Considering Including Mussel in Your Diet? Here Are All the Benefits of It That You Should Know About
A mussel is a shellfish that is often served as a delicacy in most parts of the world. It is one of the most consumed seafoods in major countries that have direct access to the seas. However, most won't know that apart from just being an incredibly delicious fare, it is one of nature’s superfoods for a number of reasons.
Not only does it please the taste buds, but it also fixes more than just a minor health issue simply by being a major storehouse of nutrients. Along with packing a punch of essential vitamins and minerals, mussels also possess the great advantage of being inexpensive and sustainably harvested. Did you also know that a mussel can filter up to 20 liters of seawater?
Such amazing facts about these little creatures make them a vital ingredient in our diet. So, if you’re thinking of incorporating them in your diet, here’s one for the read!
What Is Mussel?
Mussel is the name given to any member out of the multiple families of bivalve mollusks. They can belong to either saltwater or freshwater habitats. These organisms have elongated or asymmetrical shells, the shape of which is distinctly different from that of other edible clams that have oval or rounded shells.
The term “mussel” is often used to denote the bivalves belonging to the marine species of Mytilidae. These live on the shores located in the intertidal zones, where they attach themselves to a hard substrate by means of their strong “byssal threads” or “beard.”
Some species of mussels, such as the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) are an important food in Europe and other parts of the globe and are commercially farmed. The M.edulis variant can grow up to 11 cm and is usually of a blue or purple shade. This has been cultivated since the 13th century in Europe. Mussels are picked by rakes or dredges from deep waters in these parts.
Benefits of Eating Mussels
There are a lot of health benefits to eating mussels since they are so much more than being just cheap to buy and ecologically sustainable. From asthma to heart diseases, these bivalves possess the ability to fix a number of health issues owing to their nutrient source. The following is a list of mussel health benefits that one can easily pry open and enjoy.
1. May help reduce arthritic inflammation
Mussels are known to possess anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammations in the joints caused by arthritis. This could be especially helpful for those having osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
It has been discovered that the residents of the Maori coast in New Zealand, who have included green-lipped mussels as a regular in their diet, had lesser cases of arthritis among them.
2. Improves heart health
According to the opinions and studies done on the subject by the American Heart Association, mussels have cardio-protective factors owing to their rich reserve of omega-3 fatty acids. These unsaturated fats lower the chances of arrhythmia and cholesterol buildup. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and other heart diseases, such as the development of triglycerides in the bloodstream.
3. Improves concentration and ups mood
Consuming mussels has all the potential to improve your concentration and mood, given that it contains an incredibly high amount of vitamin B-12. This B vitamin is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and central nervous system, and a deficiency of it can lead to issues such as gaps in memory, low mood, and poor concentration. Vitamin B-12 is also necessary for the generation of red blood cells and the DNA.
4. Can help prevent anemia
A single serving of green-lipped mussels can possess about 10.9 milligrams of iron. This makes mussels a potent prevention measure against anemia that can occur as a result of a lack of iron in the body. Iron is responsible for the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Consuming mussels can provide you with 50%-60% RDA of iron, which takes care of the nutritive requirement of the body in the context of this vital nutrient.
5. Might have anti-aging benefits
Mussels contain mucopolysaccharides that might help slow down the onslaught of the aging process. Mucopolysaccharides are present in our skin, nails, and hair. These are present in abundance in our bodies when we are young, helping us to grow. These maintain skin elasticity and an even skin tone.
6. Help in muscle growth and strength
Mussels are a great source of protein, and they provide almost 40% of the RDA of protein to men and 41% of the same for women. Since protein is the building block for muscles in our body, mussels make an incredible supplement for fitness enthusiasts to rely on.
For this very reason, they can be included in the diet for athletes and bodybuilders easily. Mussels are also low in fat, which makes them even more beneficial for people who are into fitness regimens.
7. Helps improve the health of the brain
Since mussels are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and vitamin B-12, they make a brilliant food for improving brain health. These nutrients work actively to strengthen brain health and preserve memory with age.
As low as a three-ounce serving of mussels contains as much DHA as could be found in 3-5 fish oil supplements. Studies have shown that such nutrients reduce the rate of shrinkage of the brain that occurs with age.
8. Maintains healthy cellular functions
Since mussels contain high levels of protein and vital amino acids, they can potentially improve the body’s cellular functions. This includes providing structural support to uphold the shape of the body, cellular communication, and the improvement of overall health.
A single serving of mussels contains about 18 grams of protein. That stands to be almost 30% of the daily requirement for an average individual.
Mussels are a brilliant source of nutrition for all, given they are consumed fresh. Having dead mussels can be detrimental to health since they might contain harmful bacteria and toxins. Make sure to buy your shellfish from reputed stores and avoid getting dead and rotten ones. Do maintain a habit of cleaning the mussels well before cooking.
Considering all of these, serve some delicious mussels to impress yourself and others at the table!