Nutrition and DietClams: properties and benefits

Clams: properties and benefits

Discover the properties of clams, as well as the nutritional benefits of one of the most delicious and tasty seafood, especially rich in both protein and minerals.

The clams become one of the most delicious, and prepared seafood consumed. For example, it is usual to make succulent –and magnificent- clams in sauce, being a great dish to enjoy practically at any time of the year (although above all and especially in the summer months).

In reference to which clams to choose, although it is true that they can live perfectly in both fresh and salt water, the ones that provide the best flavor are the clams that live in the sea.

Of course, when cooking them we must bear in mind that those clams with shells that have not been opened after 3 minutes of cooking it is best to discard them and remove them from the heat, not consuming them because it is an indication that they are not in good condition.

What are clams?

Although they are delicious and easily distinguishable due to their characteristic and striking appearance, clams basically consist of bivalve mollusks that have two shells -also known as shells-, which are joined by a filament that enables both their opening and closing.

We find them mainly on the sandy bottoms of many coasts. For example, in Spain it is possible to distinguish different species or varieties, among which we can highlight the presence of the fine clam (Ruditapes decussata or Venerupisdecussata) and the popular and well-known chirla (Chamelea gallina or Venus gallina).

Regarding their recognized -and characteristic- appearance, clams have a soft body which is protected by a rather thin shell or valve? They can reach 3.5 centimeters in length, and on the outside they have striking fine and semicircular grooves. In addition, they have a digestive system and a heart.

Do you know how clams move? They do it in a really curious way: opening and closing their shells, and gaining momentum from the force they exert on the water.

Clams benefits

Although clams are ‘adored’ for their flavor and because they are simply delicious when they are prepared in sauce, added to seafood soups or accompanied with spaghetti, we must highlight and take into account the great variety of properties of clams.

On the one hand, they are an ideal food in weight loss diets due to their low fat content, also highlighting their high content of minerals and vitamins (especially in vitamins of group B, highlighting vitamin B12).

As regards precisely its high mineral content, its high content of ironpotassiumselenium and calcium stand out. Not surprisingly, in reference to iron, 100 grams of clams provide the recommended daily amount of iron.

Thanks precisely to its high iron content, its consumption is recommended in those people who suffer from anemia, especially in women who are during menstruation. In fact, we could almost say that it is a real anti-anemia food.

It is an ideal food when it comes to increasing defenses and strengthening the immune system, since it is capable of increasing our body’s natural resistance to infections (thanks to its zinc content).

Main properties of the clam

To offer you a brief but more complete information about the different properties of clams, we will indicate more about them below:

  • Rich in calcium: an essential mineral to preserve the health of bones, teeth and heart.
  • High iron content: it is an ideal food against anemia, especially recommended in women with menstruation.
  • Strengthens the immune system: thanks to its high zinc content.
  • Low in fat and rich in protein.

Nutritional information for every 100 grams of clam:

Nutrient Content / Contribution
Calories (kcal.) 77
Carbohydrates 1.50 g
Protein 15.40 g
Fats 1.00 g
Cholesterol 34 mg
Vitamin A 90 µg
Vitamin B1 0.03 mg
Vitamin B2 0.21 mg
Vitamin B3 4.17 mg
Vitamin B6 0.14 mg
Vitamin B9 16.00 µg
B12 vitamin 1.00 µg
Vitamin D 1.00 µg
Calcium 46.00 mg
Iron 14.00 mg
Magnesium 51.00 mg
Iodine 27.00
Selenium 24.30 µg
Sodium 56.00 mg
Potassium 314.00 mg
Zinc 1.20 mg

The main varieties of clams

There is a very wide variety of clam species. However, we could summarize below some of the most frequent ones:

  • Blonde clam. It is one of the best known varieties. It usually comes from Portugal. It has a very characteristic reddish and purple color.
  • French clam. It comes from France, specifically from the Brittany and Normandy regions. Its flavor is intense and has a dark color.
  • Iceland clam. They are the most curious, since they can reach 400 years of age and 200 kilos in weight.

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