A dish of fresh steamed clam with butter is a delicacy. However, if you end up cooking bad clams, you may not have a good day after a meal. You must be able to tell if the clams are bad before cooking.
Clams turn bad soon after they are dead. This is because when clams die the bacteria and others grow on the meat resulting in the production of toxins. On cooking and eating, it enters your food chain. To avoid such a situation, it is best to look and smell the clam before you buy. To enjoy clams you need to use the right techniques.
What Kind Of Food Are Clams?
Clams are one of a kind of bivalve mollusks found in aquatic habitats. The meat of mollusks remains inside the shell and forms the edible part. The edible clams come from seawater and freshwater along lakes and rivers. Today this animal source of food is under production in Japan, Europe, and the USA claiming the attention of millions of oyster lovers.
Clams are full of flavor, have a fishy and salty taste. The texture of clam is chewy and soft.
Nutritional Facts Of Clams
Clams are nutrition-rich food. They are a lean source of protein clams. From 10 clams, you can get 100 g of meat, which contains 148 g calories, 5.0 g of carbohydrate, 25.51 g protein, 67 mg cholesterol, and 2.0 g fat. The Omega-3 fatty acid is 168 mg in 100 g meat. Clams are remarkable sources of iron (12mg/100 g) and Vitamin B12 (42 mg/100g). In addition, we recognize the nutritive value of clams for the micronutrients selenium (20.7 mg/100 g), Vitamin C (11 g.100g) and manganese (0.4mg/100 g).
Clams also contain substantial amounts of phosphorus, copper, magnesium, sodium, and zinc, and B Vitamins. The balance of these nutrients in clams makes it a superfood.
Health Benefits of Clams
Because of the nutrient contents of clam, it has many health benefits. The meat of clam is soft and tasty. This freshwater marine is a wild food containing balanced macro-and micronutrients. The increasing popularity of clam is because of the benefits it renders to the health of humans.
The Lean Protein of Clams
When you steam clam, 100 g will provide you with 26 g protein or 51% of the RDA based on the 2000Kcal diet of humans. It is also lean protein as it contains less than 10 g of total fat per100 g and less than 4.5 g of saturated fat. Clams also have carbohydrates and cholesterol. High protein food with low calories and fat helps keep energy with the need of consuming fewer calories in the subsequent meals.
Lean meat helps build muscles, improve the immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and help lengthen life.
Benefits of Nutrients and Vitamins in Clams
Clans contain all the macro-and micronutrients beneficial for health. Calcium and phosphorus help in the development of bones and prevent arthritis. The combined effects balance the balanced growth of all parts of the body. The iron content help prevention of anemia in women in children. Likewise, the Vitamin C content acts as an anti-oxidation agent. The B Vitamins help prevent many diseases.
Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acid and DHA
The omega-3 fatty acid is an important component of the fats of sea fish. Clams and other shellfish contain a good amount of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids. A 6-ounce provides 337 mg of omega-3. Out of this 2/3 are DHA and EPA, other kinds of omega-3. Omega-3 controls heart diseases, inflammatory diseases, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.
Helps in Males’ Fertility
The zinc and selenium content in clams helps the production of seminal fluid and sperm in males. It helps in retaining the mortality of sperms.
Vitamins in Clams
Clams serve as one of the unusual food sources of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 in clams, plays a vital role in protein synthesis, maintaining of DNA, and production of the red blood cells.
Clams are a rare non-plant source of Vitamin C. In 6 ounces of clam meat, there is about 22.0 mg of Vitamin C, fulfilling RDI by 36%.
An Ideal Source of Choline
Choline is a vital nutrient for a healthy life. Choline protects against liver diseases. It also aids in the functioning of brain functioning and memory cells. In clams, you will find 110 mg choline in 6 ounces.
Benefits of Iodine and Selenium
The requirement of iodine and selenium is in minute amounts but extremely important. A 6-ounce serving will supply 60^ of the RDI requirement of selenium. In 100g you will get 66mcg of iodine.
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Health Risk of Clams
Clams, like other shellfish, have an allergenic effect and side effects on many individuals.
Allergies because of clams occur because of reactions in the immune system.
Unfortunately, there are also a few risks and potential side effects to be aware of with clams. Although less than crabs and shrimps, clams are in the fourth position in creating an allergy. Therefore, you must take a little of the cooked clam for the first time as it can be dangerous.
Dead clams even after cooking can cause food poisoning. Otherwise, clams cause amnesic, neurotoxic, and paralytic poisoning. The major cause is the infection of clams by marine toxic organisms like algae. However, cooking destroys these toxins. To avoid such risk, it is best to have well-cooked clams.
Is There Heavy Metal Accumulation?
Of all the sea fish, clams accumulate second least content of mercury as a contaminant.
You cannot avoid such a delicacy like clams these days when getting a balanced source of nutrition is important. As long as you tell which the calms are bad, and knowhow to buy the good ones, there is no risk. Clams are one of the best sources of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and rare elements make them an excellent food.
Clams are easy to cook. With a little and your favorite seasoning, clams are just lovely in taste.