Snails – Benefits And Harms

Snails are considered a delicacy in many countries around the world. Snail dishes are especially popular in France. It is in France that escargot, a special snail dish that affects human sexual activity, is prepared.

Snails have been eaten since ancient times. Thus, the first written references to the use of snails as a food date back to ancient times. In ancient Rome, a snail dish was considered an indispensable attribute of any celebration. Snails were considered not just a delicious dish, but also a remedy. Decoctions of snails were prescribed as a medicine for bleeding, eye diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and as a means of healing wounds.

There are special types of snails used for cooking. The most common species is the grape snail (aka Helix pomatia, Burgundy snail, Roman snail). This type of snail lives in moist deciduous forests, shrubs, and ravines where there is enough moisture.

If we talk about the vitamin and mineral composition, 100 g of snails contain:

  • 3.5 mg of iron (which is more than in beef);
  • 250 mg of magnesium (which is much more than in beef, pork, chicken, or fish);
  • 382 mg of potassium;
  • 272 mg of phosphorus;
  • 70 mg of sodium;
  • 10 mg of calcium;
  • 1 mg of zinc;
  • 0.4 mg of copper;
  • 27.5 mcg of selenium;
  • 0.5 mcg of vitamin B12;
  • 0.1 mg of vitamin B6;
  • 100 IU of vitamin A;
  • 5 mg of vitamin E;
  • 0.1 mcg of vitamin K;
  • 0.1 mg of riboflavin;
  • 1.4 mg of niacin;
  • 6 mcg of folic acid;
  • 65 mg of choline.

100 g of snails contain 90 kcal.

Snail meat is an ideal dietary product due to its high content of amino acids and lack of cholesterol.

Snails contain omega-3 fatty acids (218 mg), and the daily human requirement is 1-2 grams.

Therefore, eating snails will help you: improve memory, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and lower blood cholesterol, and is also recommended for pregnant women, as well as to improve the mental and physical development of children.

Compared to other sources, such as beef (14 grams of protein), snail protein is 16.1 grams, which is 32% of its weight.

Snail contains vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, B3, B6, and B12. Vitamin A has a positive effect on vision. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant (good for cell regeneration and skin care), and vitamins B1, B3, B6 and vitamin B12 are essential vitamins that help prevent and control diabetes.

Snail contains niacin and folate. Niacin plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates for energy, and folate is good for pregnant women.

Snails contain a large amount of choline. Choline has many important functions, including being an integral part of the cell membrane, being a “raw material” for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and methyl group donors are necessary for a number of vital processes in the body. Therefore, it must be obtained from food sources. The recommended daily intake of choline for men is 550 mg and 425 mg for women, and the snail contains 65 mg.

The mollusk is a strong aphrodisiac, enhancing both male potency and female libido.

Snails in cosmetology:

Snail mucus is rich in allantoin, collagen, and elastin, components important in the treatment of skin diseases and bone fractures. The secret secreted by snails is an important source of oligosaccharides. In addition, this fluid treats acne, moisturizes the skin, improves its color, and protects it from adverse environmental influences.

However, studies have shown that not all snails have the same effect on the epidermis. Of course, there will be positive results almost always, but the maximum effect is given by substances extracted from the secretory fluid of snails of the genus Helix Aspersa.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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