The Benefits Of Mussels For Human Nutrition

The Benefits Of Mussels For Human Nutrition

There is growing awareness that consumption of even small quantities of mussels makes a significant contribution to the nutritional quality of people’s diets.

Mussels provide a cheap source of high-quality protein for human consumption. An important nutritional aspect relates to protein quality. The protein quality is dependent on having all the essential amino acids (EAA) in the proper proportions. If one or more amino acid is not present in sufficient amounts, the protein in your diet is considered incomplete.

Chi et al.analysed the content of EAA in mussels and found that they are in the order of Leucine > Lysine > Threonine > Phenylalanine >Isoleucine > Valine > Methionine. The ratio between essential amino acids and total amino acids is 39.18% and the ratio between essential amino acids and nonessential amino acids was about 86%. Both ratios are proposed as the amino acid composition of good quality proteins by FAO/WHO.

The content of delicious amino acids in mussel (i.e. glutamate and aspartic acid) was 15.53%, accounting for 36.72% of total amino acids. These amino acids contribute to the particularly delicious taste of mussels.

The Benefits Of Mussels For Human Nutrition

Furthermore, mussels are a rich source of various vitamins (Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate and a very good source of Vitamin B12), and provide excellent levels of minerals (magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium, manganese and phosphorus). Percent Daily Values (% DV) depicted in research are for adults or children aged four or older, and are based on a 2000 calories reference diet.

The dietary human health benefits of mussels are a reflection particularly of their fatty acid compound contents [e.g. omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: docosahexenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n3)].

These long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC – PUFA) cannot be synthesized by humans, must be obtained from the diet and provide beneficial roles in human health. Mussels get LC-PUFAs from their diet and phytoplankton is the main food source for mussels. Phytoplankton are the ocean’s main fatty acid providers. Small phytoplankton species synthesize LC-PUFAs; specifically, dinoflagellates produce EPA and diatoms produce DHA.

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