If you have ever been to a beach around the world, there’s a good chance that you picked up a shell at one point not knowing what it belonged to. Most of the time, those happen to be the shells of scallops, one of the most abundant sea animals in the world that live in all regions. Scallops can be found in both shallow and deep waters, and over the years have become one of the higher regarded foods in the seafood industry.
Scallops are becoming more affordable in the United States these days, too, which is good news for seafood fans that are looking for more nutrition. If you’ve never had scallops before, you might want to consider adding more to your diet since they have a lot of nutrition that can bring some great health benefits. Let’s breakdown that nutrition, and why you should be eating scallops more often.
Nutrition of Scallops
Not many of us get the minerals we need in our diets, but adding more scallops can certainly help you out with that. In a 3.5 ounce serving, there are only around 110 calories with no carbohydrates, and nearly half of your daily recommendation for protein. As for those minerals we were talking about, you get between 10 and 20 percent of your daily values in calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. You’ll even be adding a third of your daily phosphorus, 20 percent of recommended zinc and 40 percent in selenium.
There aren’t too many vitamins in this low-fat food, but scallops are a tremendous source of vitamin B12 with a quarter of your daily recommendation. While under 10 percent in some of the other vitamins, you’ll still be adding vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. That’s a lot of nutrition in just one small serving without many calories, and even comes with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Good For the Heart
Because of those fantastic omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll be seeing a huge benefit for your heart health by eating more scallops. The nutrients within scallops have been found to help you lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while also balancing out your HDL (good) levels. Controlling your cholesterol levels allow you to strongly reduce the chance of strokes, heart attacks and many other problems.
Scallops also can help you increase the efficiency of your blood flow, while also lowering your blood pressure. While there is some sodium found in scallops, there isn’t too much to the point where it will become a problem if you keep an otherwise low sodium diet. Because of these great benefits, scallops lower your chances of having a stroke by more than 30 percent. Millions of people die each year from heart disease, so it’s important to take care of your heart by eating more foods like scallops.
Heart disease is one of the most common killers around, and cancer is also up there on the list, unfortunately. There are many different foods that you can eat to help reduce your chances of cancer, and scallops are certainly among them. Because of nutrients such as vitamin B12 and others that help to attack free radicals that can do damage to your body, you can prevent a large list of problems that include cancer.
Those that are getting enough vitamin B12 in their diet lower their risks of getting cancer by nearly 30 percent compared to those that don’t. That also extends to colorectal cancer, which can be reduced by nearly 40 percent for those that are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. A lot of research has been done to show that eating more of these acids in your diet increases your health overall, both in the short and long term.
While omega-3 fatty acids are great for your heart and digestive system, they also give your brain a huge boost. You can greatly lower your chances of age-related neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s by eating more of these acids, with researchers saying the number could be as high as 50 percent. Even if you were at risk for Alzheimer’s before, you can lower your chances by destroying the plaque buildup.
Eating scallops even helps your brain function on a day-to-day basis because of the nutrients within. Scallops have been shown to have enough vitamins to have your brain operate more efficiently almost immediately while balancing your hormones to give you a mood boost. For those that have trouble falling or staying asleep, that’s also another benefit.
Even if your biggest concern is just trying to drop a few pounds, adding more scallops to your diet is a good idea. Scallops only contain about 110 calories per serving when steamed, making it a very ideal food to base your meals around. There are many different lean proteins out there that you can choose from, and scallops are certainly among the best.
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for helping you get through exercises more often while promoting an increased metabolism that will lead to fat loss. Scallops are also very filling, allowing you to fight off some of the cravings that you might feel throughout the day. They are a big part of successful diets, so make sure to add them where you can.
Another big part of the fact that scallops can help you lose weight is because of the high protein content. With all of that protein, your body will be able to build muscle more easily to help you burn more calories throughout the day. For those that are into lifting weights, you know how helpful certain seafoods like scallops can be for your diet. All of that protein will certainly have a good effect on your body.
Summing it Up
Obviously the first thing you want to consider when eating scallops is if you have an allergy to shellfish. If that’s the case, you should clearly be avoiding them at all costs. If not, though, are there really any problems to eating them? Some people get a bit shocked by looking at the cholesterol content of scallops, but that shouldn’t actually be a concern. It’s been shown that saturated fat has a higher effect on your cholesterol than actually dietary cholesterol itself.
Other than the potentially allergy, there shouldn’t be a concern for people when it comes to eating scallops. They are actually a healthier alternative for many other foods, especially red meat. There haven’t been negative side effects found with eating them for people that aren’t allergic. The price isn’t all too bad either compared to other meats at around $7 for a pound of them. That price will be even lower in certain parts of the United States and around the world, making it a very accessible food.