Livermush might not sound very appetizing, and if you don't like liver it probably won't taste good either. The food is made of a combination of pig liver, pig brain and cornmeal and is fried to a golden crisp. If that list of ingredients isn't enough to convince you to give the delicacy a try, perhaps a list of the impressive dose of nutrients you'll get will be. If you're among the few that enjoys the taste of liver, you should also know, however, that too much livermush isn't good for you.
Calories, Fat and Cholesterol
A 3-ounce portion of pig liver contains 140 calories and 3.7 grams of fat, of which about 1.2 grams are saturated. The same amount of pig brain contains 117 calories and 8 grams of fat, of which 1.8 grams are saturated. One cup of yellow cornmeal has 442 calories and about 4.4 grams of fat, of which less than 1 gram is saturated. Those are fairly decent numbers for saturated fat, which you should limit to 22 grams or less if you follow a 2,000-calorie diet. The picture isn't so pretty for cholesterol, however. Your upper limit for cholesterol intake is 300 milligrams a day or less, according to MayoClinic.com. A 3-ounce serving of pig liver has 302 milligrams of cholesterol, and the same amount of pig brain contains a whopping 2,169 milligrams.
Livermush is a good source of iron and zinc, two minerals that support a healthy immune system and wound healing. A 3-ounce serving of pig liver supplies 15.23 milligrams of iron, which is 85 percent of the 18 milligrams you need each day. The same portion of pig brain provides 1.55 milligrams of iron. Three ounces of pig liver contains 5.71 milligrams of zinc, which is 71 percent of the 8 milligrams you need on a daily basis. Pig brain provides 1.26 milligrams of zinc per 3-ounce serving. A cup of cornmeal delivers 4.21 milligrams of iron and 2.22 milligrams of zinc. Livermush supplies small amounts of phosphorus and potassium, too.
When you eat livermush, you'll get far more than the 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 you need each day to make red blood cells and to keep your metabolism working properly. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of pig liver contains 15.8 micrograms, and the same amount of pig brain supplies 1.21 micrograms. You'll also get a good dose of niacin, a B vitamin that promotes healthy skin and helps your body make energy from your food. A 3-ounce serving of pig liver contains 7.1 milligrams of niacin, which is about half of the 14 milligrams you need each day. The same amount of pig brain delivers 2.8 milligrams of niacin. A cup of cornmeal contains 4.4 milligrams of niacin. The pig liver delivers a huge dose of vitamin A with 4,594 micrograms, which is far more than the 700 micrograms you need each day for healthy eyes.
Tips and Considerations
While the occasional serving of livermush can be part of a healthy diet, regularly eating the food can cause you to consume too much cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease. Taking in too much vitamin A can also be a concern since it's a fat-soluble vitamin. That means that your body stores the excess rather than eliminating it in urine. Too much vitamin A can cause illness and birth defects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose
- Univerrsity of Maryland Medical Center: Iron
- Univerrsity of Maryland Medical Center: Zinc
- Univerrsity of Maryland Medical Center: Niacin
- Univerrsity of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B12
- Univerrsity of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin A
- MayoClinic.com: High Cholesterol
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.