Like eggs, shrimp has gotten a bad wrap due to its cholesterol content. Contrary to past beliefs, eating shrimp does not significantly increase your LDL cholesterol levels but has been shown to increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
It is a very low fat food containing only 1g per 3oz. serving which is mostly polyunsaturated, containing moderate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids - which we all should know by now is a very good thing!
Shrimp is a very convenient food that can be eating just about any way and tossed into just about any dish. It is extremely high in protein and other nutrients giving this relatively inexpensive food a lot of bang for its buck.
For starters, eating shrimp and other seafood products regularly (3 times per week) can:
• Reduce the risk of many types of cancer
• Boost your mood and decrease depression
• Help prevent anemia
• Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and Alzheimers disease
• Increase energy
• Promote healthy bones, teeth and gums
• Increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels
• Boost your immune system
• Promote brain health
Shrimp is low in fat and calories but is an excellent source of Protein, Selenium, and Vitamin B12 and is a very good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Niacin, and Zinc.
1 - 3 oz. serving has:
• 84 calories, 1g total fat, 0 saturated, 166mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 0 carb, 0 sugar, 18g protein - 36%
• 48% Selenium - Selenium helps rid the body of free radicals that lead to cancer as well as strengthen the immune system preventing infection and illness.
• 21% Vitamin B12 - Vitamin B12 is needed for normal nerve cell activity as well as red blood cell production which helps prevent anemia. It is also needed to help make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It helps your cells metabolize protein, carbohydrate and fat and is needed for the production of the mood-affecting substance called SAMe. It works with folic acid to control homocysteine levels to prevent the increase risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease.
• 15% Iron - Iron is necessary for your body to produce hemoglobin which is required to maintain good energy levels. To increase absorption of the iron absorption, you should eat it with foods rich in Vitamin C.
• 12% Phosphorus - Phosphorus promotes healthy bones, teeth and gums, aids in proper nutrient digestion, proper kidney function and energy production.
• 11% Niacin - may help prevent atherosclerosis and thrombosis by lowering blood cholesterol, and aids in proper metabolism of both carbohydrates and amino acids.
• 9% zinc - Zinc is essential for protein synthesis and helps to regulate the production of cells in the body's immune system.
• 8% copper - Copper helps your body utilize iron, reduces damage caused by free radicals, maintains the health of your bones and connective tissues and keeps your thyroid gland functioning normally.
• 68.8mg Choline - Choline helps promote a healthy nervous system and cell walls and helps prevent the accumulation of fat and cholesterol in your liver. It is also particularly important for brain function and health.
• 295mg Omega-3 fatty acids - Some, but definitely all of the the possible benefits of fish oil, include:
◦ reduces risk of heart disease, cardiac death, stroke and some cancers including colorectal
◦ aids in treatment of Crohn’s disease, some cancers, lupus, kidney disorders, arthritis, psoriasis, and eczema
◦ promotes healthy eye and brain function and aids in treatment of mental disease and disorders like Alzheimer’s, ADHD and depression.
◦ There have also been a number of studies that show a relationship between low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and depression and there was a recent study done at Purdue University linking hyperactivity, learning disorders, behavioral problems and sleep problems in children with diets low in omega-3 fatty acids.
So go ahead and feel good about your shrimp cocktail appetizer. When dipped in cocktail sauce it is even healthier! Throw it into your vegetable stir-fry or top off your salad. Shrimp makes a great soft taco stuffer and when wrapped in a La Tortilla Factory Sonoma Carb Cutting Artesian Tortilla you have yourself a high protein, high fiber, low carb and low calorie meal! The options are endless. Get creative and enjoy!