Snails are an exquisite delicacy for connoisseurs around the world. Their culinary and nutritional value is increasingly appreciated, as concentrate many nutrients, minerals, essential amino acids, beneficial fatty acids and are low in calories. The latest surveys reveal that the meat of snails is one of the positive nutritional factors of the Mediterranean diet.
Energy and Macro-nutrients: The calorific value of snail meat is 750 calories per kilo of meat ready for consumption, ie less than the meat of various fish, birds and mammals. The protein content is high ranging at 15% of the fresh weight. Carbohydrates constitute the 2% and the fat percentage is only 1% of the total fresh weight. The water content is high and ranges from 73% – 89%.
Fatty Acids-Omega 3- Omega-6: The compositional analysis of lipids gives us high rate multi-unsaturated fatty acids. Specifically, the total saturated lipids occupy 25.78% of the monounsaturated constitute 18.55% and polyunsaturated constitute the remaining 18%. From the polyunsaturated the omega-3 / omega-6 ranges from 0.2 to 2, based on modern nutritional aspects is considered very good and comparable to fish (from 0.5 to 8).
We should emphasize that the fat of snails is useful because it provides the body with Omega 3 fatty acids, which are considered necessary, as the human body cannot synthesize this and therefore must be taken through a diet. It is very beneficial to health, as they are considered to inhibit atherosclerosis and thrombosis, have anti-inflammatory effects, preven allergies, depression and other diseases of the nervous system.
Metals – Minerals: Regarding minerals, the meat of snails is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Some researchers suggest consuming snails as an alternative source of calcium and phosphorus, two components that are very important for the bone development.
Selenium: The meat of the snails is a good source of selenium (27.4 mg / 100mg), effectively providing to the consumer 50% of the recommended daily quantity required to be consumed by one adult female (that is 50 mg per day) and 1/3 for a man. Selenium has strong antioxidant properties, protecting against heart disease and cancer (especially prostate), also contributing to the functioning of the thyroid gland and the immune system.
Source of Vitamins: Despite all the above, the flesh of snails is also an important source of vitamins. Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin B complex with a beneficial effect on the nervous and cardiovascular systems. It is very stable and resistant to heat, cooking and the storing of food. The content of niacin in their meat is 1,4 mg / 100g edible meat and corresponds to 50g of cheese and 150 g of yogurt, lentils or potatoes that are considered good sources of this vitamin.
Cholesterol: The flesh of the snail contains the less cholesterol than any other meat. The cholesterol in the cooked snails is due to the spices that we used when we cook the snails.
One serving of 100 g contains: