Dietitian Caroline Trickey takes a look at the health benefits of mussels and shares tasty ways to include them in your diet.
Mussels are a good source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iron and zinc, among other essential nutrients.
Many of us are not meeting our daily requirements of omega-3 fatty acids. One way to reach that target is with mussels.
Omega-3 fats are essential for a healthy heart, brain and blood function. A good source is oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, but did you know 500g mussels in their shells provide more than the daily requirement?
Sustainably farmed with a very low carbon footprint compared with salmon, mussels are also bursting with muscle-boosting protein.
And it might surprise you to learn that mussels contain around four times the amount of iron of a steak. A serve of just six mussels will provide more than 10mg of blood cell-supporting iron.
Plus, they are a good source of immune-boosting zinc, something we could all do with right now.
They also provide selenium and iodine for healthy thyroid function.
Mussels are affordable and easy to cook and you can speed up the prepping process by buying mussels that are already cleaned and debearded.
Three tasty ways with mussels
- Poach mussels in tomatoes, white wine, garlic and parsley, then serve with crusty baguette
- Add ready-marinated mussels to a leafy green salad
- Include mussels in a marinara sauce and serve with spaghetti.
Or try these delicious mussel recipes
Article sources and references
- Iron. NZ Nutrition Foundation, accessed March 2021https://nutritionfoundation.org.nz/nutrition-facts/minerals/iron?gclid=Cj0KCQiAvvKBBhCXARIsACTePW-1DjVB7JStjY11BJb_xMYX51paNxsibO3aZouVGqASHWeQ791goC4aAh97EALw_wcB
- Carboni S, Kaur G, Pryce A, et al. Mussel Consumption as a "Food First" Approach to Improve Omega-3 Status. Nutrients. 2019;11(6):1381. Published 2019 Jun 19. doi:10.3390/nu11061381https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6628055/
- Suplicy, F.M. (2020), A review of the multiple benefits of mussel farming. Rev Aquacult, 12: 204-223. https://doi.org/10.1111/raq.12313https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/raq.12313