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Telescope Snail: Health Benefits of Bagongon, Description, and Disadvantages

Are you on the lookout for a unique and nutritious addition to your diet? Look no further than the telescope snail, also known as Bagongon! This fascinating creature is not only an intriguing sight to behold but also offers a range of health benefits that might surprise you. In this blog post, we will explore everything there is to know about the health benefits of Bagongon – from its scientific name and physical characteristics to its nutritional value and potential side effects. So grab your magnifying glass and let’s dive into the world of the telescope snail!

What is Bagongon

Bagongon, scientifically known as Telescopium telescopium, is a type of snail commonly found in coastal areas and muddy estuaries. Apart from its scientific name, this fascinating creature goes by various other names including the telescope snail, horn shell, or tower shell.

In terms of description and appearance, Bagongon sports a spiral-shaped shell that resembles a miniature tower or telescope. Its unique design makes it stand out among other snail species. The color of its shell can range from light brown to dark grayish-brown with distinctive vertical stripes running along its length.

Telescope snail (English), Bagongon (Tagalog, Hiligaynon)

Size-wise, Bagongon typically measures about 2-4 inches long but can grow up to around 5 inches in some cases. It has a conical shape with pointed ends and multiple whorls on its shell surface.

Regarding physical characteristics, Bagongon possesses an operculum – a hard plate that acts as a protective covering for the opening of its shell when retracted. This feature allows the snail to seal itself inside for protection against predators or harsh environmental conditions.

As for taste, Bagongon offers a delicate and slightly briny flavor profile reminiscent of seafood. Many people find it enjoyable when incorporated into various dishes such as soups, stews, stir-fries, or even pizza toppings!

Bagongon thrives in intertidal zones where freshwater mixes with saltwater. You can often find them burrowing within mud flats or navigating through mangroves during high tides. Their ability to tolerate varying salinity levels enables them to adapt well within these coastal habitats throughout Southeast Asia.

Bagongon Nutrition Per 100g

Bagongon is not only a delicious seafood delicacy but also packed with essential nutrients that can benefit your health. Let’s take a closer look at this unique creature’s nutrition profile.

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking methods and specific snail species:

  • Calories: 164 kcal
  • Protein: 22.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.5g
  • Total Fat: 6.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.6g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Calcium: 220 mg
  • Iron: 3.1 mg
  • Magnesium: 76 mg
  • Phosphorus: 290 mg
  • Potassium: 370 mg
  • Zinc: 5.5 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 4.2 mcg

These nutritional values are estimates and can vary based on cooking methods, snail species, and specific nutritional analysis. While snails can provide a source of protein and certain minerals, their nutritional value may not be as high as that of other seafood options. Always ensure that you’re sourcing and preparing snails safely and sustainably.

Health Benefits of Bagongon

Saltwater snails, particularly certain edible species like Bagongon, can offer potential health benefits due to their nutritional content. Here are a few potential health benefits of consuming saltwater snails in moderation:

  1. Protein Source: Bagongon snails are a source of high-quality protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting immune function, and maintaining overall health.
  2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Bagongon snails can provide essential vitamins and minerals such as B12, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. These nutrients are important for various bodily functions, including blood formation, bone health, and enzyme activity.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Some saltwater snails, like Telescope, can contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their potential cardiovascular benefits. Omega-3s reduce inflammation, support brain health, and promote heart health.
  4. Low in Saturated Fat: Many Telescope snail species are relatively low in saturated fat, which, when consumed in moderation, can contribute to a heart-healthy diet.
  5. Diversity in Diet: Incorporating various foods, including Bagongon snails, can contribute to a well-rounded and diverse diet, which is important for overall health and well-being.
  6. Cultural and Culinary Traditions: Telescope snails are consumed in various cultures worldwide and have historical and culinary significance in traditional diets. Exploring and enjoying different cuisines can be a positive aspect of incorporating snails into your diet.

