Mussels are one of the most popular seafoods and there’s no denying that they taste great.
That’s why they lend themselves to simple or gourmet preparations, but always tasty and appealing.
In addition to the gratification of the palate that is part of the excellence of mussels, there is also the component that benefits health.
The organoleptic properties of these molluscs are a real panacea, among other qualities, for inflammation and rheumatic pain.
They contain an abundance of glucosamine, which has a direct effect on pain conditions, to the extent that their inclusion in a diet for people with these problems is considered necessary.
The positive qualities of these shellfish do not stop with their ability to relieve inflammation.
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Mussels are rich in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain a great deal of antioxidants, which are known to combat the action of free radicals and thus cellular ageing. This is due to the presence of vitamin C in mussels, which is also good for preventing seasonal illnesses.
Mussels contain mainly B vitamins, which are ideal for giving energy, as in the case of athletes, or recovering from tiredness. Their benefits also include regularizing the metabolism, which is led to limit fat absorption and improve liver function.
These shellfish are recommended in the diet of people suffering from anaemia, as they contribute to the daily iron intake, but also potassium.
Potassium regulates blood pressure in hypertensive people and, with the addition of phosphorus, also helps improve memory and intellectual performance.
Phosphorus also helps regulate mood swings and combat depression.
But what are the benefits of mussels?
Usually this mussel is regarded as a bit of a ‘little brother’ compared to the others. But few people know that mussels have high nutritional values.
As products of animal origin, they have a good content of proteins with a high biological value. They also have a high cholesterol content, which may vary depending on the time of year, as the production cycle favours its increase in the meat. The fatty acid content is moderate and the lipid profile is positive as it is evenly distributed between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; there are also moderate concentrations of carbohydrates, consisting mainly of the animal’s glycogen. It is found in excessive quantities.
There is no shortage of potassium and phosphorus, but what characterises mussel meat is above all its high bioavailable iron content.
In terms of vitamins, mussels contain good quantities of thiamine, vitamin B1 and niacin, vitamin PP, but there are also good concentrations of vitamin A.
The meat of mussels has an intense and strong flavour.
Their organoleptic characteristics vary depending on various factors, including:
* Seasonality: mussels grow and reproduce in the spring and summer. Eating mussels during this period often results in a higher cholesterol content.
* Mussel size: The age of the mussel determines its texture and flavour. In the adult mussel, the taste can be excessive and unpleasant.
* place of cultivation: mussels feed differently in the open sea and in areas near river mouths, which means that the taste is different and has different organoleptic properties.
In the estuaries, mussels grow much faster due to the very high content of organic residues which directly and indirectly feed the mussels.
“If they are mussels, they will open”
But do you know everything about mussels?
Here are 5 things you (perhaps) didn’t know.
The colour of the mollusc reveals its sex
Inside the large bivalve shell is the mollusc with its prized flesh: some are bright orange and others a very dull yellow.
The difference is that the bright orange ones are female, while the yellow ones are male.
The most prized mussels are in fact the females because they have a sweeter taste.
Incrustations on the shell
The cleaning of the shell must be done carefully and there are two things to do, remove the “byssus” and the encrustations.
You know those white incrustations attached to the shell that look like little volcanoes? They are called “dog’s teeth” and are parasites of the mussels: if these parasites are present, it means that the mussel is a rock mussel, which is the best one, smaller but tastier.
Mussels are dietary
Mussels are a dietary fish, if you consider that there are about 84 calories in 100 g of product. Each person can therefore eat up to 350 g of mussels and benefit from all the properties described above.
They have digestive properties thanks to the mineral salts they contain.
A few years ago, studies were carried out on the medicinal properties of mussels: thanks to their high glucosamine content, this shellfish is considered a powerful natural anti-inflammatory.
History of mussels
Mussels were already considered a delicacy in the Palaeolithic era and were already widespread in Europe, South America and Patagonia. The French pride themselves on having created the first mussel farm in the 8th century.
Scientists are studying the ‘byssus’, a natural weave of fibres and glue that resists water and does not harm our bodies. If it can be reproduced in the laboratory, it could be used in the future in surgery for sutures, in orthopaedics for fractures and even to repair chipped teeth.
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