Have you ever wondered how animals without teeth chew up their food, especially hard foods like grains? They actually have an internal grinding apparatus, called the gizzard.
Birds, earthworms, some fish, snails and slugs all have gizzards — crocodiles and alligators do also, even though they have teeth. Small stones in the gizzard help grind up tough and hard-to-digest food before passing it into the stomach.
Bird gizzards are lined with a tough layer made of a carbohydrate-protein complex called koilin, to protect the muscles in the gizzard.
Gizzards are surprisingly nutritious, with more B12 than red meat and a good source of minerals like iron, zinc and selenium. They are powerhouses of choline and cholesterol, making them excellent for baby food, as babies have a very high requirement for these nutrients to support the growth of the nervous system. And that tough gizzard muscle becomes very tender with cooking, making them the perfect gateway organ meat.
|Per 100 g||APPLE||CARROTS||RED MEAT||GIZZARD||EGG YOLK||CHICKEN LIVER|
|PHOSPHORUS||6 mg||31 mg||140 mg||148 mg||390 mg||299 mg|
|IRON||.1 mg||.6 mg||3.3 mg||2.5 mg||2.7 mg||9.0 mg|
|ZINC||.05 mg||.3 mg||4.4 mg||2.7 mg||2.3 mg||2.5 mg|
|COPPER||.04 mg||.08 mg||0.2 mg||.04 mg||.08 mg||0.4 mg|
|VITAMIN B2||.02 mg||.05 mg||0.2 mg||0.2 mg||0.5 mg||1.8 mg|
|VITAMIN B6||.03 mg||.1 mg||.07 mg||0.1 mg||0.4mg||.72 mg|
|VITAMIN B12||0||0||1.84 mcg||1.2 mcg||1.9 mcg||16.6 mcg|
|VITAMIN C||7 mg||6 mg||0||3.7 mg||0||18 mg|
|VITAMIN A||0||0||40 IU||64 IU||2300 IU||34,000 IU|
|VITAMIN D||0||0||8 IU||?||1400 IU||370 IU|
|VITAMIN K||0||0||2.5 mcg||?||35 mcg||9.5 mcg|
|CHOLINE||3 mg||7 mg||38 mg||104 mg||820 mg||290 mg|
|CHOLESTEROL||0||0||78 mg||537 mg||1085 mg||631 mg|
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