A 100g serving of steamed New Zealand Greenshell Mussels is a good source of protein and would supply about 30% of the daily requirement for an adult.
They are low fat and low calorie, but because their lipids are high in omega-3 fatty acids they are a very good source of omega-3’s, with a very good DHA to EPA ratio and low omega-6 content.
New Zealand Greenshell Mussels are also a very good source of a number of essential minerals, such as selenium, iodine and iron, consumption of which can have significant health implications.
For example, selenium is implicated in antioxidant and immune functions in the body and perhaps a reduction in cardiovascular disease.
A deficiency of iodine and iron have been linked to widespread health disorders in various parts of the world.
In addition to the high omega-3 content, and high content of selenium, New Zealand Greenshell Mussels also contain a number of other bioactive components such as taurine, glycogen, chondroitin sulphate, polyphenols and carotenoids from female mussels that will contribute to antioxidant activity and will have other health implications.
Digestion of New Zealand Greenshell Mussels may also give rise to bioactive peptides. Little information has been published about these bioactives and the health properties of steamed New Zealand Greenshell Mussels.
However, it is not surprising that for the last 30 years dried Greenshell mussel powder has been sold as a health supplement for its anti-inflammatoryproperties and the treatment of arthritis in humans and in animals.
This product originally arose from observations of the low incidence of arthritis in segments of the New Zealand population that consumed significant quantities of Greenshell Mussels.
Most of the focus in Greenshell Mussel powder supplements has been on the health properties of the mussel oil in the powder which is high in EPA, DHA and other omega-3’s with little emphasison these other components that have also been shown to have antioxidant and health properties.
* Source: Identification of Health and Nutritional Benefits of New Zealand Aquaculture Seafoods, Grant MacDonald, PhD Food Scientist, MacDonald and Associates Ltd.