Whelk facts and health benefits

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Whelk facts and health benefits Quick Facts
Name: Whelk facts and health benefits
Scientific Name: Buccinum undatum
Origin It belongs to normal benthic fauna of North Sea. It is found in sea at deeper depths.
Colors Pale, white, reddish or yellowish
Shapes Solid, ventricose, ovate-conical; Height: 10 cm; Width: 6 cm
Calories 234 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin B-12 (642.50%)
Copper (194.56%)
Selenium (138.55%)
Tryptophan (119.32%)
Iron (106.88%)
Health benefits Treat Alzheimer's, Slows aging process, Brain functions, Hair health, Transports oxygen
Buccinum undatum is a sea snail found on the coastal areas of Northern Atlantic Ocean and Eastern coast as well as western coast. It survives on the cold water containing 2 to 3 percent of salt content. The whelk is 11 centimeters long. The sexes are separate. The breeding takes place from October to May. Reproduction exists by internal fertilization which promotes the production of egg capsules for the protection of eggs. The egg is laid in whole capsule packets. The whelk has the life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. They are carnivores which feed on worms, mussels, crustaceans and molluscs. It is used for food by humans or other animals. It is also known as Sea wash balls, Buckie, Common Northern Whelk, Common whelk, Sinuous whelk, Waved whelk and Waved buccinum. The body is solid, ventricose, ovate-conical shaped measuring 10 cm in height and 6 cm wide.


It belongs to normal benthic fauna of North Sea. It is found in sea at deeper depths. It is available on France, United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and other Northwest European countries. It is unable to survive above the temperature of 29°C and prefer colder temperatures.

