What are mussels?

Mussels are mollusks belonging to the family of Mytilidae. There are two species which are quite similar, the Mytilus edulis and Mytilus galloprovincialis. In Italy it is particularly abundant in the Adriatic Sea, although they are spread all along the coast of the peninsula.


What are the nutritional properties of mussels?

100g of mussels (Mytilus edulis, edible portion) provide about 84 calories broken down as follows:

  • 56% protein
  • 29% lipids,
  • 15% carbohydrates


In particular, 100g of mussels contain:

  • 82.1 g water
  • 11.7 g of protein
  • 2.7 g of lipids, of which: 0.52 g of saturated fat, 0.63 g of monounsaturated fat, 0 , 58 g of polyunsaturated fats (especially omega-3) and 121 mg cholesterol
  • 2.8 g of glycogen
  • Of soluble sugars 0.3 g
  • 1.6 mg of niacin
  • 0.16 mg of riboflavin
  • 0.12 mg thiamine
  • 54 micrograms of vitamin a (retinol equivalent)
  • trace of vitamin C
  • 320 mg potassium
  • 290 mg sodium
  • 236 mg phosphorus
  • 88 mg calcium
  • 44 mg magnesium
  • 5.8 mg iron
  • 2.2 mg zinc
  • 1.2 mg of copper
  • 49 micrograms selenium


When should you not eat mussels?

There are some known interactions between the consumption of mussels and the intake of drugs or other substances. If in doubt it is good to seek advice from your doctor.


Availability of mussels

Mussels reproduce better in the spring and summer.


Possible benefits of mussels

Mussels protect health by providing the body with important minerals. In particular, the selenium can enhance the functioning of the immune system and acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin C also helps to increase the antioxidant defenses and participates in the synthesis of collagen. Riboflavin has a role in regulating mood, participates in the communication between nerve cells and promotes good use of iron. Mussels are also a source of omega 3, health fatty acids (in particular for the heart and arteries).


Possible contraindications of mussels

However, mussels are rich in sodium and cholesterol, both enemies of cardiovascular health. Therefore it is better to avoid excessive consumption, especially if you already have high cholesterol problems.

Shellfish can cause food intolerance. The mercury content of mussels is low, but can be contaminated by other pollutants.