrition Varies With Cooking And Source
- Beef Kidney Provides 1146% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Beef Kidney Provides 299% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
- Beef Kidney Provides 256% DV Selenium
- Beef Kidney Provides 218% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Beef Kidney Provides 5.1 mg of CoQ10
- Beef Kidney Provides 79% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Beef Kidney Provides 58% DV Choline
- Beef Kidney Provides 50% DV Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Beef Kidney Provides 47% DV Vitamin A
- Beef Kidney Provides 47% DV Copper
- Beef Kidney Provides 39% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Beef Kidney Provides 17.4 g of Protein
- Beef Kidney Provides 30% DV Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
- Beef Kidney Provides 26% DV Iron
- Beef Kidney Provides 25% DV Vitamin B9 (Folate)
- Beef Kidney Provides 21% DV Phosphorus
- How Much Beef Kidney Should We Eat Per Day?
Despite negative associations with eating kidney (no, they do NOT store pee) these organs are in fact hugely nutritious and including them in our diet is a great way to support our own kidney function! Whether they’re added to a traditional steak and kidney pie, sausage, or part of a hearty stew, “urine” for a treat when you introduce this organ meat into your diet. (Hyuck!)
Offal is another term for organ meats (also known as variety meats because there is a variety of different kinds!). The word itself derives from ‘off’ and ‘fall’, literally referring to the parts of the animal that fall off during butchering. Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses. In fact, offal is one of the most concentrated sources of just about every nutrient out there, including important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. (Let’s just say it’s “offally” good for you!). Although organ meat may not be familiar to many of us today, organ meats have been part of the human diet since prehistory. Traditional cultures revered organ meats – they were treated like gold and reserved for the highest echelons of society (exactly who depended on the culture, sometimes it was saved for hunters, other times for pregnant women, sometimes the head of the family or tribe and other times for elders). Hunters and gatherers discard muscle meat in times of plenty and even animals value these meats above all else – in nature predators will often eat the liver of their prey first after a kill. Not only is snout-to-tail consumption good for our health, it’s important for environmental sustainability and the ethical treatment of animals. It means consuming every part of the animal and translates to eating a ratio of organ meat to muscle that’s similar to the animal’s own ratio (roughly one-fifth to one-quarter of the meat we eat with no upper limit). These foods include not just liver, but also blood, bone broth, brain, giblets, heart, lips, tail, tongue, tripe, and kidney to name a few.
In our own bodies we have two kidneys, and their job is to filter waste and toxins out of the blood. Their role is critical; without at least one heathy kidney, we wouldn’t be able to survive on our own (without the help of dialysis). However, contrary to popular myths, kidneys don’t store urine – the bladder does. In fact, kidneys store the nutrients required to perform their job so the best food for kidney health is kidney! This organ meat is popular in many dishes around the world. Often times it is consumed grilled or sauteed or as part of a more complex dish (enter steak and kidney pie!). If you’re looking to begin cooking with organ meats at home, kidney is a good place to start given its wide-spread availability. There are many options to choose from and depending on the animal and source (grass-fed versus conventional), the micronutrient content will vary, though in general kidney tends to be particularly high in vitamin B12 (cobalamin), vitamin B7 (biotin), selenium, copper, and iron. Overall, lamb kidney is the most nutrient dense, followed by beef and pork. When it comes to taste and texture, there is also a difference among animals, so if you aren’t a fan of one type, keep experimenting until you find the perfect fit. Lamb kidney is definitely the mildest and most tender, with a delicate flavor (I consider it gateway kidney). It is the smallest in size, composed of a single, smooth, bean-shaped lobe, and is dark brown in color. Pork kidney is light reddish-brown, and consists of a single, smooth, bean-shaped lobe with a firm texture, while beef kidney is the largest in size. It is dark brown and consists of multiple irregular shaped lobes with a firm texture. In general, pork and beef kidney are tougher, with a stronger taste that works best in slow-cooked dishes. Despite the health benefits, if you still can’t wrap your head around including kidney in your diet, take it one step at a time: try hiding it from yourself, and experiment with different recipes and with organs from different animals. Oftentimes kidney is cheap, so you’ll be doing your wallet and your health a favor if you give it a try and end up liking it an “offal” lot.
