Snails are more than just garden pests. If they have ever garnished your meal, then you must have had a feel of their juicy taste. But more than the taste, scientists have recently concluded that making snails part of your regular diet is one way of boosting one’s immune system.
Consider its slime for instance. While many people detest this substance, nutritionists say that the slime possess great health benefits including a great source of protein.
Many cultures have enjoyed eating snails for centuries, and recent research has found that they can be an excellent protein source in poorer countries where meat usually comes at a premium. Not only are they a healthy source of protein but they have also been found to contain valuable lectin, which has anti-cancer properties. This lectin assists the immune system in fighting cancerous cells.
Hippocrates, a Greek philosopher, documented the health benefits of snail slime back in the days of ancient Greece, when experiments showed that snail mucin was beneficial in healing the skin and reducing scarring. Modern research has discovered that Hippocrates was of course correct, and snail serum has been found to contain both anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
Secretions from snails contain copper peptide, which is thought to be the only natural source of a substance usually manufactured to assist in making creams, which help to minimise scarring. Essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium are also found in snails. They are a rich source of vitamins too, being packed with vitamins E, A, K and B12.
One has to be certain they have no trace of insecticides or poisonous plants in their digestive tracts. The preferred method of purifying snails is to put them live into a bowl with a lid, to prevent them climbing out. It also helps to throw in some lettuce leaves for the snails to feed on before they meet their fate in the pot.