If liver is the king of Mother Nature’s Superfood, then kidney is its Queen… Packed full of goodness, this underappreciated meat should be on your plate if you care about optimal health.
Our Body’s Filter
Our kidneys are a wondrous feat of mechanics, performing important bodily duties in a magical display, centre stage in our renal system. Tirelessly filtering our blood, processing fluids, regulating salts and minerals. So important is this organ that it has the capabilities to demand more from our heart, producing hormones to signal when blood supply is low to increase blood pressure.
If you’re anything like me, then our poor kidneys are tested from time to time… or in my case a constant onslaught from the age of 14 to around my mid-twenties. Shoving all sorts of naughty things down my throat in search of a good time.
Being our body’s filter system for waste materials from food, medication and – yes – toxic substances it gets a battering at times whether that be from recreational drugs, alcohol, meds, or pollutants in the air and food. This may well explain the excessive rate of Chronic Kidney Disease in our world today.
Perhaps we should give a little more thought to our poor kidneys, for if they were to stop working properly, it can make life somewhat less enjoyable in our later years, with such ailments as tiredness, more trips to the loo, insomnia, itchy skin, muscle cramps, headaches and for us men… erectile dysfunction. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
I’m so sorry for the torture I’ve put you through, please forgive me. I promise I’ll drink plenty of filtered water and only drink alcohol on special occasions from now on.
Kidney – The Nutritional Powerhouse
Assuming you haven’t beaten up your kidneys to the later stages of CKD, then a little TLC should save you from the torture. Dr Ken Barry gives some quick handy tips here.
I heard somewhere that if you have an issue with some body part, then eating that body part from an animal will help. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is… bring on the kidney.
Eating kidney is not as popular as it once was, only really making an appearance in steak & kidney pies. This is such a shame as it’s highly nutritious providing many nutrients for optimal health. Just take a look below…
As you can see, kidney is a powerhouse when it comes to vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Selenium and iron.
• Vitamin B12 – improves energy, mood, blood cell formation among many other things.
• Riboflavin (B2) – aids energy production in your cells through methylation.
• Thiamine (B1) – the first B vitamin to be discovered, needed to make ATP, our cells source of energy.
• Selenium – a powerful antioxidant. Aids your immune system and thyroid.
• Iron – responsible for transferring oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
Plus, there’s another vitamin that gets missed from most nutrition tables… Vitamin K2. You’ll get around 300µg per 100g of kidney. This vitamin ensures calcium is deposited where it should be and not where it shouldn’t… such as in your arteries.
These are some very good reasons to get kidney into your diet. The bonus is that your body is designed to extract all this goodness from animal foods. Mother Nature had been working her magic for millions of years finely tuning our digestive system for this very reason. Your body needs this stuff, it craves it. Give it what it wants on a regular basis and you’ll notice the difference.
How to Get Kidney In Your Belly
I hope you’re convinced on the health benefits of kidney by now and are eager to get it into your belly.
Fortunately, a quick DuckDuckGo search will lead you to many kidney recipes suitable for every skill level of cookery. I’m no chef, so I’ll give you some basics.
Kidneys come from the usual suspects, ox (cow), veal (young cow), lamb and pig. I’ve found that each has to be treated differently.
• Ox kidney – perfect for slow cooking. I like to add mine to a stew but you can stick with the traditional steak & kidney pie.
• Veal kidney – More delicate than ox kidney, usually found on high-end restaurant menus. Sauté on a med-high heat browning just the outside, leaving the inside pink.
• Lamb kidney – these are delicate little organs, almost cute. Similar to veal, sauté on a med-high heat browning just the outside, leaving the inside pink. These are my favourite, a little seasoning and I’m happy but many add spices for devilled kidneys.
• Pig kidney – versatile, this can be cooked any way you desire. It packs a more porky flavour than its cousins.
A word of warning in the prep of kidneys, a trap I fell into… There’s gristle that needs to be removed, especially when sautéing. You’ll need to cut the kidney in half longways, then carefully cut out the hard parts.
If slow cooking, the gristle will breakdown so not as important.
It’s What We’re Designed to Eat
Kidneys are an organ meat that would’ve been eaten by our ancestors and prized alongside liver and other organ meats that have fallen out of popularity in our modern world.
There’s a very good reason these organs were prized… because they knew how nutritious they are and how important they are in their pursuit of health and survival.
Fortunately, our ancestors didn’t have the confusing food distractions we live with now in our highly processed world. They had to hunt and/or gather, no Co-op just down the road as we have now.
When thought about in this way, I believe it’s easy to understand what we should be eating for optimal health despite the confusing information in the world. The only truth you need is a little common sense… let’s face it, it’s what we’re designed to eat. I talk more about this here.
Have a nutritious day!
There you have it! Just a reminder that I’m no doctor, dietitian or any other profession for that matter. I’m simply a bearer of information for you to do what you want with; question it, research it, erase it from your mind, you are in charge of you.