With the holidays come feasts, family reunions and, of course, treats! Whether it’s candies, pies, cookies or cakes, we’re all ready to indulge in those sweet treats that make us feel special during what can be a chaotic time. However, since we can easily overwork ourselves at these times, it’s important to avoid carbohydrate-rich foods if you want to stay healthy, even when it comes to Christmas snails. Are Christmas snails really fattening? Let’s think about the facts!
What did you know about Christmas snails?
- Snails are also eaten in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Crete, Tunisia, Asia and elsewhere.
- May 24 is National Snail Day.
- Do you like mussels, clams or calamari? Then you will probably like snails a lot.
The real facts about snails!
Snails are a good source of protein.
Next time you need to recover from a workout, look no further than a healthy serving of snails.
They have a story to tell!
Snails have been eaten in Europe since prehistoric times. A handful of snail shells have been found at numerous archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, some dating back thousands of years BC. Before the French, snails were a popular delicacy for the Romans.
A taste of the land!
Like grapes, cheese and other animal delicacies, snails are products of their environment, which means that their taste is marked by a strong sense of place. However, not all snails are created equal, as not all species are edible.
The most commonly eaten snail species are helix aspersa, helix lucorum and helix pomatia, all of which thrive in the countryside of eastern France, especially Burgundy and the landscapes around the Alps. Snails are most often harvested after heavy rains because their bodies are more receptive to moist environments.
No fat, no carbs, no sugar.
As well as being high in protein, snails are virtually free of fat, carbs, and sugar (the sauce they’re served in is another story, but on their own they’re very healthy). Snails are also rich in iron, magnesium and other essential minerals. You’ll even get almost 10% of your daily potassium per serving.
Snails are typically French!
Snails are regularly eaten throughout the country. These little gems are often enjoyed as appetizers at happy hour or as a small entrée at the start of a meal.
Snails make you happy…literally!
Like oysters, clams and other shellfish, snails contain a good amount of tryptophan, a chemical that plays a key role in the brain’s production of serotonin. In addition to boosting your happiness, serotonin also helps regulate sleep and control appetite. Next time you’re feeling down, eat a small snail or two!
Snails are a great carrier for sauce (and extra baguette!)
As much as we love the snails themselves, it’s the sauce that matters most. In France, snails are traditionally prepared with parsley, garlic and lots of butter. Use these little containers to soak up the best of that homemade sauce – and don’t forget to ask for an extra baguette, too. Depending on how much butter you use, this sauce may negate some of the health benefits mentioned above, but we recommend finding the balance in life and enjoying it.
So, do they have a role in our extra pounds?
No, Christmas snails are not fattening. In fact, they are quite healthy. Generally speaking, thanks to their nutritional value rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements, snails constitute a low-calorie food source which can provide an interesting recommended daily allowance in comparison to their small size.
Even more, their consumption contributes to the maintenance of healthy metabolic functions and to the protection against certain winter diseases. Snails can be a nutritious addition to your holiday meal. As a result, they may help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods thanks to their high fiber content, which helps stabilize blood sugar. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional holiday treats, Christmas snails might be your go-to snack this season.