Nutrivore Score for Beef Kidney – 2543
Beef kidney has a Nutrivore Score of 2543, making it a super nutrient-dense food! Plus, it is a low-carb food; beef kidney has only 0.3 grams of net carbs per 100 gram serving!
Per serving, beef kidney is a best source (>50% daily value) of choline, coQ10, selenium, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B7 (biotin), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin); is an excellent source (20-50% daily value) of copper, iron, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B9 (folate); and is a good source (10-20% daily value) of taurine, vitamin C, and zinc.
Beef Kidney Nutrition Facts
One serving of beef kidney is standardized to 100 grams (3.5 ounces). When you cook beef kidney, it reduces in volume by approximately 40%: 100 grams of raw beef kidney is roughly equivalent to 63 grams of cooked beef kidney.
|Beef kidney, raw||Nutrivore Score: 2543||Nutrient Density: Super!|
|Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams)||Protein: 17.4 grams||Net Carbohydrates: 0.3 grams|
|Calories: 99||Total Fat: 3.1 grams||Dietary Fiber: 0.0 grams|
|Vitamin A||419.0 μg RAE||47% DV|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||357.0 μg||30% DV|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||2840.0 μg||218% DV|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||8.0 mg||50% DV|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||4.0 mg||79% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||665.0 μg||39% DV|
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin)||89.6 μg||299% DV|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||98.0 μg||25% DV|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||27.5 μg||1146% DV|
|Vitamin C||9.4 mg||10% DV|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||1.1 μg||6% DV|
|Vitamin E||0.2 mg||2% DV|
|Vitamin K||0.0 μg||0% DV|
|Choline||321.6 mg||58% DV|
|Calcium||13.0 mg||1% DV|
|Copper||426.0 μg||47% DV|
|Iron||4.6 mg||26% DV|
|Magnesium||17.0 mg||4% DV|
|Manganese||142.0 μg||6% DV|
|Phosphorus||257.0 mg||21% DV|
|Potassium||262.0 mg||6% DV|
|Selenium||141.0 μg||256% DV|
|Sodium||182.0 mg||8% DV|
|Zinc||1.9 mg||17% DV|
|AMINO ACIDS & PEPTIDES|
Health Benefits of Beef Kidney Nutrients
Beef Kidney Nutrition Varies With Cooking And Source
The Nutrivore Score of kidney is impacted by the method of preparation and the source (country of origin, conventional versus grass-fed etc). For instance, meat from New Zealand is grass-fed which means it has higher levels of nutrients and results in an overall higher Nutrivore Score.
|Beef kidney, cooked, simmered||1658|
|Beef kidney, New Zealand, imported, raw||2603|
|Beef kidney, raw||2543|
Kidney Nutrition Varies With Type
The Nutrivore Score of kidney also varies greatly depending on type (as does the taste)!
|Beef kidney, raw||2543|
|Lamb kidney, raw||34811|
|Pork kidney, raw||1650|
|Veal kidney, raw||22111|
Let’s take a closer look at all of the best and excellent source of nutrients found in a 3.5-ounce serving of beef kidney and see how they benefit our health.
Beef Kidney Provides 1146% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Beef kidney is an extraordinary source of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), providing an astounding 1146% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter production, nervous system health, and folate metabolism. As a result of these roles, vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining brain and nervous system health, and may have a protective effect against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. There’s also some evidence vitamin B12 may be cancer-protective, possibly through supporting folate metabolism (which then assists in repairing DNA damage). Learn more about vitamin B12 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 299% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Beef kidney is also an exceptional source of vitamin B7 (biotin), providing 299% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. Like other B vitamins, it plays an important role in energy metabolism (serving as a coenzyme for five carboxylase enzymes), neurotransmitter production, cellular function, and the function of various organs. Getting enough biotin can help support healthy nail and hair growth. It’s also particularly important during pregnancy, with low intakes increasing the risk of premature delivery and birth defects. There’s even some evidence biotin can benefit diabetics and reduce functional disabilities in people with multiple sclerosis. Learn more about biotin here.
Beef Kidney Provides 256% DV Selenium
Beef kidney is a phenomenal source of selenium, providing 256% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Selenium is a trace mineral needed by all mammals to sustain life. It serves as a component of the non-proteinogenic amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine, and also helps form over two dozen selenoproteins involved in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense, DNA synthesis, and immunity. Observational research suggests selenium could play a protective role against cancer, heart disease, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease, although human trials have generally been lacking or contradictory. There’s also evidence that selenium can play a preventative role in asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, while also reducing mortality in patients with sepsis. Learn more about selenium here.
