Clams have surprising health benefits, even greater than those of other shellfish and seafood. Clams even come in first place against several other common protein sources, including chicken. Of all the fish in the sea, clams have less contaminants and more protein than most.
Read on to see why clams are much more than the stuff of clam chowder. They are good for you too.
Raw clams have lots of iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin B12, copper, zinc and protein. They also contain vitamin A, thiamin, calcium, magnesium and 0 sugars. Clams have a moderate amount of fat, three-fourths of which is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (the good kind). On the downside, clams have lots of cholesterol, but the good fats seem to balance things out. Good fats in clams outweigh the potentially harmful effects of cholesterol.
What Else Do Clams Have to Offer?
Promote Good Heart Health – Clams have lots of potassium, which is known to keep sodium levels in balance and blood pressure levels down. The healthy fats in clams are also a plus, because that means that you’re less likely to accumulate harmful fats around the heart in particular so the heart can function properly.
When the arteries are free and clear to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body, heart disease and stroke risks are greatly reduced. Clams also have omega-3 fatty acids that keep the heart and brain functioning well.
Improve Brain Function, Fight Alzheimer’s Disease – Vitamin B12 is known to protect the neurological system and has been shown to keep the degenerative Alzheimer’s Disease from developing. Clams are one of nature’s highest suppliers of this vitamin, so eat up – not to mention omega-3 which also supports brain health.
Fight Osteoporosis – The zinc and calcium in clams support healthy, strong bones. Zinc helps new bone to grow and stops the breakdown of the bones one already has.
Fight Arthritis – The high amount of selenium in clams can counteract the damaging effects of rheumatoid arthritis or prevent it from occurring in the first place. This mineral is often lacking in those who develop this disease.
Keep Thyroid Functioning Properly – The copper in clams assists the thyroid in its metabolic and hormonal control functions.
Promote Healthy Skin – Riboflavin in clams may remedy dry, peeling and cracking skin.
Promote Good Oral Health – The high vitamin C content in clams keeps your teeth and gums healthy and helps bleeding gums to heal quickly.
Regulate Blood Sugar – Since clams contain a lot of manganese, blood sugar levels will go down as a result of eating them more.
Strengthen Immunity – With all of the protein clams provide, the immune system is boosted and better able to fight back disease.
Prevent Anemia – Clams are loaded with iron, the mineral that anemic people are usually lacking and that causes many of their symptoms. For those who don’t even realize they are iron deficient, but may be experiencing extreme fatigue and weakness and get cold easily; a food like clams which has lots of iron can be the solution.