And I'm reaally curious. I'm currently staying on the Homer Spit, which is a decent sized fishing/clamming community in Alaska. Today was the lowest tide of the year, and tomorrow will be quite low as well. While I was walking along the sand, I noticed... CLAM HOLES. Lot's of them! I've never eaten clams before, but a cute local boy offered to take me to try some, and if I like them... I'm thinking about buying a shovel or clam gun to get some for myself. But I'd like to know... What are some of the nutrient properties of clams? Macronutrient profile? Any idea about the omega ratio?
Umm... if you're in Home Spit then you best be going to town on the offerings there. You do realize it's called The Halibut Capital of the World? Salmon. Oysters from Kachemak Bay. I'm kind of slumping in jealousy right now.
They're good for you, I promise.
Eat.The.Clams. Who cares if the local boy is cute, ok nevermind that's a bonus, go get dirty and take advantage of what you're surrounded by! As a former W. Coaster I grew up clamming, scooping up oysters, fishing. It's fun as hell and something that I miss living here in NY.
Clambake. Ask that boy for a clambake. Trust me :)
Nerd alert: The binomial name for clams is Tridacna maxima and they belong to the Bivalvia class in the family Veneridae.
A great .pdf of the nutritional value of shellfish out of WSG.
Clams are high in many B vitamins, particularly B-12, which is important for correct nerve function. One serving of clams provides 1,870 percent of the daily recommended intake of B-12, and you will not waste it because your body can store a few years' worth of the vitamin. A serving of clams also supplies 28.4 percent of the B-2 and 20 percent of the B-3 you require each day. Clams serve as a rich source of vitamin C, as well, providing nearly 50 percent of your daily requirement. 12 small steamed clams have Omega-3 Fatty Acids of 0.2 grams via the FDA.
This article on shellfish by Mark Sisson starts out with him saying "I grew up in a coastal fishing village in Maine, and one of my favorite memories is being out on the flats at low-tide, digging for the clams that would accompany our occasional lobster feasts". I have similar memories that took place in Rhode Island. Point is, clams are tasty beasts.
As far as nutrition, Marks writes that "Fifteen medium raw clams (mixed species) gives a nice dose of vitamin A, B12, selenium, magnesium, and iron, plus 31 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, and 300 mg omega-3"
In this review of the nutrient content of several shellfish (including a species of clam), they wrote that "Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids were predominant (37.6% to 54.3%), with sea scallops containing more than 50%; n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids ranged from 1.5% to 6.5%". I couldn't find a full text version, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that clams have a huge predominance of omega-3 fat relative to omega-6.
Heh...it's amazing what one will eat when the local cute boy offers to help. ;-) But seriously:
That's for canned clams. Surely eating ones fresh from the sea is even better, so you owe it to yourself to gobble these up. I can't see a down side at all. (Not even the comment from the link above about sodium--since many people eating paleo have pretty low, or even too-low sodium.)