Snails (including dried snail) are small mollusks that wreak havoc in your garden or crawl around on the sidewalk after the rain. However, in most advanced countries, snails are a delicacy.
Snails can be prepared in a variety of different ways, one of such is the dried snails. In this article, we’ll be looking into some basic facts, health benefits, and recipes of snails.
Snails are when cooked are enjoyed by many. An example of delicacies that can be prepared with snails is “d’oeuvre” called “escargot” or fried in an Indian dish called sate kakul.
In Africa, snails are majorly consumed by Nigerians in the eastern region.
To some people, snails are very disgusting probably due to their slimy nature.
Most people nowadays find eating snail meat disgusting but through this article, if you’re in that category, that deadlock may be alleviated as snails not only have a unique taste but also provide notable health benefits, nutrients, and vitamins that may be beneficial to us.
Snails tend to have a meaty texture but are slimy on the inside. They take on any flavor they are cooked in.
You can find snail delicacy at various restaurants or as an appetizer at a fancy party. Seafood shops also sell them. However, you can’t buy them in every grocery store.
Snails are packed with lots of essential nutritional substances. Let’s take a look at the potential health benefits and risk factors of eating snails so that you can make an informed decision about whether to add this food to your diet.
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A 4-ounce serving of raw snails contains:
Calories – 102
Fat – 2 grams
Cholesterol – 57 milligrams
Sodium – 79 milligrams
Carbohydrates – 2 grams
Protein – 18 grams
Vitamin A helps your immune system fight off diseases and strengthens your eyes. It also helps cells in your body grow.
Calcium helps your body’s bones stay strong and diminish the risk of developing bone-related problems such as osteoporosis.
Iron helps your red blood cells move oxygen to all parts of your body, as well as keeps your hair, nails, and skin healthy.
An essential vitamin in the snail, Vitamin A, strengthens your eyes and also your immune system. It also helps and ensures that your body cells grow.
Snail meat also contains calcium, making it an excellent choice for good and healthy bone development.
It also contains Iron which helps your red blood cells move oxygen to all parts of your body, as well as keeps your hair, nails, and skin healthy.
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Health Benefits of Snails
Below are important health benefits of snails you may not know.
(1) Improve Anemia
Deficiency in minerals like iron can cause symptoms that include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, chest pain, headache, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
However, snails contain iron and may help relieve some of these symptoms by treating the underlying cause.
Snails are an excellent source of iron, with one serving of snails containing 22% of your recommended daily allowance of iron.
(2) Improve Heart Health
Fish are normally noted for their supply of Omega-3 fatty acids, but snails are a good source of them too.
Omega-3s have been shown to improve heart health and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. They also may help lower your blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, and keep your heartbeat steady.
Snails are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, although fish are also noted for supplying that too.
Omega-3 acids have been shown to improve heart health and reduce the risk of dying of heart disease. They also may help lower you reduce blood clotting, blood pressure, and keep your heartbeat steady.
(3) Snails are Keto-Friendly
Snails are gluten-free and keto-friendly and also are a great source of nutrients and proteins. They are also a rich source of iron, magnesium, and Omega-3.
Potential Risks of Snails
The biggest problems and risks to eating snails come from how you prepare them.
(1) May Lead to Heart Problems
One of the benefits of eating a snail is that of its low-fat protein, but cooking them in buttery sauces adds that fat back in.
Arteries and thin tubes carrying oxygen-rich blood can become clogged if too much fat is built.
However, a blocked artery. Therefore, eating fat-rich sauces along with snails reintroduces the risk of developing heart disease.
(2) Rat Lungworm Disease
Eating raw snails or not well-prepared snails may lead to a condition called “Rat Lungworm disease”.
Rat lungworm is a very dangerous parasite that can get into snails if they come in contact with rat poop.
If you eat a raw snail with this parasite, you can become infected.
Symptoms of infections include; Headache, Dizziness, e.t.c.
This infection can be prevented as long as you cook snails thoroughly before eating them.
What Do Snails Taste Like?
Snails have a slimy, meaty, and chewy texture coupled with a unique earthy taste, and they tend to absorb the sauce or flavor of whatever they are cooked in.
If you enjoy seafood like oysters and mussels, chances are you’ll enjoy eating snails too!
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How to Prepare Dried Snails
As mentioned earlier, snail meat is mostly consumed by Africans, especially Nigerians in the eastern region. Snail meat is sometimes called Congo meat.
Soak your dried snails, and set them aside to soften.
Cut the vegetables; red bell pepper, and onions – and mince the garlic. In a pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil till fragrant.
Add the chopped peppers, bouillon, cayenne pepper, and ground crayfish and sauté for five more minutes.
Make sure the snails are cooked covered and on medium-low heat so that the flavors from the peppers and aromatics can fully sink in.
Add the soaked dried snails, cover the pan, and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. The pan must be covered so that the flavors and juices can sink into the snails.
About halfway through, taste for salt and spices and adjust if necessary. Serve and enjoy!
What Do You Serve With Snails?
This snail food is usually eaten alone as a quick snack or party food. You can serve it with rice for a delectable, low-carb dinner.
If you want even more of a spicy kick, add a tablespoon of African Pepper sauce, for an amazing taste.
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