Mussels hide many virtues within their elegant black shell. Mussel farming has been going on since the Middle Ages, when a young shipwreck victim discovered by chance that mussels stuck to wood. This technique called "bouchot farming" has been used in France as soon as the 17th century on the Atlantic coast and is still used today. Discover the outstanding virtues of this seashell!

Nutritional information

Scientists agree that regular consumption of fish and seafood is beneficial. It was found that the populations in the world who have a large part of these foods in their traditional diet have 15% less chance to have a cardiovascular disease (1). The extreme resistance of these populations can be explained in particular by the high concentration in this type of food of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, responsible for cardiovascular health (2) (3). Mussels are no exception! These omega-3 fatty acids also improve neuronal transmission and protect the tissues composing the brain.

Moreover, a portion of mussels provides about 10 times the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin B12 (4), best known under the name of folic acid. These folates are very important for neuronal health, they protect the body against strain and chronic stress (5). Finally, mussels are the ideal food against deficiency in essential minerals! They are indeed full of Phosphor (40% of RDI), crucial to good bone structure, Iron (up to 80% of RDI) (6), essential to vascular balance, and also Zinc, which plays an important role in the immune system and hormonal balance (7). 100 g of mussels provide the totality of the daily needs of our body in Selenium which is very effective against oxydative stress and disorders linked to age (8).

How to taste mussels

Mussels can be bought all year round, either fresh or frozen. It is recommended to consume fresh mussels immediately after purchase so as to avoid any risk of intoxication. There is a large number of recipes to prepare mussels. The best known recipe is Moules Marinières, they are cooked in white wine with onions and parsley, you can add fresh cream or roquefort for an extra finishing touch. An original alternative to the simple mussels and chips dish is to prepare the mussels with onions, sweet peppers and chorizo and grill them gently on the plancha. You can also take the mussels from the shells and add them to mixed salads, seafood savoury cakes or delicious vegetable stews.

Sources: Passeport santé ; ; comité nationale de la conchyliculture.
References: (1) He K, Song Y, Daviglus ML, et al. Accumulated evidence on fish consumption and coronary heart disease mortality: A meta-analysis of cohort studies. Circulation. 2004;109(22):2705-2711. (2) Yuan JM, Ross RK, Gao YT et al. Fish and shellfish consumption in relation to death from myocardial infarction among men in Shanghai, China. Am J Epidemiol. 2001;154:809-816. (3) Calder PC. n-3 Fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: evidence explained and mechanisms explored. Clin Sci (Lond). 2004;107:1-11. (4) Watanabe, F., Katsura, H., Takenaka, S., Enomoto, T., Miyamoto, E., Nakatsuka, T., & Nakano, Y. (2001). Characterization of vitamin B 12 compounds from edible shellfish, clam, oyster, and mussel. International journal of food sciences and nutrition, 52(3), 263-268. (5) Report of the British Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum. The Links Between Diet and Behavior: The Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health. London: British Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum; 2008. (6) Hobden, D. J. (1970). Aspects of iron metabolism in a freshwater mussel. Canadian journal of zoology, 48(1), 83-86. (7) Bray, T. M., & Bettger, W. J. (1990). The physiological role of zinc as an antioxidant. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 8(3), 281-291. (8) Baraboĭ, V. A., & Shestakova, E. N. (2004). Selenium: the biological role and antioxidant activity. Ukrains' kyi biokhimichnyi zhurnal (1999), 76(1), 23-32.

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