Whelk Facts

Name Whelk
Scientific Name Buccinum undatum
Native It belongs to normal benthic fauna of North Sea. It is found in sea at deeper depths. It is available on France, United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway and other Northwest European countries. It is unable to survive above the temperature of 29°C and prefer colder temperatures
Common Names Sea wash balls, Buckie, Common Northern Whelk, Common whelk, Sinuous whelk, Waved whelk, Waved buccinum
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Wulk
Albanian: Puçërr
Arabic: حلزون [halzun] Armenian: Whelk
Azerbaijani: Whelk
Basque: Whelk
Belarusian: вугор
Bengali: Mukhēra braṇa (মুখের ব্রণ)
Bosnian: Whelk
Breton: Kilhog-mor
Bulgarian: pŭpka (пъпка)
Catalan: Buccino
Cebuano: Whelk
Chichewa: Whelk
Chinese: Qīngchūn dòu (青春痘)           
Croatian: Whelk
Czech: Whelk
Danish: Konksnegl, Konk
Deu: Gemeine Wellhornschnecke, Wellhorn, Wellhornschnecke              
Dutch: wulk, kinkhoorn
English: Whelk, Common whelk, buckie, common northern whelk, common whelk, edible European whelk, waved whelk, whelk
Esperanto: Whelk
Estonian: Vinn  
Faroese: Agngágga
Filipino: Welk
Finnish: Torvisimpukka, Kuningaskotilo
Fra: Buccin commun, buccin ondé, buccin, bulot, comteux
French: Buccin, buccin commun, buccin ondé, Bulot, comteux   
Galician: Bucios               
Georgian: Whelk
German: Wellhornschnecke, Wellhorn
Greek: Eídos speiroeidoús konchýliou (είδος σπειροειδούς κογχύλιου)
Gujarati: Gōkaḷagāya jēvī śaṅkhalāmāṁ rahētī dariyā’i māchalī (ગોકળગાય જેવી શંખલામાં રહેતી દરિયાઇ માછલી)
Haitian Creole: Buksen
Hausa: Whelk
Hindi: Vilk (विल्क)
Hebrew: Shblul (שַׁבְּלוּל)
Hmong: Whelk
Hungarian: Ehető kürtös csiga, Közönséges kürtcsiga     
Icelandic: Whelk, Beitukóngur
Igbo: Whelk
Indonesian: Jerawat      
Irish: Cuachma 
Italian: Buccino, Buccina, Buccinum undatum, buccino comune 
Japanese: Ko katamari (小塊)
Javanese: Whelk
Kannada: Śaṅkha mīnu (ಶಂಖ ಮೀನು)
Kazakh: Whelk
Khmer: Whelk
Korean: Ppyoluji (뾰루지)
Latin: Whelk
Lao: Whelk
Latvian: Molusks             
Lithuanian: Bukcina       
Macedonian: Whelk      
Malagasy: Whelk
Malay: Whelk
Malayalam: Vhelk (വ്ഹെല്ക്)
Maltese: Bronja              
Maori: Whelk
Marathi: Cābakācā kinvā chaḍīcā vaḷa (चाबकाचा किंवा छडीचा वळ)
Mongolian: Whelk         
Myanmar (Burmese): Whelk
Nepali: Whelk
Norwegian: Whelk, kongsnegl, kongsnigel
Persian: صدف حلزونی, حلزون نفیر معمولی    
Polish: Trądzik, Trąbik zwyczajny             
Portuguese: Whelk, Buzo, Búzio              
Romanian: Melc de mare            
Russian: Pryshch (прыщ), Obyknovennyy buktsinum (Обыкновенный букцинум)         
Serbian: Vhelk (вхелк)
Sesotho: Whelk
Sinhala: Whelk
Slovak: Pupienok            
Slovenian: Valovita blatarka       
Somali: Whelk
Spanish: Buccino, Bocina, Caracolillo de Bruselas
Swahili: Whelk 
Swedish: Whelk, Valthornssnäcka
Tajik: Whelk      
Tamil: Mukapparu (முகப்பரு)             
Telugu: Whelk  
Thai: H̄xy ḥwĕlkh  (หอยฮเว็ลค)
Turkish: Deniz salyangozu, Salyangoz
Ukrainian: Pryshch (прищ)
Urdu: Whelk     
Uzbek: Bo’jama               
Vietnamese: Whelk       
Welsh: Cregyn moch     
Yiddish: ווהעלק
Yoruba: Whelk
Zulu: Whelk
Habitat Carnivorous, neogastropod mollusc
Feeds On Polychaete worms, bivalves, mussels
Breeding October-May
Lifespan 10 years
Predators Cod, sea stars, wolfish, man
Shape & Size Solid, ventricose, ovate-conical; Height: 10 cm; Width: 6 cm
Shell Color Pale, white, reddish or yellowish
Whorls 7-8, convex, crossed by oblique folds, waved, thick
Major Nutrition Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamine) 15.42 µg (642.50%)
Copper, Cu 1.751 mg (194.56%)
Selenium, Se 76.2 µg (138.55%)
Tryptophan 0.525 g (119.32%)
Iron, Fe 8.55 mg (106.88%)
Threonine 1.816 g (103.18%)
Leucine 3.236 g (87.55%)
Isoleucine 1.407 g (84.15%)
Valine 1.764 g (83.52%)
Protein 40.53 g (81.06%)
Health Benefits
  • Treat Alzheimer’s
  • Slows aging process
  • Brain functions
  • Hair health
  • Transports oxygen
  • Strengthen immunity
  • Prevent cramps
  • Repair cells
  • Eliminate free radicals
  • Provides energy
Calories in 3 oz. (85 gm.) 234 Kcal.
  • The toxic gland should be removed.
  • It should be consumed in limited quantity.
  • Allergic people should avoid it.
How to Eat
  • It is used to prepare sushi and sashimi.
  • It is used for making Bún ốc – vermicelli.
  • It is served with cold noodles or salad.
  • Vinegar is sprinkled in Whelk or with butter or slice of bread.
Other Facts
  • The color of whelk is dependent on its food.
  • It is confused with Conchs.

Nutritional value

A serving size of 85 grams of whelk contains 27.2 g of moisture, 234 calories, 40.53 of protein, 0.68 g of total lipid fat, 3.4 g of ash and 13.19 g of carbohydrate. It also offers 642.50% of DV of Vitamin B12, 194.56% of DV of copper, 138.55% of selenium, 119.32% of tryptophan, 106.88% of DV of iron, 103.18% of threonine, 87.55% of DV of leucine, 84.15% of DV of isoleucine, 83.52% of DV of valine, 81.06% of DV of protein, 74.46% of DV of lysine, 67.37% of DV of histidine, 42.46% of DV of vitamin B6, 34.76%of DV of magnesium, 34.29% of DV of phosphorus, 32.91% of manganese, 25.18% of DV of zinc, 23.33% of DV of sodium, 14% of DV of riboflavin, 12.55% of DV of potassium, 10.60% of niacin and 10.15% of carbohydrate.


Finding a whelk depends on the species you’re looking for. In general, whelks may be found in many parts of the world, and are typically found on sandy or muddy bottoms, from shallow tide pools out to waters several hundred feet deep.


As we all know that Whelks are carnivores, and normally feed on crustaceans, mollusks, worms and even eat other whelks. They can drill a hole into the shell of their prey with their radula, or may wrap their foot around the hinged shells of their prey and use their own shell as a wedge to force the shells open, then insert their proboscis into the shell and consume the animal inside.


