Scallops are marine bivalves residing in shells. A white fleshy meat with a mild sweet flavor is found inside these shells. As scallops are found in all the oceans of the world, theirs is considered to be a cosmopolitan family. Many people even collect scallop shells, valued for their bright color and radiating fluted patterns. Scallops are also found in bay waters, apart from the sea. However, the bay scallop is smaller in size than the scallops found in seas, which can be as large as two inches in diameter. Scallops are very high on nutrient content, with rich quantities of important minerals such as potassium, selenium and magnesium. Read on to know the health benefits of scallop.
Health Benefits Of Eating Scallops
- Being a very good source of vitamin B12, scallop promotes cardiovascular health. Human body needs vitamin B12 to convert homocysteine (a chemical that can be hazardous to blood vessel walls) into other benign chemicals.
- Scallop is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are also beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids increase heart rate variability (HRV) in just about 3 weeks.
- Consumption of scallop also protects the body against fatal abnormal heart rhythms. Any fish rich in omega-3 improves the electrical properties of heart cells, as per a study conducted in Greece.
- Omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids present in scallops also help in controlling high blood pressure. These essential fatty acids keep the blood pressure levels low and thereby prevent health problems related to high blood pressure.
- Another study showed that consuming scallop 2-3 times a month may provide protection against ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is caused by the lack of blood supply to the brain, for instance, clotting. For those who consume scallop 5 or more times a week, the stroke chances are reduced by 31%.
- A daily serve of scallop provides significant protection against the risks of coronary heart disease. Nutrients present in this fish reduce platelet aggregation and decrease the production of pro-inflammatory compounds called leukotrienes.
- Scallop is a potent source of selenium, which helps neutralize the hazardous effects of free radicals. Excessive accumulation of free radicals (which are by-products of metabolism) works to weaken the immune system, thereby making it prone to diseases.
- Scallop is also known to provide some relief from hypertension. The magnesium contained in scallop is associated with relaxation of blood vessels, which keeps hypertension under check.
- Scallops contain naturally occurring substances like purines, which can be harmful to individuals susceptible to purine-related problems. Excessive intake of scallop, in such cases, can be injurious to health.
- Purines can be further broken down by the body to form uric acid. Excess accumulation of purines in the body will lead to the excess accumulation of uric acid, which can result in several other problems, such as formation of kidney stones and gout.
- Any tough connective tissue should be trimmed off from the scallop. Any attached roe can be left on the piece and cooked along with.
- Excessive cooking is to be strictly avoided while cooking scallops. It can increase their toughness.
- Lightly cooked bay scallops can be coupled with salsa, prepared from diced papaya, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and ginger. Bay scallops can also be added gazpacho, to make it more nutritious and flavored.