Scallops Nutrition for Women’s Health
Why scallops are among the 10 best foods for women’s health
Scallops are sexy, that’s undeniable. But there’s more to our favorite seafood for women than a delicate flavor and slippery sensuality. And that’s nutrition. Prepare to be impressed by scallops nutrition.
For starters, scallops are high in protein and low in fat. Without question, scallops are good for you. But why is it that we are recommending scallops’ benefits specifically for women’s health?
View the list of all 10 best foods for women’s health
Are scallops healthy?
Scallops offer an eye-opening list of nutrients, many of which are specifically beneficial for women’s health, including vitamin B12, potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, iodine and magnesium.
Calories in scallops
One of the reasons scallops are so popular as a healthy protein choice is because they’re remarkably low-calorie for such nutritious food. In fact, a three-ounce serving of fresh scallops contains less than 100 calories, about 95 calories per serving. That is remarkably low calorie for food as nutrient-dense as a scallop.
And keep in mind that scallops are virtually carbohydrate-free, offering just 1% of the daily value of carbohydrates per serving. But this is just one of many reasons to love scallops.
Scallops benefits specifically for women’s health
Scallop health benefits include an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. The B12 levels in this jewel of the sea help fight heart disease, osteoporosis, and stroke.
And the magnesium and potassium levels found in scallops work together with the omega-3 fatty acids to balance blood flow. This reduces strain on the cardiovascular system.
Another benefit of the nutrition of scallops for women is that their magnesium content can help to reduce menstrual cramps.
Scallops are a good source of iodine
But iodine may be among scallops’ most important nutrients for women. In fact, a single serving of scallops can provide 90% of the daily value of iodine.
Why is this key to women’s health?
Iodine is not only required for the production of thyroid hormones, it is linked with breast health. And it is considered an important nutrient for fertility. Iodine is required for ovulation as well as the production of progesterone and the metabolism of estrogen. So you can see why women can use iodine-rich seafood like scallops!
Additional scallops nutrition for women
One of the best nutritional benefits of scallops for women is that this seafood is a source of iron. And in a study published in 2018 by PLOS ONE, women of reproductive age with low sex drive and low iron levels improved their condition with a daily intake of iron.
The protein content is a scallop benefit for men as well as women. According to scallops nutrition data, a three-ounce serving of scallops offers 19 grams of protein. And it comes with only 1.2 grams of fat. (To put it into perspective, a 19-gram serving of protein from beef has 26 grams of protein but more than 11 grams of fat, which means the fat content of scallops is incredibly low for high-protein food.)
The average woman needs around 50 grams of protein per day, men need more. (You can use a protein calculator to better assess how much you need.) So a single bay scallop serving can offer a woman more than a third of the protein she needs for the sustained physical activity of seduction.
Are scallops good for weight loss?
There is some talk of scallops supporting weight-loss strategies. It is believed that scallops help with weight loss because of their high protein content.
Because these bivalves are incredibly protein-dense, they work to keep the body feeling full and satisfied for long periods. (If you’re thinking about the calories in scallops, rest assured that their calorie content fits nicely with a weight loss plan. As noted above, the calories in scallops are less than 100 per serving.)
In one of the most interesting of our scallop nutrition facts, further studies compared the ability of equal amounts of scallops and other animal proteins to aid in weight loss and found this seafood to be more successful in weight loss strategies than proteins like poultry. The reasons are not yet entirely clear.
Fortunately, it is easy to find a great scallops healthy recipe. They require little oil for cooking and offer a clean, elegant flavor that requires little in the way of added ingredients.
RELATED: Mussels Benefits and Aphrodisiac Use
Are scallops high in cholesterol?
Once upon a time, doctors warned their patients to stay away from shellfish because of their cholesterol content. However, we now understand that the cholesterol in scallops is dietary cholesterol, which tends not to impact blood cholesterol.
And since scallops are low in saturated fat but do offer healthy fat, they make the list of heart-healthy foods for both women and men.
The reasons to eat scallops and two reasons to use caution
In conclusion, the combination of nutrients found in our favorite seafood for women will help you maintain a lean, healthy version of yourself while supporting reproductive hormone levels. But there are a few last things you may need to consider:
Scallops and pregnancy
If you are pregnant, check with your doctor to make sure that consuming scallops and other seafoods is a safe option for you, (out of concern for mercury levels and possibly high levels of other heavy metals).
But don’t eliminate scallops from your diet entirely during pregnancy without talking to a doctor. The health benefits of eating scallops can be remarkable for expecting mothers. Why? It seems that the choline in scallops will not only help your glands prepare for nursing but also strengthen the brain capacity of your infant.
Additionally, there is some evidence that consuming omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy could be vital for fetal brain development. And since a three-ounce serving of scallops offers over 330mg of this important fatty acid, it is considered a great, natural source.
If you have a known shellfish allergy, do not eat scallops without talking to a doctor first. Some individuals diagnosed with a shellfish allergy can still eat mollusks, including scallops, oysters and clams.
But if there is any doubt, you need to seek medical advice before you try this seafood. (Keep in mind that shellfish allergies are different than fish allergies and someone who is allergic to fish may still be able to enjoy shellfish and vise versa.)
Approximately 2% of the population has a shellfish allergy. And a scallop allergy can be life-threatening. If you’ve eaten scallops and experience any of the following allergic reactions within an hour of eating, seek medical attention immediately: swelling of the lips face, tongue or throat; hives; wheezing; nausea or vomiting; severe drop in blood pressure; fainting.
Are there benefits of scallops for men, too?
Many of the nutritional benefits of scallops for women’s health also apply to men. This is especially true to scallops’ benefits to heart health and circulation. As for sexual health, well, we dedicated an entire article to that! Discover Why Scallops are Considered Aphrodisiac for Men & Women
Some of our favorite recipes with scallops
Homemade Scallop Pizza
Dumplings with Scallops, Green Onion and Ginger
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Seared Scallops
Scallops in Hazelnut Butter with a Watercress Salad
10 Best Foods For Women
Up Next: Citrus Fruits
This article was written in 2013 and most recently updated in November 2021. Research by our Director of Nutrition, Delahna Flagg, PhD.
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