Why Do People Eat Snails?


Fragrant herbs of Provence, delicate butter and boiled snails — all this is an exquisite French delicacy that has been appreciated by gourmets all over the world. Alsatian-style grape snails have long occupied an honorable place in the haute cuisine menu, and now people worldwide can also try this unusual dish without leaving home.

Why do people eat snails? People eat snails because of their unique taste and healthy properties. Snails contain vitamins A, B, E, K, PP, potassium, magnesium, zinc, lectin, protein, selenium, copper and phosphorus. Snails contain almost no cholesterol. Snails contain mineral salts, especially calcium and iron, as well as amino acids.

Is it good to eat snails? Eating snails is good because  snails contain 2.0 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of product, approximately 10% of the total energy per serving, or 8 kcal. Snail’s calorie content is only 90 kcal.

Snail Nutrition Information Per 100 g:

  • Fat — 1.40 g
  • Proteins — 16.10 g
  • Carbohydrates — 2.00 g
  • Water — 79.20 g
  • Ash — 1.30 g

Snail Vitamin Content Table

Of the fat-soluble vitamins, snails contain A, E and K. Of the water-soluble vitamins, snails contain vitamins B1, B2, B3 (PP), B4, B6, B9 and B12.

Vitamin A30.0 μg
Vitamin E5.0 mg
Vitamin K0.1 μg
Vitamin B10.1 mg
Vitamin B20.1 mg
Vitamin B31,4 mg
Vitamin B465.0 mg
Vitamin B60.1 mg
Vitamin B96.0 μg
Vitamin B120.5 μg

Snail Mineral Content Table

Calcium 10.0 mg
Iron 3.5 mg
Magnesium 250.0 mg
Phosphorus 272.0 mg
Potassium 382.0 mg
Sodium 70.0 mg
Zinc1.0 mg
Copper 0.4 mg
Selenium 27.4 μg

Eating Snails Benefits

Is eating snails good for you? Eating snails is good for you because of their high nutritional value. Its meat has a delicate taste and a delicate aroma. It differs from other meats by its high protein and low-fat content. Snail meat contains a large number of mineral salts, especially calcium and iron, and amino acids.

As for the calorie content of escargot meat, one serving of snails (dozen) contains slightly more than 80 calories and is one of the least high-calorie foods.

Various researches have noted the positive effect of snail meat in treating hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia and in diets for pregnant and lactating women.

Are snails fattening? Snails are not fattening as they contain 80% of water and 15% of protein. Snails contain only 90 calories per 100 g. This makes snails good for those who want to lose some weight and improve their health, as snails are rich in vitamins, microelements, macronutrients, fatty acids.

Low-calorie content and virtually no fat in snails contribute to weight loss and improved metabolism. If we compare snail meat with beef, chicken and flounder, beef contains 214 calories, 15.4% fat, 18.8% protein and 62.8% water. Chicken, in turn, contains 175 calories, 11% fat, 19.1% protein and 69.7% water. Flounder contains 82 calories, 2.6% fat, 15.9% protein and 81.5% water. When snail meat has only 67 calories, 1.7% fat, 13.4% protein and 84.9% water.

Snail meat is the most useful and dietary meat, even in comparison with other dietary products. It is used in many recipes for preparing escargot and other dishes in Europe and other countries. It should be noted that if you are trying to lose weight with escargot, reduce the amount of oil in its preparation. Alternatively, use a different recipe, as fatty butter does not help you lose weight.

You can cook salads, hot dishes or soups with snails. When choosing ingredients for snails, observe the seasonality: grape snails love moisture, so they can be called a winter dish and not a summer one (in the heat, they quickly dry out and deteriorate), so it is better not to combine snails with berries and fruits. However, you can try to cook them with chestnuts, potatoes or asparagus.

Snails do not have an intense flavor, which means something bright, such as artichokes, basil, tomatoes, mushrooms or citrus fruits, will be the perfect addition to them.

