A healthy and balanced intake of vital nutrients daily, keeps the immune system active and ready to respond to ailments that attack the human body. In this article, Elanhub details how regular consumption of snails could enable healthy metabolism even as COVID-19 rages.
Snail is the common name assigned to a member of the class of mollucs gastropoda. Snails are encased within a shell, a type of exoskeleton that protects them from attacks by predators as well as other forms of external damage. Although they are considered the slowest animalia on the planet in terms of movement, snails are however, a rich source of nutrients for the human body when consumed.
Health Benefits of Snails
An average snail is said to contain about eighty percent water, fifteen percent protein and about 2.4% fat. They are largely inexpensive and provide a low-calorie source of protein required for effective human body performance. Proteins are crucial for the repair of dead muscles and cells.
The low-calorie value of snails makes it ideal for those who visit the gym regularly and desire carb-free delicacies. Snails are also a rich source of Iron, Omega-3, Selenium, Magnesium and Vitamins A, E, B1, B6 and B12.
Foods that are rich in iron promote cell rejuvenation and assist in the buildup of red blood cells. They also aid in the transportation of oxygen in the body. Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anaemia and extreme fatigue.
Snails contain small quantity of Omega-3 and Magnesium. These enable normal heart rhythms and blood pressure and also reduces the likelihood of heart attacks. In addition, Omega-3 helps combat depression and supports the development of the brain and memory. It comes highly recommended for children, pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding.
Snails also contain a little dose of selenium, which protects body cells from damage and helps boost our immune system. As we earlier noted, a healthy immune system is key to combating COVID-19. Snails, can therefore, help you fight COVID-19!
Finally, snails are a great source of Vitamins A, E, B1, B6 and B12. Vitamin A is good for the eyes while Vitamin E serves as antioxidants. Vitamin B12 is often described as the ‘energy vitamin’ and is needed for constant production of red blood cells.
In addition to the above nutrients, which are critical for effective functioning of the body, snails have been proven to contain glycoprotein, a cancer-fighting agent. An underlying health condition such as cancer exacerbates the chance of survival for someone infected with COVID-19. So, you might want to prevent that cancer now with an addition of ‘Escargot‘ , that is, snail-based meals to your cuisine.
Snails also contain regenerative properties. Recent advancements in cosmetology have revealed that the mucus produced by snails contain collagen and elastin and these assist in the regeneration of wounded skin. Some of the skin healing properties extracted from snails are used in the production of some creams/solutions found in pharmacies.
Having detailed the health benefits of snails, it is important to emphasise that not all snail species are edible as some can be very harmful to our system if consumed. For example the Achatina Fulica (African Land snail), the Helix Aspersa Maxima (Garden snail), Helix Pomatia (Burgundy snail) and the Cornu Aspersum are all edible species of snails.
However, the Marine Cone snail is considered dangerous for consumption. Also note that uncooked snail is harmful and can cause frequent headaches occasioned with numbness.
How to Prepare and Cook Snails
Snails as earlier mentioned are encased within an exoskeleton. This makes snail preparation a somewhat difficult task for some. But once snails are extracted from their shells, one is halfway into the task of snail preparation. The actual snail, itself can be washed using alum or garri. This process needs to be repeated until the sticky mucus on the snail is washed-off.
After washing, snails can be cooked using a variety of standard methods – boiled, fried, roasted, etc. They can also be served alongside other dishes of one’s choice.
We have included two videos. The first shows how snails can be safely extracted from their shell, while the other is a detailed procedure on how to cook Peppered Snail, a very tasty Nigerian delicacy.
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Snails In Your Fight Against COVID-19