Feeling lethargic before lunch? Nutritionists say it may be time to flex your mussels

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Finding you’re flagging after your fourth Zoom meeting of the day? Health experts are urging Australians to increase their intake of fatty acids to boost productivity and general wellbeing.

Fatty acids such as omega-3 are essential for the vitality of eye, heart and brain health, along with heart disease risk reduction and fighting autoimmune diseases.

Yet only an estimated 20% of the Australian population are consuming their daily recommended amount. The Heart Foundation recommends 250-500mg of omega-3 per day.

One rich source of omega-3 has traditionally been red meat but, with The Heart Foundation recommending that intake should be lower than 350g per week, Australians are being urged to find alternatives.

Accredited dietitian and author of Eat Like an Athlete, Simone Austin, says mussels are the perfect source of omega-3.

‘Mussels are natural immune system boosters and contain important nutrients for athletes, protein, iron and zinc,’ said Ms Austin.

‘Additionally, mussels contain 500mg of omega-3 for every 800 grams along with vitamins B2, B12 and minerals phosphorus, selenium and iodine – serious superfood contenders!

‘As a bonus, mussels are extremely good for the environment, acting as filter feeders by surviving off the nutrients in their surrounding environment.

‘People are catching on to this health trend pretty quickly. Mussels will soon join the league of mainstay superfoods kale and goji berries,’ predicts Ms Austin.

For the naysayers who think gourmet restaurants are the only place suitable for munching on some molluscs, it turns out mussels are more accessible and versatile than ever.

‘You can buy “cooked in the bag” mussels from Woolworths or Drakes for around $7 a pop,’ said Mr Puglisi, fifth-generation mussel farmer and Executive Director of Australia’s largest mussel exporter, Eyre Peninsula Seafoods.

‘Which make for the perfect work lunch, spread on toast or even just by themselves with a bit of hot sauce or olive oil.

‘Fantastic for powering through the work day and getting over the midday slump. Or, before hitting the gym, mussels can be a great natural alternative to give your body a boost of energy.’

The Australian mussel industry has seen a huge uptick in demand over the past year, across both commercial and consumer sectors, attributed to not only a newfound focus on local produce.

‘Basically, people are catching on to how easy to cook, affordable and great for the environment mussels are,’ explains Mr Puglisi.

‘We expect these trends to continue rising as consumers start to become even more health conscious and opt for sustainable, healthy options.

‘They’re super simple to cook. Steam them in a pot with white wine, olive oil and garlic or chilli. They’re the new spag bol for weeknights.’


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