The past few weeks have not been all that great for the immune system. I haven’t felt really all that sick, but I could not get rid of this cough and worse the phlegm in my throat. I would wake up every morning choking just to take a breathe. I started noticing everyone around me was having similar symptoms, which I think we could blame on the latest inversion.
Dealing with this overproduction of mucosa glands in my nose and throat my wife and I decided to have dinner with some friends of ours. Along the drive up to their house I didn’t have any tissues so I naturally do what we all do and swallow this garbage. By the time I got to dinner I wasn’t really all that hungry. I mean I ate, but I was full rather quickly. This got me thinking.
How many calories are in snot?
Before I get to the answer I wanted to know what was in snot and if it was possible that there might be some nutritional value to the green slimy substance.
Here are the ingredients for Mucous:
- Other proteins
- Water – which makes up 95% of the substance
You probably know what proteins, salt and water are, but you may be curious about the other ingredients. Lipids are a fancy way of saying fats. I think glycoproteins are fascinating and deserve some more attention.
What are glycoproteins?
A glycoprotein is a combination of glycogen and protein. In other words a combination of sugar! and protein. No wonder we ate our boogers as a child. We needed protein to grow bigger and who doesn’t love sugar?!
Anyways it turns out that there are about 25 calories in a half cup of snot, which is roughly the size of 1 serving of oatmeal. On a typical day we swallow about 4 cups or 200 calories in boogers a day. When we are sick this can easily double or triple, no wonder I wasn’t really all that hungry.
Interestingly that the creation of mucous is due to the process of filtering out particles from the air when we breathe through our nose. It is also a mechanism for warming the air as we breathe. This filtration process is another reason why glycoproteins are so interesting. Glyoproteins are one of the key components in preventing carcinogens, cancer causing agents, from attacking cells and from making changes to cells that have been effected by carcinogens.
So the next time you are caught picking your nose go right ahead and eat it! I mean after all it is the same chemicals that are in apples, pears, mushrooms, oatmeal, barley, brown rice, wheat, red wine and many other foods that you eat to stay healthy.