Is Shrimp Healthy? Here's What You Should Know

Shrimp is a popular type of seafood that's enjoyed in almost every part of the world. If you’re a seafood lover, then it’s likely that you enjoy these crustaceans in a variety of dishes. And while many love its sweet, fresh-from-the-sea flavor, shrimp isn’t exactly considered healthy, primarily because of its high cholesterol content. 
So, should shrimp-lovers refrain from having their favorite seafood regularly? Well, not quite. While it’s true that shrimp is indeed high in cholesterol, it does have many other nutritional benefits that cannot be brushed aside. 

1. Shrimp is rich in many important nutrients 

Nutritional Facts About Shrimp, nutrients 
One of the best things about shrimp is that it’s low in calories and rich in many important nutrients. An 85-gram serving of this shellfish has only 84 calories. Furthermore, it doesn’t have any carbs, making it ideal for people who are looking to eliminate excess carbohydrates from their diet.
Shrimp is also rich in proteins along with other essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s a look at the many nutrients in an 85-gram serving of shrimp:
* Calories: 84
* Protein: 18 grams
* Selenium: 48% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
* Vitamin B12: 21% of the Recommended Dietary Intake 
* Iron: 15% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
* Phosphorus: 12% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
* Niacin: 11% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
* Zinc: 9% of the Recommended Dietary Intake
* Magnesium: 7% of the Recommended Dietary Intake.

2. It’s high in cholesterol but can still be good for your heart

Nutritional Facts About Shrimp, cholesterol
Shrimp is a high-cholesterol food. An 85-gram serving of this seafood contains 166 mg of cholesterol. Now, many people believe that eating too many foods high in cholesterol is bad for the heart. However, research shows that this food might actually be good for your heart.
A study conducted by the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism found that adults who consumed 300 grams of shrimp daily saw a 12% increase in their “good” HDL cholesterol levels and a 13% decrease in their triglycerides (fats from the food we eat that are carried in the blood). Health professionals note that both of these are vital for reducing the risk of heart disease.
Another study on 356 women found that the participants who regularly ate shellfish, including shrimp, had considerably lower triglycerides and blood pressure levels when compared to those who didn’t consume any shellfish. Further research indicates that people who include shrimp in their diet tend to have a lesser risk of heart disease than those who do not eat it.
More research is, of course, needed to establish shrimp’s effect on heart health, but current evidence does suggest that its high cholesterol content might be offset by the above-listed beneficial properties. So people who do not have high cholesterol can definitely enjoy this delicious seafood in moderation, as it’s unlikely to affect one's cholesterol levels.

3. They contain a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits

Nutritional Facts About Shrimp, antioxidant
Shrimp are known to contain a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, which is responsible for the pink-red color in this shellfish. It helps protect cells from damage and can also improve immune system function. 
Studies show that consuming astaxanthin can help reduce inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease, by stopping free radicals from damaging your cells. Other studies suggest that this antioxidant may be useful for strengthening arteries, which may lower the risk of several heart diseases. In addition, it can also increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which is essential for good heart health.
This isn’t all. Astaxanthin’s anti-inflammatory properties may help lessen the risk of inflammatory brain diseases and also enhance memory performance.

4. Can help beautify your skin

Including shrimp in your day-to-day diet may help your skin look more youthful. Research has shown that the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin in shrimp can significantly lessen the signs of aging in the skin associated with UVA and sunlight. Therefore, if you want to reduce any skin spots and wrinkling, having shrimp a few times a week can be helpful.

5. They can improve bone health

As we mentioned above, shrimps are rich in protein. Seven medium-sized pieces of shrimp contain 18 grams of lean protein, which is almost half your daily recommended serving of protein. Add the various vitamins, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium found in it, and you have a recipe capable of improving your bone health. Deficiency in dietary proteins and vitamins can lead to bone degeneration. So adding shrimp to your diet can reduce the effects of aging bones. 

How to Select and Store Shrimp

Shrimp is a member of the shellfish family, and it's among the top allergens. So people who are allergic to any kind of shellfish should ideally avoid having it. If you're sensitive, eating it may trigger allergies like itching, stomach issues, tingling in the mouth, nasal congestion, dizziness, and other skin reactions. 

If you don’t have any history of being allergic to any kind of fish, you can go ahead and choose the best variety of shrimp for yourself. 

Nutritional Facts About Shrimp, recipe

When purchasing raw shrimp, keep a few things in mind:

* Make sure they’re firm.

* They should also be spot-free and attached to their shells. Black spots on the shells may suggest that they have deteriorated in quality. 

* You can identify their freshness from their smell. Ideally, it should have a slight saltwater aroma. 

* Clean the shrimp properly after you’ve brought it home. Remove the shell and de-vein. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible.

* Refrigerated shrimp can last for a couple of days. Frozen shrimp can last for about a month.

Overall, we can say that shrimp is a healthy food that anyone can add to their diet. It has plenty of health benefits when consumed in moderation. The delightful seafood can provide many necessary nutrients.

Check out some of our amazing shrimp recipes below:

Treat Yourself with This Delicious Shrimp Scampi

This Hearty Tomato and Shrimp Soup Will Warm Your Bones

A Delicious Marinated Shrimp Recipe

This Cajun Shrimp and Rice Will Put a Smile on Your Face

How to Make Honey Garlic Shrimp

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