Turtle meat and shell were popular as food and as medicine during the ancient times. At this current time there are still few people who continue to use them as medicine. Turtle meat is healthier than other meat, compared with poultry, and beef. This meat has lower calorie and less fat. It also contains more protein.
Most turtle sold in the market are just small to medium in size because they are raised in a farm, because most countries prohibit collecting turtle in the wild.
Main species of turtle that are used for food:
- Chelonia mydasi or green turtle is considered best for eating
- Dermochelys coriacea or leatherback is considered to lay the very best turtle egg.
Difference of Tortoise and Turtles: They are both reptiles, but their major difference is that tortoise live in land and Turtles live in the water nearly all of the time.
- It takes a very long time for a turtle to grow more than a foot in diameter.
- Turtle makes it own shell several times as they grow, so it is possible that you can sometimes see an empty turtle shell on the beach shore.
- Most turtle shell is hard
Nutrient Content of Turtle Meat: per cup of cooked soft shell turtle meat
- Calories – 220
- Fat – 9g (2 g of it is saturated)
- Protein – 33g
- Cholesterol – 82mg
- Sodium – 1,000mg
- Iron – 5g
- Calcium – contains 20% of the recommended daily requirement
- It is also rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, and B6 and phosphorus and zinc
Health Benefits of Turtle Meat:
- Help to enrich the blood and cool the body
- Helps to promote longevity
- Turtle soup is beneficial in reviving failing kidneys
Turtle Eggs which are also eaten are found deposited in sand on beaches. Turtle eggs are laid once every two or three years, and are put down in batches from three to three thousand. The eggs are round and have a thin skin that does not get hard as do eggs from birds.
Health Benefits of Turtle Egg: It is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.