Good News for Snail Lovers
Just the other day, a friend was talking about how much she was craving snails and I was sitting there like “Eww, snails are gross”.
But she is actually in love with the taste and aroma of cooked snails.
We argued about their health benefits; I felt it was like the much loved Ponmo (cow hide) which tasted good but lacked any nutritional benefit while she argued that it must be very nutritious hence the high price for a snail dish in restaurants.
I went on to do some research about the nutritional value of snails and alas, it’s packed with lots of good vitamins and minerals. The typical snail is comprised of 80% water, 15% protein, and 2.4% of fat which is primarily healthy fat. So apparently it’s very nutritious and healthy and also a well loved dish by the French (which they sometimes serve with the shell still on).
Though I’m still not a fan of snails and I’ll still go “eww” when I see or hear it, I’ve put together the nutritional value and benefits of snails which I got from my research, for all the snail lovers out there.
Snails provide a low calorie source of protein (unless you drench them in butter). Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, and is also better at filling you up than carbs and fat. Many people look to seafood as an easy source of protein, but actually, snails have more.
Snails are also a good source of iron which are essential for building red blood cells and carrying energy around the body. A lack of iron can lead to extreme fatigue and anaemia.
Often cited as the ‘energy vitamin’, B12 is needed for making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from the food we eat and processing folic acid. Luckily, snails have lots of it.
Snails are also a good source of magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain a normal blood pressure, strengthen bones and also keep the heartbeat regular.
We don’t need much selenium in our bodies, but we do need some to keep a healthy immune system and to protect cells against damage. And yes, snails contain selenium.
Ah, the much-feted, heart-loving fatty acids. Snails also supply a little Omega-3 which is good news for your heart.
The benefits of snails don’t stop at their nutritional values; experts say rubbing snail slime is good for the skin (double eww).
Apparently, the benefits were discovered when some snail farmers noticed their hands were soft and smooth and that cuts were prone to healing quickly.
After some scientific analysis, it’s now known that this is due to ‘Helix Aspersia Muller’, a substance the snail produces to regenerate its own shell and skin. The substance contains a perfect balance of skin-friendly ingredients like glycolic acid (for removing dead skin cells), collagen and elastin (for skin structure), allantoin (for regeneration), and a mix of vitamins and minerals (for regeneration and anti-inflammation).
So when next you go to a restaurant and order a dish of escargots, don’t forget to ask for your slime too.