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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Nutrition of Clams

Aug 11, 2010

Even though not everyone is sold on their salty taste and soft and chewy texture, clams are some of the healthiest seafoods that you can eat. These tasty mollusks can be cooked in a variety of ways - steamed, baked, fried or just sauteed. They can also serve as appetizers or as the main dish.

Low in Bad Fat, High in Good Fat

If you are on the road to weight loss then clams are some of the best foods that you can include in your regular diet. With only two grams of fat and a little more than 100 calories per three ounces, eating clams is a great way to satisfy your hunger and gain energy. Clams are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a good type of fat that many people are not getting enough of. Even though clams contain cholesterol, the amount is minimal.

Rich in Iron

Clams are also one of the most iron-rich foods that you can eat. It is so high in iron that it even beats out beef liver and steak when it comes to iron content. When you eat three ounces of cooked clams (about eight to nine small clams), you are receiving as much as 24 milligrams of iron which surpass the RDA-recommended daily amount. Pre-menopausal women require 18 milligrams of iron per day for good health. Meanwhile, eight milligrams are enough for women who are post-menopausal and adult men. As you can see, women have a much higher need for iron so it's a good idea to eat clams regularly. A deficiency in iron can result in anemia.

Good Source of Lean Protein

As you probably know, protein is an important factor in any healthy diet, and lean proteins are even better. If you're tired of regularly eating lean meat or chicken then why not try eating clams for a change? Clams have more protein content than other seafood, such as scallops and oysters. Clams are also proving to be the better choice because even though they contain roughly the same amount of protein, they have more vitamins and minerals than chicken.

Rich in Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is among the vitamins and minerals that can be found in clams. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system by keeping the spinal cord, brain and nerves healthy. A deficiency in vitamin B12 leads to symptoms that are similar to the symptoms of Alzheimer's. These include numbness in the hands and feet, anxiety, balance issues and depression. Aside from vitamin B12, clams are also rich in vitamin C which helps boost your immune system.

Low Amount of Contaminants

You may be wary of eating seafood and fish because these foods may contain toxic contaminants. Fortunately, most clams are relatively safe to eat thanks to their low amounts of contaminants. To be on the safe side, refrain from eating raw clams and always cook them to make sure they are safe.

 

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