Mussels Nutrition: A Summer Superfood
Have you wondered about the nutrition of mussels? Those cute little shellfish that can be served cooked in or out of the shell. Mussels are available fresh, smoked, canned and even frozen. Today, I will be highlighting the nutrition for mussels because they are delicious, versatile and jam-packed with health-promoting value. Get ready to dive in deeply as we explore the nutrition of mussels, how to prepare them and how to incorporate in your diet. Hint: preparing mussels is easier than you think (recipe to follow)!
My Mussels Story:
Funnily enough, mussels were the one food that terrified me as a child. I remember my Nonno making them as part of a family dinner, I was too alarmed to even try them. Anything that involved opening a black shell was enough to deter me. However, as I got older, I gave them a try and found the chewy texture, mild and salty flavour appealing. Ever since, I often order them at restaurants as an appetizer. This summer, for the first time, I made mussels at home and they were outstanding! Recipe here for my White Wine Mussels in Tomato Cream Sauce.
My Life Lesson: In life, if something scares you, do it anyway. Likewise, if a food intimidates you, try it anyway – you might be missing out on a future favourite!My #LifeLesson: If a #food intimidates you, try it anyway – you might be missing out on a future favourite 🙂 Click To Tweet
How Many Mussels in a Pound?
The Tourism PEI website says that one pound of mussels is approximately 20-25 mussels. This is about one cup (4 oz) of meat. As a general estimate, one pound of mussels can serve one person for a main meal or two people as an appetizer.
Nutrition of Mussels
(In reference to 3 oz serving, according to USDA National Nutrient Database)
- They are low in calories (approximately 150 calories)
- Low in fat (4 grams of fat and 1 gram of saturated fat)
- Very good source of omega 3 fats (500-1,000mg, which is helpful for heart health, lowering triglycerides and promoting brain health)
- High in protein (20 grams per serving). This is an ideal amount for meal serving. Read more about the power of protein and recommended amounts here.
- High source of Vitamin B12 (20.4 mcg) this is equivalent to 340% of daily recommended amount. B12 supports the formation of red blood cells, supports the nervous system and is a nutrient that often needs boosting among elderly, vegetarians and those with a history of anemia. Speak with your dietitian if you are unsure if you need to be taking a supplement.
- Over 100% of daily selenium requirement, this supports your immune system and thyroid functioning.
- Approximately 275% of manganese requirement, which is important for bone health and helpful for metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
How to Select
When buying mussels follow these easy, PEI Mussel tips!
- Mussels should be loosely wrapped in a mesh bag and stored on ice.
- Fresh mussels should have a date tag that will indicate date and location they were harvested.
- Smell them! Fresh mussels should smell like sea water.
- Once home, check your mussels, and if any are already open, discard them. Also, if any mussels do not open after cooking, discard them.
How to Cook Mussels
- Clean mussels thoroughly prior to cooking.
- Rinse under cool water and dry with towel prior to cooking.
- Sautee garlic and onions and add other herbs, spices, wine, lemon juice, coconut milk, etc., depending on flavour preference.
Ideas to Include in your Diet:
- Serve as an appetizer with crusty baguette
- Add to pastas as a topping
- Add to seafood soups
- Use as a topper for salads
- Add to stir-frys with rice or noodles
This summer, if you are a fellow seafood fan, be sure to eat some mighty mussels! These little shellfish take on the flavour of whatever ingredients were added to the broth and are simply exquisite!They are loaded with nutrition such as omega 3 fats, vitamin B12, selenium and manganese. They are also low in calories, high in protein and low in saturated fats. Mussels offer you an inexpensive and quick way to get protein with meals as they cook in about 10 minutes.
Now it’s your turn! Have you tried mussels? Are there foods you used to intimidate you, but now you love? What’s your favourite way to cook mussels?