When it comes to snails (also known as Eju or Ejula among Igbos, Igbin in Yoruba language and Katantanwa among the Hausas), many people, especially in Nigeria, have several reservations towards it; some of which appear to be superstitious. However, health-wise, the meat of snail is considered to be high-quality food packed with protein and is also a great source of iron. It contains 15% protein, 80% water, and 2.4% fat which makes it an alternative food for people requiring a high protein low-fat diet. Here’s a breakdown of individual benefits snail provides the body.
PROTEIN: Snails do provide a low-calorie source of protein which is essential for building and repairing muscle and is also better at filling you up than carbs and fat. Many people look to seafood as an easy source of protein, but actually, snails have more.
IRON: The iron nutrient found in snails is essential for building red blood cells and carrying energy around the body. A lack of iron can lead to extreme fatigue and anemia.
VITAMIN B12: Often cited as the ‘energy vitamin’, B12 is needed to build red blood cells, keep the nervous system healthy, release energy from the food we eat and process folic acid. Luckily, snails have lots of it.
MAGNESIUM: Snails are also a good source of magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain normal blood pressure, strengthen bones and also keep the heartbeat regular.
SELENIUM: We don’t need much selenium in our bodies, but we do need some to keep a healthy immune system and to protect cells against damage. And yes, snails contain selenium.