I live in Seattle and one of the things I enjoy the most is driving up north to Birch Bay where you can pick up a shellfish license for $17 and walk out onto the tide pools with a bucket and a small shovel. You honestly don't even need the shovel; all that is really required is a willingness to play around in the rocks and sand for 20 minutes to walk away with 40 clams. The only thing that takes real effort and creativity is thinking of the all the new and delicious ways to cook them! On my last trip to Birch Bay I created Steamed Clams with Leeks, Garlic, Thyme, White Wine, and Butter. It was definitely a hit!
In addition to all the fun and absolutely delicious ways to ingest these bodacious bivalves, there are also five very good reasons to eat steamed clams on a regular basis...
1. Seafood Energy Boost
Rich in iron, 20 clams provide almost 300% of your daily needs. That's huge! I don’t know about you, but slurping down 20 of these meaty little mollusks is pretty darn easy. Iron plays a role in transporting oxygen to red blood cells and is an essential mineral that is needed for your cells to make energy. Fatigue and anemia result from low iron diets.
Clams are also one of those foods that are rich in vitamin C, which helps you to absorb the iron. In fact 20 clams will also provide you with 70% of your vitamin C needs. Hello energy!
2. Alzheimer’s Prevention
Can't remember where you put your keys? Feeling a little bit irritable lately with mood swings? You may be low in vitamin B12. The perfect solution may be steaming up 20 of your favorite clams. This serving provides you with over 3000% of your daily B12 needs! That's quite hit of nutrients! While a vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with mood and energy disorders, memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and low immunity, eating clams maybe a tasty preventative plan to also keep these conditions at bay.
3. Younger Looking Skin
The huge hit of B12 you get from clams will also nourish your skin. In fact, vitamin B12 is often applied directly to the skin for certain conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Clams also provide 95% of your daily selenium needs. Selenium has antioxidant properties and may help protect cells from damage. Clams are also a good source of riboflavin, a vitamin also connected to skin health that helps to fight off free radicals.
4. Increases Sex Drive
Clams are high in zinc. This is a mineral that can trigger an increase in the production of sex hormones. It is also an essential mineral needed for sperm production. So whether you want to increase sexual function or prolong it, this mighty mollusk could help.
In addition, clams also contain D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, two rare amino acids that are believed to increase testosterone in males, and progesterone in females. Both of these hormones are associated with greater sexual activity. Vavavoom!
5. Immune Boosting
Since clams provide 95% of your daily selenium needs and a hearty dose of vitamin C, your immune system also gets a boost. Clams also provide 35% of your potassium and zinc needs, which is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to boosting the immune system.
So are you a steamed clams fanatic like I am? What are your favorite ways to eat them?