American eaters don't give escargot the appreciation it deserves, says Mark Bittman in "How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food." According to Bittman, escargot -- which can be either field or garden snails -- is quick to prepare, versatile and tasty. You can find them both fresh and canned. Escargot is traditionally cooked in or served with garlic butter, but you can maximize the health benefits and significantly decrease the fat content by substituting olive oil for all or some of the butter.
Weight Loss Benefits
A 2005 study published in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reported that people who obtain approximately 30 percent of their daily calories from low-fat, protein-rich sources ate fewer calories overall, felt more full and successfully lost weight. Escargot is high in protein with a 3-ounce serving containing almost 14 grams of protein, or 25 percent of a man's daily protein requirement and 30 percent of a woman's. By eating escargot, you'll get this protein with very little fat: only 1.2 grams total fat per 3-ounce serving, along with just 0.3 grams of saturated fat.
A 3-ounce serving of escargot contains 212 milligrams of magnesium. This amount is 53 percent of a man's daily requirement of the mineral and 68 percent of the recommended daily allowance for a woman. A diet that contains a high intake of magnesium is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Getting plenty of magnesium regularly may also help keep your blood pressure low, further lowering your chance of cardiovascular problems.
Adults need 15 milligrams of vitamin E daily. A 3-ounce serving of escargot contains 4.2 milligrams of vitamin E, supplying 28 percent of the recommended intake. In 2007, a study published in the "Archives of Ophthalmology" reported that a high intake of vitamin E along with high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and carotenoids such as beta-carotene may help you avoid eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration. Eating foods like escargot that are high in vitamin E may also help improve vision in people who suffer from an inflammation of the uvea, one of the layers in your eye.
Escargot is rich in selenium, providing 23.3 micrograms of the mineral in every 3-ounce serving, which is 42 percent of the recommended daily allowance of selenium for an adult. Selenium aids in the synthesis of white blood cells and may help you fend off infections. Escargot is also a source of vitamin B-12, with nearly 18 percent of an adult's required daily intake. Vitamin B-12 is needed for your body to make S-adenosylmethionine, a compound that is needed for your immune system to work properly.