Seafood is considered to be a low calorie food when compared to other protein-rich foods such as meat and poultry.
Why are mussels good for me?
Mussels have the most impressive nutritional profile of all shellfish. They contain high levels of highly desirable long chain fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These fats have many beneficial effects, including improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Mussels are also a brilliant source of vitamins. Plus they give you a shot of important minerals, such as zinc, which helps build immunity. Mussels even contain levels of iron and folic acid to rival red meats. ( Guardian Feb 2013)
“Surprisingly, the most eco-friendly source of meaty protein I encountered was also the lowest tech - mussels. Grown on lengths of rope hung beneath the surface of sea loch in the Shetlands, it takes relatively little energy to rear mussels and get them from the sea to our plates. They even have the added bonus of capturing carbon dioxide and locking it up in their shells.
The result it that their carbon footprint is 20 times less than chicken, and fifty times less than beef. If we really want to cut down the environmental impact of our diets we should perhaps be eating more mussels. What we really need now are more imaginative ways of cooking them. Chilli mussels anyone?” ( Dr Mike Moseley, BBC Horizon, Aug 2014)
What are Mussels?
Mussels are a type of clam, usually long and wedge shaped, which grow in the ocean, along the shoreline. Mussels may be harvested from the wild, but are often grown in farms for commercial use. The two most commonly eaten mussel types are blue mussels and green-lipped mussels. Freshwater mussels are usually not eaten, but produce fresh water pearls. Mussels can be baked, fried, smoked, broiled or steamed and are often served in chowders. Mussels are a popular fast food menu item in many European and Pacific countries.
The Health Benefits of Mussels .
Mussels are a high protein food source. Their low fat content makes them potentially healthier than other protein sources, such as beef, which can contain a lot of saturated fat.
Mussels are also low in calories, with raw mussels containing only 70 calories per 3 oz. (85g), including 1.9g of fat (0.4g of which is saturated fat). A comparable amount of lean sirloin beef contains 160 calories and 2.1g of saturated fat. The beef does contain twice the protein of the mussels.
Mussels are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 and selenium, which is an essential micro-nutrient. Vitamin B12 is important in the functioning of metabolism processes and a deficiency can cause fatigue and depression, as well as other symptoms. One hundred grams of mussels provides around 13% of your daily vitamin C needs and 22% of your daily iron needs.
Mussels are also good sources of other B vitamins (particularly folate), phosphorus, manganese and zinc. Mussels are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids and are considered an excellent seafood choice.
Cautions About Mussels.
Mussels are prone to the same types of bacterial contamination as other seafood and should only be prepared if they are live, as dead mussels quickly deteriorate. Mussels which are dead will be slightly open and will not close when disturbed. Link here