Saturday 16 December 2017

Flex your mussels: Packed with powerful nutrients

Irish mussels are a real little power house of nutrients!

With their rich package of great health benefits, they really punch above their weight.

Mussels are easy to cook and surprisingly simple and quick to include in a midweek supper or as a delicious dinner party choice.

When eaten with starchy carbohydrates and fruit and vegetables, mussels form part of a healthy, balanced diet.

Mussels are naturally low in fat and are a rich source of good quality protein. They are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals needed for good health including iron, zinc, selenium, iodine and some of the B group vitamins, plus they are a source of the beneficial omega 3 (n-3) fatty acids.

Here are 6 reasons to eat more mussels:

1. A powerful protein source

Mussels are a very powerful source of high quality protein, providing all of the essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Did you know that a 75g portion of mussel meat provides you with about 25% of the protein you need in the day?

2. Low in fat

Steamed mussels contain less than 3% fat. To preserve this fantastic low fat benefit, it is advised to use low fat methods of cooking mussels such as steaming, grilling, or including in soups and stews. Mussels are also naturally very low in saturated fat and yet contain a source of the really good omega 3 or n-3 fatty acids.

3. Super source of selenium

Mussels are a super source of selenium. Selenium is an essential component of the immune system and an important antioxidant. Irish research indicates that nearly half of women in Ireland currently have inadequate selenium intakes. One portion of mussels provides 59% of selenium needs so they’re an obvious and delicious choice.

4. Magic of mussels

Mussels are a particularly rich source of zinc, iron, selenium, iodine and vitamin B12 . Vitamin B12 is needed to build protein and to ensure healthy nerve function. Mussels also contribute a significant amount of phosphorus, copper, riboflavin and chloride to the diet.

5. Over 100 functions in the body!

Zinc has over 100 functions in the body. Mussels are a great source of zinc and one portion provides 25% of daily zinc needs. Zinc is found in cells throughout the body and helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It is needed in small amounts every day in order to maintain health, help with hormone production and improve digestion. Zinc also has an ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent.

6. Boost your Iron intake

Mussels are a particularly high dietary source of iron. A massive 61% of Irish women aged 18-50 have inadequate iron intakes and also have low levels of selenium and iodine, so it is of real benefit for women to include mussels in their diet whenever possible.

So go on, flex your mussels!

For more information and recipes featuring mussels go to www.bordbia.ie/fish.

Sponsored by: Bord Bia

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