Mussels and shellfish, in general, is the food that most people consume only occasionally, on special occasions. In a nutritious sense, shellfish are a valuable source of many beneficial nutrients. They provide high-value proteins and have a good fat profile while being extremely low in carbohydrates.
Although they are generally poor in beneficial fat, they are a valuable source of precious omega 3 fatty acids. We know that Omega-3s have a beneficial effect on heart and blood vessels. Fish, shellfish and other seafood are a unique source of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have a beneficial effect on cognitive functions! Furthermore, they protect against chronic inflammatory diseases. They even have cancer-preventing properties. Scientists have calculated that intake of six oysters of medium size 5-7 times a month, the omega 3 fatty acid intake is sufficient for a beneficial effect.
Precious vitamin B12
Apart from containing valuable fat, seashells are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is important for the nervous system and red blood cells. For example, 85 g meet up to 1400% of daily needs for Vitamin B12. Seashells are also an excellent source of zinc, which is particularly abundant in oysters. 10 mussels contain 27 mg, which is approximately 181% daily. Furthermore, they are a good source of iron. For example, 85 g of mussels contains 6 mg of iron or 60% of recommended daily needs. Many types of shells are also a source of magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, and oysters are rich in vitamin A.
Seashells, in general, are sometimes referred to as “sea cleaners” because they daily filter 56 to 75 litres of the sea as a normal part of their metabolism. If the sea is polluted by microorganisms, shells may be contaminated and cause poisoning if consumed in insufficiently heat-treated. Therefore, it is important to take care of origin when consuming raw shells.
Are they really aphrodisiacs?
Seashells are often described as a powerful aphrodisiac! Partly, as a result of ancient traditional stories, and partly because of the fact that they are extremely rich in zinc. This mineral is often lacking in the diet of modern humans. The consumption of seashells improves nutritional and health status, and thus sexual health. The zinc is extensively excreted from the sperm, during ejaculation, and is also needed in the synthesis of testosterone. Testosterone is a male sex hormone, which is essential for the proper sexual function of every male. Some scientists believe that it is also involved in the stimulation of female libido.
Fish and shells protect our eyes
A study involving more than 2,500 respondents aged 65 to 84 found that intake of fish and shells rich in omega – 3 fatty acids protect the eyes from a disorder called macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease associated with age. It is marked by the wear of the part of the eye responsible for the central visual acuity. Scientists have noted that there is a statistically high probability that people diagnosed with advanced macular degeneration do not intake enough fish and shellfish. To conclude, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids achieves the protective effect on the eyes.
How to prepare mussels like a Greek (Or any Mediterranean)
It’s a known fact, people in the Mediterranean area are consuming seafood much more often than people living far from the sea. But when the summer comes, and tourists rush to the areas of ancient Mediterranean basin, mussels and other shells are often on their plates. Not only that they taste divine, they actually are one of the rare seafood that is still quite affordable. These nutritious gems should be a part of Keto nutrition more often and this is exactly why I want to share this simple yet seductive recipe. Here are some tips on how to source/prepare/eat mussels like a true Greek would:
- Try finding wild catch (If you have a fishermen market, they would most probably have them)
- Never buy them if they are more than 4 days old
- Never consume the ones that don’t open in the process of heating
- Don’t experiment with eating them raw, mussels have to be thermally processed
- Steam or boil them first
- if you want to use them with a sauce, take some time to clean them from the shells first
- Add some good fat (butter or olive oil) because you are on keto and you need your fats up!
See how we made them
In this Live video, we shared with our followers a typical preparation of mussels that applies both to Greek and Croatian tradition. Well, I must say, adding fennel tea instead of Ouzo is more of a Greek tradition, but in most of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea, mussels are prepared similarly.
Keto Greek Mussels
- 1,5 Kg (53 oz) mussels with shells This makes approximately 400g of edible meat
- 2 heads garlic organic
- 1 teabag fennel tea
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 2 tbsp butter We used goat butter
- Wash the mussels thoroughly with warm water and sea salt. Place them in a deep pot and pour in fresh water to cover the mussels totally.
- Add 1 bag of fennel tea, whole garlic heard which you cut just slightly to release the aroma. Add rosemary.
- Boil the mussels for 10-15 minutes or until they all open. (if any of them doesn't open, throw it away.
- Remove the mussels from the water and place them in a deep plate or a bowl. Add butter and let it melt. You can add some of the water where they have been boiled to help the butter melt quicker. Add lemon juice and enjoy!