Despite its low calorie count, shrimp contain many nutrients, including iodine and antioxidants, that may have health benefits. But it contains a lot of cholesterol.
Shrimp is one of the most commonly consumed shellfish.
It is very nutritious and contains large amounts of certain nutrients, such as iodine, that are not found in many other foods.
On the other hand, some say that shrimp is unhealthy because of its high cholesterol content.
In addition, it is widely believed that farmed shrimp may have some negative health effects compared to wild shrimp.
This article examines the evidence to determine whether shrimp is a healthy food to include in your diet.
Shrimp are low in calories but rich in nutrients
Shrimp have an impressive nutritional profile.
It's fairly low in calories, providing just 84 calories per 3-ounce serving (1).
In addition, the same serving size provides more than 9 different vitamins and minerals (1).
Here's a breakdown of the nutrients in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of shrimp (1):
- Protein:20,4 gr
- Iron:0,433 mg
- Phosphorus:201 mg
- Potassium:220 mg
- Zinc:1,39 mg
- Magnesium:33,2 mg
- Sodium:94,4 mg
Shrimp is also one of the best food sourcesjod, an important mineral in which many people are deficient. Iodine is necessary for proper thyroid function and brain health (2).
Shrimp are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (3).
Prawns are very nutritious. It is quite low in calories and provides a good amount of protein and healthy fats, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals.
Shrimp have a high cholesterol content
Shrimp often get a bad reputation because of their high cholesterol content.
A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving contains 161 mg of cholesterol (1).
Many people fear cholesterol-rich foods because they believe they raise blood cholesterol levels and promote heart disease.
However, research showsthis may not be the case for most peoplebecause only a quarter of the population is sensitive to cholesterol from food. Otherwise, dietary cholesterol may have only a small effect on blood cholesterol levels (4).
This is because most of the cholesterol in the blood is made by the liver, and when you eat cholesterol-rich foods, the liver produces less (5).
In addition, shrimp contain many nutrients that can actually improve your health, such asomega-3 fatty acids(3).
Research shows that while most cholesterol-rich foods also contain saturated fat, shrimp is an exception (6).
Although more research is needed to investigate the role of shrimp in heart health, they have many beneficial properties that may go beyond their cholesterol content.
Shrimp are high in cholesterol, but they also contain omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to promote heart health. Studies on shrimp have also shown positive health effects.
Shrimp contain antioxidants
The main type of antioxidant in shrimp is a carotenoid called astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is an integral part of the algae that shrimp feed on. For this reason, shrimp are the main source of astaxanthin. In fact, this antioxidant is responsible for the reddish color of shrimp cells (7).
When you consume astaxanthin, it can help protect against inflammation by preventing cell damage from free radicals. Its role in reducing the risk of several chronic diseases has been studied (7).
Heart and brain health
Many studies have shown that astaxanthin can help strengthen arteries, which can reduce the risk of heart attack. It can also help increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, an important factor in heart health (8).
In addition, astaxanthin may be beneficial for brain health. Its anti-inflammatory properties can prevent brain cell damage that often leads to memory loss and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (7).
Despite these findings, more human studies are needed to determine the overall role that astaxanthin in shrimp may play in overall health.
Shrimp contain an antioxidant called astaxanthin, which has been studied for its role in promoting brain and heart health.
Use of antibiotics in farmed shrimp
Because of the high demand for shrimp in the United States, they are often imported from other countries.
Between 75 and 80% of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported from other countries such as Thailand, China, Canada, Indonesia, and Vietnam.9).
While this helps increase access to shrimp, most imported shrimp are farmed, meaning they are grown in industrial tanks submerged in bodies of water (10).
Seafood from other countries is often treated with antibiotics because of its high susceptibility to diseases. However, the United States does not allow the use of antibiotics in shrimp and other shellfish (10).
For this reason, it is illegal to import shrimp containing antibiotics. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for inspecting imported shrimp to ensure they do not contain antibiotics (11).
However, due to the large volume of shrimp imports, the FDA cannot regulate them all. For this reason, farmed shrimp contaminated with antibiotics could potentially end up in the US food supply.12).
It has not been confirmed that the use of antibiotics in prawns has serious negative health effects. However, it can lead to antibiotic resistance, which can cause outbreaks of diseases that do not respond to antibiotic treatment (13).
If you're concerned about antibiotics in shrimp, it's best to choose wild-caught shrimp that are never treated with antibiotics. Plus, you can be sure that the shrimp are caught and prepared in the United States without antibiotics.
Farmed shrimp from some countries may be contaminated with antibiotics. To reduce your exposure to antibiotics, it is best to buy wild or farmed shrimp from countries where the use of antibiotics is illegal.
Many people are allergic to shrimp
Shellfish, including shrimp, are among the nine most common food allergies in the United States, along with fish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, and soy.14).
The most common cause of shrimp allergy is tropomyosin, a protein found in shellfish. Other shrimp proteins that can cause an allergic reaction include arginine kinase and hemocyanin (15).
Shellfish allergy symptoms
Symptoms of a shrimp allergy vary and may include (16):
- tingling in the throat
- digestive problems
- breathing difficulties
- skin reactions
Some people with a shrimp allergy may also have anaphylactic reactions. This is a dangerous, sudden reaction that can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness and even death if not treated immediately (16).
If you are allergic to shrimp, the only way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid eating them altogether.
In some cases, even steam from cooked shrimp can cause a reaction. Therefore, people with shrimp allergies should also avoid situations where they may be indirectly exposed (16).
Shrimp contain a protein called tropomyosin, which can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. The only cure for shrimp
How to choose high quality shrimp
It is important to choose fresh, quality shrimp that are not damaged, infected or contaminated.
When buying raw shrimp, make sure they are firm. The husks should be transparent and grey-green, pinkish brown or pale pink. Blackened edges or black spots on the peel may indicate a loss of quality (17).
In addition, raw and cooked shrimp should have a mild, "sea" or salty smell. Shrimp with an overly "fishy" or ammonia-like odor are likely spoiled and unsafe to eat.
You should buy your shrimp from an experienced and reliable supplier who can answer your questions about the country of origin and shrimp handling practices.
How to cook shrimp
Check that the cooked prawns are firm and white with a slight red or pink tinge.
Shrimp can be prepared as an appetizer or as a side dish such as curry or stir-fries. It can be breaded in breadcrumbs or grilled on kebabs (18).
To choose quality shrimp, it is necessary to take into account their smell and color. Buy from a trusted supplier to get the highest quality product.
the most important
Prawns are rich in several vitamins and minerals and are a rich source of protein. Eating shrimp can also improve heart and brain health due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant astaxanthin (7).
Although shrimp are high in cholesterol, they have not been found to have a negative effect on heart health (8).
Despite the health benefits of shrimp, there is some concern about the quality of farmed shrimp, which may be contaminated with antibiotics.
However, there are some steps you can take to make sure you get quality shrimp, such as buying from reputable suppliers.
Overall, shrimp is a healthy food that goes well with an unbalanced diet.
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