Beef Kidney Provides 218% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Beef kidney is also rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), providing 218% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Riboflavin (or vitamin B2) is a vitamin that helps form two important coenzymes involved in oxidation-reduction reactions: flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Collectively, these coenzymes are involved in antibody production, energy production, growth and development, skin and hair health, and the metabolism of several other nutrients (vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and iron). Research suggests a role for riboflavin in preventing or treating migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. It also possesses some anti-cancer properties due to its involvement in folate metabolism and MTHFR activity. Learn more about vitamin B2 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 5.1 mg of CoQ10
In addition, beef kidney supplies a significant amount of coQ10, providing 5.1 mg per 3.5 ounce serving!
Ubiquinone is the oxidized form and ubiquinol is the reduced, more bioavailable form of the vitaminlike compound coenzyme Q10 (coQ10). CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant and a cofactor in the electron transport chain for the production of ATP. It may be helpful in treating or preventing heart and blood vessel conditions, diabetes, gum disease, muscular dystrophy, chronic fatigue syndrome, and breast cancer. Sources include beef, pork, mackerel, yellowtail fish, and chicken; it’s also found in smaller amounts in vegetables like broccoli and herbs like parsley.
Beef Kidney Provides 79% DV Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Beef kidney is a wonderful source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), providing 79% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for coenzyme A—which itself is critical for metabolizing many drugs and toxins, as well as forming derivatives (acetyl-CoA and succinyl-CoA) that participate in the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, melatonin, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, steroid hormones, heme, and vitamins A and D. Coenzyme A is also needed in the Krebs cycle, giving pantothenic acid a role in energy metabolism. Research suggests that a pantothenic acid derivative (pantethine) can help improve blood lipid profiles and reduce fatty streak formation and lipid deposition in the arteries, giving it a cardio-protective role. Additional research shows that panthothenic acid can accelerate wound healing, boost cellular production of the important antioxidant glutathione, and possibly help improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn more about vitamin B5 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 58% DV Choline
Beef kidney also provides a significant amount of choline – 58% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Choline is often grouped together with B-complex vitamins, and sometimes referred to as vitamin B4. It plays an essential role in building cell membranes. Choline also serves as the backbone for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is involved in heart health, gut motility (the movement of contents through the digestive tract controlled by the coordinated contraction and relaxation of specialized gut muscle tissue), and muscle movement. Adequate intake during pregnancy can help reduce risk of neural tube defects.
Beef Kidney Provides 50% DV Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Beef kidney is a substantial source of vitamin B3 (niacin), providing 50% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Niacin is a water-soluble B complex vitamin (vitamin B3) that’s needed to produce two very important coenzymes: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). NAD and NADP are needed for over 400 enzymes involved in DNA repair, fatty acid synthesis, antioxidant systems, detoxification, and hormone synthesis, as well as the breakdown of fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol. Niacin has therapeutic potential for cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemia, and may also be protective against cancer and type 1 diabetes. Some research suggests it could benefit health outcomes for patients with HIV or schizophrenia as well. Learn more about niacin here.
Beef Kidney Provides 47% DV Vitamin A
Beef kidney is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing 47% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Vitamin A is actually a group of fat-soluble retinoids with vitamin A activity in the body. This nutrient is essential for a number of physiological functions—particularly vision, reproduction, thyroid health, immunity, and cellular communication. Getting enough vitamin A helps protect against some vision disorders (like night blindness and macular degeneration), supports a healthy menstrual cycle and sperm production, reduces infection risk, and allows for proper growth and development from the fetal years through childhood. Learn more about vitamin A here.
Beef Kidney Provides 47% DV Copper
Beef kidney is also an excellent source of copper, providing 47% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Copper is a trace mineral that’s essential for all living organisms. Copper serves as a component of numerous enzymes and proteins in the body, giving it diverse roles in the growth, development, and maintenance of various organs (including the heart and brain), bone, and connective tissue. Copper is also involved in glucose and cholesterol metabolism, helps regulate gene expression, can scavenge free radicals, and is needed for the production of red blood cells. Learn more about copper here.