Natural Properties of Snails

In the course of research on snails, it turned out that eating snails has a positive effect on any calcium imbalance. This is possible thanks to calcium and vitamin A in their composition. Many doctors and nutritionists recommend including snails in the diet of pregnant women and even young children.

It was also found that the chemical composition of snails contains a large amount of magnesium, which, when consumed by humans, has a calming effect on the nervous system, helps in combating stress, and improves lipid metabolism.

To all the listed advantages, snails belong to an aphrodisiac and play a very important role in enhancing male potency and female libido. Thus, the beneficial properties of snails are not only in the healing mucus but also in the contained useful substances in its meat.

The composition of useful components contained in snail meat allows it to be used as a panacea for many diseases:

  • Choline or vitamin B4 (65 mg per 100 grams of snails) is an important component of lecithin, which is involved in the synthesis and metabolism of liver phospholipids, which helps to restore the vital gland.
  • Vitamin E (5mg per 100 grams of snails) helps with neurological disorders.
  • Potassium (382 mg per 100 grams of snails) is directly involved in the regulation of pressure, acid balance, and the work of the nervous system.
  • Magnesium (250 mg per 100 grams of snails) is an important macronutrient involved in protein synthesis, strengthening the heart muscle. 
  • Phosphorus (272 mg per 100 grams of snails). Snail meat is recommended to be eaten by pregnant women and children since the high phosphorus content helps prevent the development of rickets, anorexia, anemia, and the mineralization of bone tissue and tooth enamel.
  • Iron (3.5 mg per 100 grams of snails) takes part in many vital processes. In ancient Rome, the army was fed with snail meat to reduce fatigue and increase the efficiency of soldiers.
  • Copper (400 μg per 100 grams of snails) helps in the assimilation of carbohydrates, proteins, provides tissues with oxygen, participates in the formation of the cardiovascular system.
  • Selenium (27.4 μg per 100 grams of snails) is an essential ingredient that fights osteoarthritis. This disease leads to deformation of the joints, vertebral discs.
  • Omega-3 (2 mg per 100 grams of snails) ensures the normal growth of children, affects the health of the skin and kidney function.

Meat and caviar of snails have not only excellent taste, but also, due to the content of a large amount of easily digestible proteins, vitamins and microelements, are extremely useful, as they have a stimulating effect on the body. In addition, the snail serves as a raw material for the production of various medical preparations that promote the activation of life processes and the rejuvenation of the body.

Nowadays, the high value of snail products has been proven by physiologists and food hygienists. It is determined by the almost complete digestibility of snail meat and the absence of negative side effects. The protein content in cooked-frozen snail fillets varies from 12 to 17%. Moreover, these proteins contain a full set of essential amino acids in such a ratio, which is necessary for the synthesis of the proteins in the human body.

Due to the low-calorie content of snail meat, when consumed, the body practically does not accumulate fats; therefore, snails are very useful for low-calorie diets. The lipids (fats) of snail meat are largely composed of unsaturated fatty acids (65% – 70% of all lipids, for comparison, in beef, there is only 5%). In this regard, unsaturated fatty acids not only do not accumulate cholesterol but also lead to its decrease in the human body.

The neurons of the snails perfectly take root in the human brain. Snails can be used as a donor during the treatment of serious diseases, for example, epilepsy. Doctors recommend using snails in the presence of diseases of the eyes, gastrointestinal tract, as well as musculoskeletal system. Snail mucus contains a component that activates skin regeneration, so it can be used for better healing of wounds, burns and warts.

Grape snails contain magnesium, which improves the functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. With regular consumption of snails, you can reduce the risk of stomach problems, and they also restore lipid metabolism and cleanse the body of radionuclides.

Disadvantages of Eating Snails

Snails, when properly prepared, have no contraindications unless you have individual intolerance. If you are allergic to snails, you must not include them in your diet.

Make sure you eat only fresh snails, which you buy from trusted suppliers or good restaurants. Do not eat raw snails. Always subject them to heat treatment. Never pick up snails from the street and try to cook them as they may carry infections and diseases that can lead to severe illnesses, paralysis, brain damage or even death.

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