Shrimp is a popular seafood choice that provides many health and nutritional benefits. Shrimp are low in calories and high in protein, making them a great choice for people who are health-conscious or simply enjoy the taste of shrimp. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve heart health and reduce the risk of diseases like cancer. In this blog post, we will discuss the health and nutritional benefits of shrimp and provide some recipe ideas for incorporating this delicious seafood into your diet. Plus, if you’re wondering where you can purchase high-quality, already cooked shrimp around Raleigh, NC, we have a great suggestion towards that end as well!
What Is Shrimp and Where Does It Come From?
When we initially think of shrimp, we imagine a small crustacean in the ocean. While this is certainly true, you should know that the shrimp you consume can be farm raised. In fact, the WWF states that farmed shrimp accounts for 55% of shrimp production globally. While this may sound scary, it can actually be a good thing! The quality of water and the food farmed shrimp are fed are at the farmer’s discretion.
This means that farmed shrimp can be just as good as wild-caught shrimp if they are cared for well and live in a quality environment. Additionally, most shrimp aquaculture largely occurs in developing countries that have sparse access to shrimp, including Thailand and Brasil. Shrimp aquaculture is a way of income for many, and shrimp farmers are diligently working to produce shrimp responsibly by complying with rigorous standards. With that being said, most shrimp Americans consume are sourced from the ocean because we have plentiful access to them.
The Health Benefits of Eating Shrimp
Shrimp offers many health benefits which we will delve into now. For one, shrimp are naturally low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, but high in protein. This makes them an optimal protein option for many people who are health conscious. So, if you enjoy the taste of the shrimp, the great news is that they double as a healthy protein option. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains less than 90 calories and 20 grams of protein.
The rich vitamins shrimp provide are another great reason to consume them. For one, shrimp contain several vitamins that many humans lack in their daily diet. B-12, for example, is essential for healthy cell and nerve function, yet many of us struggle to get that vitamin in our daily intake. Iodine, essential for proper thyroid and brain health, is another vitamin that shrimp are rich are. Potassium, zinc, and magnesium are other vitamins that shrimp are rich in and play a large role in our natural vitamin intake. Additionally, shrimp is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which plays a vital role in brain health and can increase cardiovascualr fuction.
Astaxanthin (AXT) is a carotenoid that is readily in shrimp due to the algae they consume in the ocean. Known for its antioxidant capacity, astaxanthin has the capability to reduce inflammation and can be therapeutic for those with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Carotenoids involved in the photosynthesis process of plants are of orange and red hues which is where many fruits and vegetables achieve their rich, vibrant orange-red colors. The same can be said of shrimp! The carotenoids give shrimp their pink-orange color when steamed. Some of the carotenoid tissue can even be converted to Vitamin A in humans, which amplifies their health benefits.
Tips On How To Cook Shrimp
Shrimp can be prepared and served in various ways, making it a versatile appetizer or main dish. One of the easiest ways to cook shrimp is by lightly steaming it and serving it with melted butter or cocktail sauce at holiday gatherings, celebrations, and family events.
Are you looking for wholesome ways to enhance your main dish? Shrimp can highlight many entrees and salads, including Indian and Thai curries, stir-fries, kebobs, and more. If you or a family member is a pescatarian, one way to enrich vegetable-based dishes is by simply topping them with sauteed shrimp. Not only will you be adding depth and unmatched flavor to the dish, but you will intaking many essential vitamins as well.
Purchase High-Quality Shrimp
When purchasing shrimp, we highly recommend purchasing seafood from a trusted supplier, such as a reputable seafood market or local grocery store. Reputable supplies should be able to ease your mind with their ability to answer questions you have regarding where the shrimp came from and how they were handled.
Check for firmness and color as well. Raw shrimp should be firm to the touch and free of any black spots on the shell. When assessing color, you’ll want to choose raw shrimp that are rather grey. It’s not until you cook shrimp that they achieve a pink hue.
Lastly, the smell of shrimp is very important. If shrimp have a very strong fish odor, they may be spoiled. Healthy shrimp will have a smell that resembles the ocean and elicit a salty smell.
Conclusion: Is Shrimp Good For You?
When consumed with other healthy foods, such as fibrous vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruit, shrimp are a healthy protein option. In general, low-calorie, low-carb, and low-fat food that is high in protein is a wonderful addition to your diet. As we mentioned previously, shrimp is not only healthy, but they provide many vitamins and antioxidants that can be difficult to find in food alone.
So, if you are looking for a healthy way to enhance your lifestyle, shrimp is a great option. So long as you are consuming high-quality shrimp, it is a great addition to a balanced diet. Have a craving for shrimp now? We invite you to try our wholesome spicy steamed or cold-boiled shrimp today! Order online and we’ll see you soon.