Consumed worldwide and a part of people’s diet since the prehistoric times, shrimps are filled with plenty of nutrition, this type of seafood actually containing some very important nutrients. We know that the ancient Greeks consumed them, and although they preferred sardines and anchovies, they used shrimps a lot to make fish sauce.
Today people all across the world use shrimps to prepare main dishes, but also as an ingredient in salads and appetizers. The wonderful thing is that being low in fat and calories, shrimps make healthy lunch and dinners and a super healthy snack.
So what is it about shrimp that makes it so healthy? In other words, what is its nutritional value?
Let’s find out.
Shrimps contain a good amount of vitamin B12 and selenium and are a very good source of protein. They also provide niacin, zinc, phosphorus and iron in good amounts and are low in saturated fat, with only 0.3 grams per 100 grams serving.
Less saturated fat
- Consuming food low in saturated fats reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Nutritionists recommend a daily intake of no more than 5% to 6% (or 13 grams) of saturated fat. About 120 calories thus should come from saturated fat in a 2000-calories dietary pattern.
- Vitamin B12 is as well known to help protect against heart disease and is a key nutrient for bone health. Found abundantly in animal protein and not found in plants at all, B12 can represent a challenge in human nutrition, particularly in plant-based diets. Shrimps are among the healthiest foods to contain a rich amount of vitamin B12.
- Another essential nutrient in shrimp is selenium, which is found in very good amounts. 100 grams provide almost 60% of the daily-recommended intake and selenium is known to enhance immunity and reproduction. This mineral fights the aging process and when consumed with other antioxidants like vitamin E, protects against various forms of cancer.
- There are many benefits to consuming the right amounts of protein. Providing 42% of the daily-recommended intake, shrimps are great alternatives to meat. For example, did you know that protein deficiency is revealed by ridges in your fingernail? This is because nails are mostly made of protein, so when you are not getting enough protein, this can show in the nails.
Many people worry about the cholesterol in shrimp, which is 65% of the daily value, however nutritionists agree that adding this food to diet won’t have severe negative effects on health.
A study conducted in 1996 at the Rockefeller University revealed that while shrimp can indeed raise LDL cholesterol in the body when consumed daily, it also increases the level of good cholesterol and lowers triglycerides, having an overall positive effect on cholesterol.
People with high cholesterol can enjoy shrimps in moderation, but important for them and for everyone consuming the food is to know the source of it in order to avoid shrimp containing pesticides and antibiotics.
It is important that we buy seafood from reliable sources and fisheries that support sustainable farming practices for the sake of health, the oceans and our planet.