Mussel health benefits

The mussel is a mollusc that (like oysters and shellfish) belongs to the bivalve class, that is, it has a shell that is divided into two parts. It can be found in oceans around the world, as well as freshwater lakes and rivers. Some of the known species are the zebra mussel, blue mussel and golden mussel.

The animal mussel lives attached to rocks along the beaches, forming colonies. Its shell has a bluish black hue, without any ornament. Wild reproduction occurs quickly and he is also able to produce pearls, some considered very valuable in the market.

These molluscs play an important role in cleansing the oceans, as they remove toxic particles from the water when they feed, balancing oxygen levels. Aquaculture (raising aquatic animals for human use) does not require large financial expenses, as this animal does not need to be fed and requires special care.

The average price of mussels is around R$ 30.00 per kilo. It is sold in bulk or peeled (without shell), mainly purchased by owners of bars and restaurants and is highly marketed in several countries around the world. In addition to having a very affordable price, the preparation is quick and tasty.

Although mussels and shellfish are not much remembered when talking about nutritional benefits, it is a food that has a great advantage for health, as the meat is very nutritious.

When buying, choose the specimens that have the shells completely closed, with a shiny and moist appearance. Despite having a strong aroma, it shouldn’t be unpleasant. It is important to buy in places where the source is reliable and it is not recommended to pick up your own mussel on the beach if you are not completely sure that the water is not polluted.

Mussels deteriorate quickly and, for this reason, the selection, preparation and consumption process must be carried out without delay. In addition, as this animal feeds by filtering sea water, it can end up absorbing certain toxins, so it is important to clean it carefully.

Use a small knife to remove the thick crust covering the mussel shell. Then wash it well under running water, preferably using a fine-bristled brush for a more thorough cleaning.

After cooking, any shells that do not open should be discarded, as this means they are not good for consumption. If the recipe calls for shelled mussels, pull it out to remove the meat completely. Then remove the ring that surrounds the soft part and discard.

Much of its nutrients are lost when the shellfish is frozen or cooked. For this reason, the best way to consume mussels is in their raw form.


Among the properties of mussels are proteins, iron, betaine, zinc, folic acid, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin B 12. Because of this wide variety of vitamins and minerals, its consumption brings numerous health benefits. , such as anti-inflammatory action, protection of brain health, strengthening of the immune system, among others.

  • Fights Arthritis

Mussels are an excellent food for the prevention and treatment of arthritis as they are a rich source of iron and betaine. This was discovered when they observed that New Zealanders who ate mussels regularly showed greater resistance to bone pain and joint deterioration in old age.

Since then, research has been carried out to identify the properties of this mollusk. The result was that mussels help to stimulate the production of leukotrienes, a substance that effectively contributes to the reduction of inflammation, which is the main cause of arthritis.

  • Prevent osteoporosis

Consumption of mussels helps to eliminate inflammation, which minimizes the wear and tear on the bones over the years. In addition, it contains minerals that promote greater strength to bones, making them stronger and healthier.

  • improves circulation

Maintaining good blood circulation is an essential factor in preventing heart attacks from occurring. For this reason, the consumption of mussels is recommended, as it has among its properties components that contribute to the strengthening of artery walls, preventing them from weakening and breaking. In this way, blood vessels remain healthier, protecting the cardiovascular system.

  • Prevents anemia

A 200 gram serving of cooked mussels contains more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of iron. Iron plays a fundamental role in the production of red cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen. Because of this, consumption of this food prevents anemia caused by a deficiency of this mineral.

  • Helps fight weight gain

Substituting mussels for red meat is an option that offers less calories to the body, about 25% less. In addition, mussel meat has the same amount of protein as meat, but with less fat.

  • Improves skin health

Mussels, like other seafood, are rich in omega 3 and zinc, making them very suitable for keeping the skin looking healthy. In addition, it contains several nutrients and minerals that help to strengthen hair, nails and teeth, making it a food that can be consumed for aesthetic purposes as well.

The extract made from mussel extract increases the skin’s elasticity, which prevents premature aging.

  • Benefits fertility

If you want to have a child and find it difficult, eating mussels can help in a positive way. The reason is because recent research has shown that this food increases the volume of sexual fluids and their viscosity, both in men and women, which increases the chances of a conception.

  • Strengthens the immune system

Mussels, when consumed regularly, help to increase the production of antibodies in our body, which prevents the emergence of infections caused by viruses and bacteria. For this reason, by protecting the immune system, it can help prevent colds and flu, for example.

  • prevents asthma

The anti-inflammatory properties found in mussels help to reduce symptoms by asthma. Studies carried out with people who consumed the extract made with this shellfish had a very significant reduction in symptoms.


Even though mussels bring numerous benefits to our health, it is necessary to be careful in relation to their consumption. That’s because there are people who can have negative reactions like their consumption, such as stomach pains, diarrhea and gas.

Another factor that must be taken into account is that this food should not be consumed excessively by pregnant women, as studies show that it can result in pregnancy complications. Mussels contain certain minerals and compounds that, when eaten in large quantities, can be harmful. For this reason, it is recommended to always consume in moderation.


Here are some recipes that use mussels as the main ingredient.



  • 500 g of mussels
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 diced red tomato
  • 1/4 yellow and red peppers
  • Coriander
  • Scallion
  • Lemon
  • Apple vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Preparation mode

  1. Wash the mussels with lemon and cook for 10 minutes in a pan without adding water, seasoning with black pepper and salt. Then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, add the oil and saute the onion, tomato, pepper and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Simmer for about 5 minutes and add the cilantro and chives.
  4. Add mussels and season using lemon, vinegar and oil.
  5. Refrigerate for about 2 hours and serve with toast.



  • 1 kg of clean mussel
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley to taste
  • cilantro to taste

Preparation mode

  1. In a pan, put the oil and saute the onion and garlic, adding the mussels afterwards.
  2. Add the peppers and tomatoes, leaving to cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Then add water, rice, pepper, cilantro and salt.
  4. Let it cook until the rice is done.
  5. When serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.



  • 1 kg of mussels
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can of sour cream
  • ½ cup (tea) of white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 grated turnip
  • 1 cup of (tea) of black olives (pitted)
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives and parsley
  • 1 sachet of fish-based seasoning
  • salt to taste

Preparation mode

  1. Put the butter in a pan and heat it over the fire until it melts.
  2. Add the onion to saute, then pour in the wine and add the mussels. Cook for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let it cool.
  3. Place the mussels, turnip, carrots, salt, pepper sauce, sachet of fish seasoning, lemon juice, olives, chives and parsley in a salad bowl.
  4. Mix all ingredients well and serve cold.
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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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