Clams are a very nutritious whole food with a host of health benefits. They are a lean source of protein; are rich in minerals, vitamins, and Omega- 3 fatty acids; they promote sexual health; and have been found to possess cancer-preventing properties. Additionally, of the early 21st century, fish and shellfish have become humanity’s only significant wild food source. The full impact of the decline of truly wild foods in our diets is not totally understood, but it stands to reason that wild foods may be an important evolutionary link to promoting basic human health.
Last Wild Food
Wild food has been in decline since the agricultural revolution. Most of our contemporary food sources have been domesticated and therefore have been altered from the foods our ancestors consumed. Eating the same food as our ancestors may be a critical part of human health, so that is why it is important to preserve and maintain humanity’s remaining wild foods such as clams. Fishermen such as clammers are one of the last remaining true hunter-gatherers in our world, and preserving their way of life, along with the wild resource that sustains them, should be the outmost priority for society.
Lean Source of Protein
A 3-ounce serving of steamed clams provides 22 grams of protein, or 44% of the daily value based on a 2,000-calorie diet. The 3-ounce portion of clams has only 126 calories and less than 2 grams of total fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Highprotein, low-calorie foods help people lose weight and prevent weight gain because protein makes people feel full for longer after a meal.
Rich in Minerals and Vitamins
Iron: In a 3-ounce serving, steamed clams provide 24 milligrams of iron, or 133% of the daily value. Iron is a part of proteins and enzymes found throughout your body,including hemoglobin and myoglobin, both of which help carry oxygen in the blood. Iron is an important component of muscles, and it helps regulate the growth of cells.
Vitamin C: A 3-ounce portion of clams provides 18 milligrams, or 30% of the daily value of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin and essential nutrient. Vitamin C form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, heals wounds, repairs and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth. As an antioxidant,
Vitamin C blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin B12: Clams possess a very high amount of Vitamin B12, which plays a crucial role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, aids in digestion and proper absorption of nutrients from foods, fights chronic fatigue, and helps expedite the release of melatonin, improving sleep patterns and resulting in better, more restful sleep. B12 also helps maintain red blood cells and nerve cells and aids in the formation of DNA. Three ounces of clams provides 700% of the daily recommended amount for vitamin B12.
Clams are also good sources of vitamin A, calcium, selenium and potassium. It is also mercury free.
Enhancement of Male Sexual Health
Clams are some of the most powerful natural sources of zinc a person can eat. Zinc also plays an important role in supporting male reproductive health because it is a key nutrient in the production of testosterone and healthy sperm (including higher sperm counts).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A 3-ounce portion of clams contains 117 of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and 174 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk for heart disease by lowering blood triglyceride levels.
Studies have shown that the common quahog, Mercenaria merceneria, may possess an antitumor agent. The agent has a regressive and an inhibiting effect on sarcoma 180 and on Krebs 2 carcinomd in mice.
- Department of Agriculture: Nutrient Data for 15159, Mollusks, Clam, Mixed Species, Cooked, Moist Heat
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: Clams
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Science Magazine:
- Food and Drug Administration: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
- Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin C