Food & Nutrition

Why Mussels are so good for you (protein packed & more)


Mussels might not look like much, but these bite-sized blue beauties pack a serious amount of nutrition. Sadly they're often overlooked in favour of fish and meat, but we think it's time to shine a light on mussels and how good they really are for you. Let's take a look at what makes mussels so awesome:


What makes mussels so good for you?
What about pickled mussels?
Are mussels fattening?
Anything else to mention?


What makes mussels so good for you?

There is so much goodness packed in every mouthful of mussel that it's pretty hard to know where to start, but we should probably start by mentioning the high protein content. According to WebMD, mussels contain approximately 20 grams of protein for every 85g serving. For reference, chicken breast contains about 23 grams per 85g serving, so not a huge difference. But the reason we'd pick mussels over chicken is because not only are they high in protein, but they're also packed with other goodness such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. Apparently, the protein in shellfish such as mussels is really easy to digest too, which is a really important element to consider when choosing protein sources.

Plus, some vegans claim you can eat mussels as part of a vegan diet. So if you're meat-free and looking for a protein source, then mussels could be a good option.

Mussels at restaurant

What about pickled mussels?

So far we've been speaking about fresh mussels, but pickled mussels are a popular product here in the UK. The good news is that although not quite as healthy as fresh mussels due to the sodium levels, pickled mussels are still a really healthy choice and are almost as healthy as the fresh alternative.

Are mussels fattening?

One of the really great things about mussels is how low in fat they are, but they do contain healthy essential omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. These fatty acids are excellent for brain and heart health, so you definitely want to consume lots of these!

Anything else to consider?

Yes, one of the other major things to consider is how the mussels are served. Often mussels are served in vinegar, and although this adds a lot more flavour it also makes them slightly more calorie dense.

Also, mussels can be a source of mercury and lead which are dangerous when consumed in large amounts (but you'd have to eat a load of mussels to reach truly dangerous levels, more than 1kg per week).

So to summarise, mussels are super good for you and you should try to introduce them into your diet!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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