It’s important to note that while saltwater snails can offer potential health benefits, they should be consumed as part of a balanced and varied diet. Additionally, sourcing and preparing snails safely and sustainably is crucial to avoid any potential risks associated with contamination or overconsumption. As with any food, moderation and informed consumption are key. If you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet.

Side Effects and Disadvantages of Telescope Snail

1. Allergic Reactions: While many people enjoy telescope snails without any issues, some may experience allergic reactions when consuming them. Symptoms may include itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you have a known allergy to shellfish or other seafood, avoiding telescope snails is best.

2. High Cholesterol: Bagongon contains a significant amount of cholesterol. Therefore, individuals with high cholesterol levels or trying to maintain a healthy heart should consume telescope snails in moderation.

3. Parasitic Infections: Like other types of seafood, telescope snails can sometimes harbor parasites such as trematodes or flukes. If consumed raw or undercooked, these parasites can cause various gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. To minimize the risk of parasitic infections, it’s crucial to cook the bagongon thoroughly before consumption.

4. Heavy Metal Contamination: As filter feeders that reside in marine environments, there is always a possibility that telescope snails may contain heavy metals such as mercury and lead due to water pollution. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants can harm human health; thus consuming bagongon from polluted waters should be avoided.

5. Environmental Impact: The demand for bagongon has led to overfishing in certain regions where they are found abundantly in the wild. Overfishing disrupts the balance of marine ecosystems and threatens the survival of telescope snails and other marine species that rely on them for food sources.

It’s important to be aware of these potential side effects and disadvantages associated with consuming telescope snails like bagongon so that you can make informed decisions about incorporating them into your diet.

How to Eat Bagongon

Bagongon can be prepared and consumed in various ways, depending on your preferences and culinary traditions. Here are some common methods of preparing and eating saltwater snails:

  1. Cooked Snails:
    • Boiling: Boil the snails until they are cooked, and the shells are easily removed. The meat can be eaten directly or used in various dishes.
    • Grilled: Grilling snails can add a smoky flavor. Marinate them first and then grill them until they are cooked through.
    • Sauteed or Stir-Fried: Sauté or stir-fry snail meat with garlic, herbs, and spices for added flavor.
    • Stewed: Cook snail meat in a flavorful broth or sauce until tender.
  2. Dried Snails:
    • Drying: Snails can be dried for preservation. Once dried, they can be rehydrated and used in soups, stews, or other dishes.
  3. Canned Snails:
    • Canning: Snail meat can be canned in brine or oil, making it convenient for quick meals or adding to recipes.
  4. Fermented Snails:
    • Fermentation: Some cultures ferment snails to develop unique flavors. The fermentation process can take a few days to weeks, and the resulting snails can be used in various dishes.
  5. Smoked Snails:
    • Smoking: Smoking snails can impart a smoky taste. After smoking, you can use the snails in salads, pasta, or as a topping.
  6. Other Preparations:
    • Escargot: A classic French preparation involves cooking snails in a garlic and herb butter sauce, often served in the snail shells.
    • Snail Soup: Snail meat can be added to soups, creating a hearty and flavorful dish.
    • Snail Pasta: Incorporate snails into pasta dishes like snail and mushroom pasta with a cream sauce.
    • Snail Curry: Create a flavorful curry with snail meat and a blend of aromatic spices.
    • Snail Fritters: Make fritters or patties using minced snail meat mixed with herbs, spices, and breadcrumbs, then fry until golden.

When preparing saltwater snails, it’s important to properly clean and cook them to ensure they are safe to eat. If unsure about the preparation process, consider seeking guidance from local culinary experts or trusted recipes.

Keep in mind that different cultures and regions have unique ways of preparing and enjoying saltwater snails. Exploring these culinary traditions can provide a diverse and enriching culinary experience.


The telescope snail, or Bagongon, is a unique and nutritious delicacy that offers various health benefits. Packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, these snails are delicious and provide essential nutrients for our overall well-being.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there can be some side effects and disadvantages associated with consuming Bagongon. These include potential allergies or sensitivities for some individuals and the risk of contamination if not sourced from clean waters.

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