The health benefits of crab

They’re packed with essential fats, nutrients and minerals.

Story by Jeremy Grace

Are you getting enough seafood in your diet? Most of us aren’t. Despite studies that show the benefits of putting seafood on the dinner table, more families choose to eat red meat or poultry instead. This is unfortunate since seafood is rich in nutrients and generally low in calories. One form of seafood that’s particularly low in fat and calories is crab. Although crab meat is an important staple in some forms of cuisine such as Chinese food, it’s not eaten as often in the United States. Maybe it should be. Especially when there is an abundant and healthy supply, like we have here in the Lowcountry. What are the health benefits of crab?

It’s very low in calories and fat

Crab is a calorie counter’s dream meat. A four-ounce serving of crab meat has only 98 calories, and with less than two grams of fat per serving, it’s heart healthy. Despite its low calorie content, crab meat can be a filling and satisfying main course.

It’s high in protein and has no carbs

Despite its low calorie and fat content, a serving of crab has a whopping 20 grams of protein. This makes it an excellent high protein alternative for the athlete or body builder who’s tired of tuna. It’s also carb free, which makes it a good choice for diabetics.

It’s high in omega 3 fatty acids

Crab is a good source of heart healthy omega 3s, which help lower triglycerides and blood pressure along with reducing the risk of heart disease. Omega 3s are also thought to reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, and lower the risk of certain types of cancer. Most Americans don’t get enough omega 3s in their diet and adding crab meat to the table is a good way to start.

It’s low in mercury

One of the big concerns with eating a seafood rich diet is exposure to mercury. The good news is that mid-Atlantic blue crab is very low in mercury, making it a good seafood choice for the whole family. In fact, crab is considered to be one of the safest forms of seafood in terms of mercury levels.

Crab meat is also rich in vitamins and minerals with particularly high levels of vitamin B-12, a vitamin that’s critical for healthy nerve function. It’s also a good source of the minerals zinc and copper.

Skip the salt

Because crabs come from the salty ocean, they do contain high levels of sodium. Those with high blood pressure should limit their intake of Alaska king crab and go with blue or Dungeness crab instead. Both have less than 251 milligrams of sodium. Skip extra salt by seasoning your crab meat with chopped herbs and fresh cracked black pepper.

Amazing health benefits of eating crab

Nutritionists encourage people to consume at least two servings of crabs per week.

Health benefits include:
• Nutrients such as protein, selenium and omega 3 acids boost your immune system.
• High content of protein, zinc and vitamin B-12 speeds up wound recovery.
• Selenium and copper in crab meat help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
• Eating crab meat can improve cognition and concentration.
• High levels of vitamin A can improve weak eyesight.
• For expectant mothers, crab meat helps develop cell membrane of the brain of the fetus.
• Crab meat’s high dose of natural protein speeds up your metabolism.

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