Whelks reproduce by sexual reproduction with internal fertilization. Some, like the channeled and knobbed whelks, produce a string of egg capsules that maybe 2-3 feet long, and each capsule has 20-100 eggs inside which hatch into miniature whelks. Waved whelks produce a mass of egg capsules which look like a pile of egg cases.

The egg capsule allows the young whelk embryos to develop and provides protection. Once they have developed, the eggs hatch inside the capsule, and the juvenile whelks leave via an opening.

Health Benefits of Whelk

Whelk is an excellent source of essential fatty acids that prevents the chances of cancer, heart ailments if consumed in moderate amounts. The seafood lovers would like this. It provides vitamins, proteins and minerals along with low amount of fat. It does not increase the cholesterol of blood. Due to the low content of calories, it is effective for weight loss.

1. Treat Alzheimer’s

Cobalamine helps to treat Alzheimer’s disease which shows the symptoms such as cognitive degeneration and confusion. The study shows that Alzheimer’s patients has low content of Vitamin B12 in the body. (1)

2. Slows aging process

Copper helps to prevent cell membrane from the damage of free radicals which attack organs  that are the cause for age spots, wrinkles, macular degeneration, cancer and kidney ailments. (2)

3. Brain functions

Iron helps to increase the development of brain. It aids the supply of oxygen to the brain as it uses about 20% of oxygen. It promotes the cognitive activity and formation of neural pathways that helps to prevent from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The adequate intake of iron as well as oxygenation of brain is vital. (3)

4. Hair health

Protein maintains the hair health and prevents its damage. The study shows that it is essential for the growth of hairs. With its benefits, it is used in conditioners. (4) (5)

5. Transports oxygen

Iron assists in transporting oxygen to the body cells which assist the organs to perform its various functions. (6)

6. Strengthen immunity

Pyridoxine is essential for the immune health in the body. It assists the body to prevent infections which could be victimized in the deficiency of Vitamin B6. (7)

7. Prevent cramps

Magnesium helps to relax kidney stress, muscular tension and back muscles. Its deficiency could cause leg cramps and fatigue. The adequate intake of magnesium helps to treat chronic leg cramps. (8)

8. Repair cells

It helps to repair the body cells from the wear and tear. It promotes the body cells which is essential for the overall health. It helps to form protein and stimulate hormones. (9)

9. Eliminate free radicals

Manganese has antioxidant properties which monitor the free radicals activity that damage human cells and cause cancer. The supplements help to prevent these health conditions. (10)

10. Provides energy

Vitamin B2 is vital for the energy production by supporting metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. (11)

Different Human Uses

Whelks are a popular food. People eat the mollusks’ muscular foot—an example is the Italian dish scungilli, which is made from a whelk’s foot. These animals are also collected for the seashell trade. They may be caught as bycatch (e.g., in lobster traps), and they may be used as bait to catch other marine life, such as cod. Whelk egg cases may be used as a “fishermen’s soap.”

The veined rapa whelk is a non-indigenous species that have been introduced into the U.S. The native habitat of these whelks includes waters in the western Pacific Ocean including the Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and the Bohai Sea. These whelks were introduced into the Chesapeake Bay and may cause damage to native species.


  • The toxic gland should be removed before consumption.
  • It should be consumed in limited amounts carefully.
  • The people who are allergic to seafood should avoid it.


How to Eat         

  • In Japan, it is used for making sushi and sashimi.
  • In Vietnam, it is used to make Bún ốc – vermicelli.
  • In Korea, it is served with cold noodles and salad.
  • It is also served with alcohols as side dish.
  • In Vietnam, it is served with the sea snails.
  • It is consumed by sprinkling vinegar and with butter or slice of bread.

Other Facts        

  • The whelk’s color is dependent on the food it eats.
  • It is mostly confused with Conchs due to the similar appearance.












Comments are closed.


The information on this website is only for learning and informational purposes. It is not meant to be used as a medical guide. Before starting or stopping any prescription drugs or trying any kind of self-treatment, we strongly urge all readers to talk to a doctor. The information here is meant to help you make better decisions about your health, but it's not a replacement for any treatment your doctor gives you. If you are being treated for a health problem, you should talk to your doctor before trying any home remedies or taking any herbs, minerals, vitamins, or supplements. If you think you might have a medical problem, you should see a doctor who knows what to do. The people who write for, publish, and work for Health Benefits Times are not responsible for any bad things that happen directly or indirectly because of the articles and other materials on this website www.healthbenefitstimes.com