Beef Kidney Provides 39% DV Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
This offal is a wonderful source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), providing 39% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is a group of six water-soluble compounds with a similar chemical structure, all of which can be converted into their active form of pyridoxal 5’-phospate (PLP). Over 100 different enzymes require vitamin B6 in order to carry out their various functions in protein metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production, gluconeogenesis, hemoglobin synthesis, the release of glucose from glycogen, and energy metabolism (particularly the production of ATP in the Krebs cycle). Research suggests vitamin B6 may help protect against cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, could reduce the risk of depression among the elderly, and even reduce symptoms of morning sickness and PMS. Learn more about vitamin B6 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 17.4 g of Protein
Beef kidney is an excellent source of protein, containing 17.4 grams per 3.5 ounce serving!
Proteins are the molecules that actually perform most of the various functions of life. In addition to being major structural components of cells and tissues, they have incredibly diverse roles from driving chemical reactions (e.g., enzymes) to signaling (e.g., some types of hormones) to transporting and storing nutrients. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein and amino acids here.
Beef Kidney Provides 30% DV Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Beef kidney is also an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), providing 30% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Thiamin (sometimes spelled thiamine, and also called vitamin B1) is a water-soluble vitamin. In its active form of thiamin pyrophosphate, it serves as a cofactor for a variety of enzymes involved in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism, RNA and DNA production, and generating energy for the Krebs cycle. Research suggests vitamin B1 could help prevent blood sugar and insulin increases in people with disordered glucose metabolism, reduce the risk of cataracts, and improve health and mortality outcomes in patients with sepsis. Because aggressive tumors have high thiamin demands, it’s uncertain whether supplementing with thiamin while having cancer is beneficial due to preventing deficiency, or harmful due to providing more fuel for tumor growth. Insufficient thiamin may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and when chronic, leads to a deficiency disease called beriberi. Learn more about vitamin B1 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 26% DV Iron
Additionally, beef kidney is an excellent source of iron, providing 26% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Iron is a mineral required for the metabolism of all living organisms. It’s needed for the function of numerous iron-dependent proteins involved in electron transport, energy metabolism, oxygen transport and storage, DNA replication and repair, free radical scavenging, and oxidative processes. It plays an important role in reproductive health, gestation, immunity, and central nervous system development. Learn more about iron here.
Beef Kidney Provides 25% DV Vitamin B9 (Folate)
This offal is also a great source of vitamin B9 (folate), providing 25% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Vitamin B9 (folate) is an essential B vitamin that plays roles in blood cell production, the formation of genetic material (including DNA), and cell growth and function. It’s particularly important during pregnancy, when folate demands increase due to the rapid creation of new cells and DNA. Along with helping protect against fetal development problems, folate can support cardiovascular health, potentially protect against certain cancers, and reduce the risk of cognitive and neurological disorders later in life. Learn more about vitamin B9 here.
Beef Kidney Provides 21% DV Phosphorus
Beef kidney is also an excellent source of phosphorus, providing 21% of the daily value per 3.5 ounce serving!
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that makes up about 1% of the total weight of the human body. Along with serving an important structural role for building nucleic acids and cell membranes, phosphorus is involved in numerous biological processes—including acid-base regulation, energy production, cell signaling, and bone mineralization. Excess phosphorus has been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, fractures, and osteoporosis, especially in the context of a low-calcium diet. Learn more about phosphorus here.
How Much Beef Kidney Should We Eat Per Day?
Offal, including organ meat such as beef kidney, is a great source of protein, which is just part of the reason it is considered one of the most nutritionally valuable foods on the planet. In fact, offal is one of the most concentrated sources of just about every nutrient out there, including important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, amino acids, and protein.
Proteins are the molecules that perform most of the various functions of life which is why protein deficiency is detrimental to all of the body’s organs and systems, including impacting function of the brain (especially in infants and young children), immune system, gut barrier, and kidneys. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. Physical signs of protein deficiency include edema (swelling), poor musculature, dull skin, thin and fragile hair, and failure to thrive in infants and children.
The Accepted Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) were established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine using evidence from interventional trials with support of epidemiological evidence that suggest a role in the prevention or increased risk of chronic diseases, and based on ensuring sufficient intake of essential nutrients. The AMDR for protein is 10% to 35% calories from protein.
The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein here.
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