Anyone who loves seafood will tell you that it's more than just the delicious taste, but that there are serious health benefits to eating various types of seafood as well. For those who thought only salmon was the healthy seafood, there are many health benefits associated with other kinds of seafood and fish, including shrimp! The benefits of shrimp are massive, and we go into detail on how to include this food into your diet in a healthy way.
We all know by now that fried foods aren't the best thing to have in our diets, so if you were thinking about all the fried shrimp you could indulge in, that's still not a healthy choice. However, there are other ways to eat shrimp that are much healthier and won't clog your arteries, so you can enjoy this treat more often.
During the summertime especially, you may find yourself wanting fresh seafood, and since shrimp is one of the most common types of shellfish, you'll likely want to add this to your meal rotation throughout the summer. Luckily, with the health benefits eating shrimp provides, you'll be wondering why you didn't do this sooner!
Shrimp Nutrition Facts
Shrimp is one of those shellfish that has an impressive amount of nutrients in it while also being low in calories. There are no carbs in shrimp, and 90% of the calories in it come from protein, with a lean 10% coming from fat. A 3-ounce serving size of shrimp only has 84 calories, while also providing more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. Not only do you get the protein advantage, but you'll find Selenium, which is important for heart health, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Niacin, Zinc, and Magnesium. It also contains Iodine, which is a mineral that has been found deficient in many people. Iodine is important for healthy thyroid and brain function, so getting enough of that is necessary for all of us. Finally, it also has omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known for adding to heart health.
More than that, shrimp has antioxidants. You are probably familiar with this term because there are lots of foods that have them, and they're very beneficial to our bodies and health. Antioxidants can help protect against inflammation, increase good cholesterol, and even help defend against free radicals. All of these things can be beneficial to living a long and healthy life.
Now, there are some downsides to shrimp, as not everything can be completely great for you. So, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains 166 mg of cholesterol, which is higher than the average amounts in most other seafood. However, this doesn't mean this is an unhealthy option. Many people believe cholesterol-high foods should be avoided to not increase the cholesterol in the blood and to prevent heart disease. However, for about 75% of the population, dietary cholesterol only has a small impact on blood cholesterol levels, which means you can enjoy every bite of your shrimp without guilt. There also have been some studies that show that shrimp will help with maintaining good cholesterol rather than the bad kind, which helps improve heart health.
Cooking Healthy Shrimp
Now, as stated before, the way you cook your shrimp can affect the health value of it. If you blacken your shrimp on the grill, you're choosing a very healthy way to enjoy it, whereas frying it, even in an air fryer, should be enjoyed only on occasion. However, grilled shrimp with some lemon to accent the flavor or even baked shrimp is another healthy way to prepare it. Enjoy this delicious seafood with a fresh salad on the side or even put your shrimp on the salad. Shrimp scampi is another way to enjoy it with a light cocktail sauce. The main thing is to use healthy options to prepare the shrimp and you can enjoy it as a healthy and fresh dinner.