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The Benefits of Chicken Liver

One chicken liver contains 73 calories.

While chicken is one of the most commonly eaten meats, the liver is often overlooked as an undesirable part of the bird. Chicken liver does contain a large amount of cholesterol, but it also supplies healthy doses of many essential vitamins and minerals. Look beyond the traditional liver and onions for new preparation methods that might just motivate you to give this meat another try.

Fat and Cholesterol

A diet low in fat, particularly saturated fat, can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your chances of developing chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. One chicken liver contains 2.86 grams of total fat, with 0.9 grams being saturated. The same chicken liver has 248 milligrams of cholesterol. Healthy adults with normal LDL cholesterol readings should consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day, the American Heart Association reports. The cholesterol content makes chicken liver only an occasional part of your diet.

Iron and Zinc

A chicken liver provides a healthy dose of iron and zinc. Iron enables your body to use oxygen efficiently and to make new red blood cells. This mineral also plays a role in cell division and the health of your immune system. An iron deficiency can cause fatigue, decreased oxygen and a weakened immune system. Healthy males need 8 milligrams of iron each day and healthy females need 18 milligrams. One chicken liver provides 5.12 milligrams of iron. Zinc plays a role in wound healing, immune system function and cell division. Adult males need 11 milligrams of zinc each day and females need 8 milligrams. One chicken liver contains 1.75 milligrams.


Chicken liver is a nutritious source of B vitamins. One chicken liver contains 7.41 micrograms of vitamin B12, which is significantly more than the 2.4 milligrams you need each day. You need vitamin B12 for the healthy function of your brain and nervous system and to replenish your blood supply. One chicken liver supplies 254 micrograms of the 400 micrograms of folic acid you need on a daily basis. Folic acid reduces your risk of certain birth defects. The same chicken liver contains 5,864 international units of vitamin A, a nutrient that is essential for the health of your eyes and white blood cells. This is more than the 2,300 international units recommended for women and the 3,000 international units recommended for men. Eat chicken liver on an occasional basis to prevent taking in too much vitamin A, which can inhibit your body's ability to properly absorb vitamin D.


Saute sliced chicken liver with chopped onions, potatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers for a nutritious hash. Puree cooked chicken liver with a drizzle of oil and your favorite herbs and spices for a nutrient-dense dip that pairs well with whole-grain crackers. Thread raw chicken livers onto skewers with bay leaves. Grill the livers until they become firm and season with salt and pepper. Chop cooked chicken livers and add them to a pasta sauce or bowl of chicken noodle soup.

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