Nutritional Facts – Is Snail a Healthy Food to Eat?

Nutritional Facts – Is Snail a Healthy Food to Eat
Main Name: Snail
Biological Name: Helix aspersa
Names in other languages: Caracol (Spanish), Caracol (Portugese), Escargot (French), Kuhol (Filipino), Ghonga (Hindi), Nattam, Nattu (Tamil), Natta (Malayalam & Telugu), Samuka (Bengali), Gogal gaay (Marathi), Ghonga (Urdu)
You’d probably seen these little creatures in your backyard or in a jungle, but rarely on the platter in front of you! These garden pests, also called snails, are often found in green surroundings or along the sea. Believe it or not, they constitute a major ingredient in French cuisine. Not just in France, they are enjoyed and savoured in numerous countries including Spain, the Philippines, Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cyprus, Malta and parts of the US. Snails, although they look disgusting, are known for their unique and flavoured delicacy. Apart from this, snails contain a tremendous amount of protein and other essential nutrients. In order to discover the nutritive value of snails, look through the sections below.
Snails have been in existence ever since the Roman era. They were picked up from Liguria and fattened in snail gardens until they reached a stage suitable for consumption. Snails were popularly served with milk due to their stimulating effects, as stated by Pliny and Varro. The Romans were implemental in influencing the spread of snails and snail recipes to regions in Europe and the Mediterranean. These little pests were also introduced to the British Isles, where it is relished today. In the beginning of the Middle Ages, snails enjoyed the advantage of being considered neither fish nor meat, hence making them an ideal food to be consumed during Lent. Besides consumption, snails were also used in trade and soon after, in cultivation. For a good barter, snails had to be fatter, tastier and better. With this came the idea of feeding them a diet made of special herbs. Later, it was known that snails served as a remedy for various health issues. Modern techniques of conservation were introduced in the beginning of the 20th century. Today, most of the snail produce comes from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.


Health Benefits of Snails

  1. Snails are a great source of the valuable lectin, possesses anti-cancer properties and helps in boosting the immune system and fighting against cancerous cells.
  2. The snail slime is extremely rich in allantonin, collagen and elastin, which is beneficial for the treatment of skin diseases and broken bones. The secretions also have a copper peptide, which is regarded as the only source of a substance manufactured for creating creams that are useful in minimizing scars and wounds.
  3. Serum secreted by these snails is an excellent source of oligosaccharides that act as a hydrator for the skin. When applied directly on the skin, this serum works wonders for acne, enhances natural glow and protects skin cells from environmental damage.
  4. The venom extracted from the ocean snail is highly beneficial for people suffering from addictions, depression and Parkinson’s disease. This substance produces a synthetic version of the toxin that blocks or stimulates receptors, which release chemicals in the brain.
  5. In addition, toxins excreted by snails are valuable in stimulating dopamine, found lacking in people with neurological diseases.
Snail Nutrition FactsAmount: 100 g
Total Weight: 100 g


Nutrients Amount
Basic Components  
Proteins 16.1 g
Water 79.2 g
Ash 1.3 g
Carbohydrates 2 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Total Calories 90
Calories From Carbohydrate 13
Calories From Fat 12.6
Calories From Protein 64.4
Fats & Fatty Acids  
Total Fat 1.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 218 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 17 mg
Vitamin A 100 IU
Vitamin E 5 mg
Vitamin K 0.1 mcg
Riboflavin 0.1 mg
Niacin 1.4 mg
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg
Folate 6 mcg
Vitamin B12 0.5 mcg
Choline 65 mg
Calcium 10 mg
Iron 3.5 mg
Magnesium 250 mg
Phosphorus 272 mg
Potassium 382 mg
Sodium 70 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Copper 0.4 mg
Selenium 27.4 mcg


How many calories in snails (per 100 gm)
Snails have about 90 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Snails
  • Fresh snails can be found in all seafood markets, as cans or packages. But, it is necessary to enquire about the arrival date and whether they have been purged.
  • Snails are generally sold by the size – typically small (petits), large (gros), extra large (extra gros) and medium (moyen).
  • To check whether snails are alive, touch them lightly. If they respond, then you have picked the right ones!
Snail Storage Tips
  • Live snails must be brought back home at the earliest and refrigerated.
  • Although snails can last for up to 2 days in the refrigerator, they must be consumed immediately after purchase for best flavour and taste.