When it comes to the tastiest sea foods, prawns always make it to the top of the list. But prawns are never considered as fish, rather it falls under the category of arthropods. Prawns are nothing but aquatic crustaceans with ten legs. Prawn recipes are enjoyed all over the world, especially in Asia. It is cultivated widely in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. We all know how tasty prawns are but we hardly know about the nutritional and health benefits we get from eating prawns. So today in this article we will be looking at the several health benefits of consuming prawns. Let’s begin.
How are prawns different from shrimps?
Before diving straight into the health benefits of prawns, let’s take a look at the main difference between prawns and shrimps. Both prawns and shrimps are found to be very similar to each other but there are certain differences by which you can figure out whether it is a prawn or a shrimp. Although both have ten legs, shrimps are generally smaller in size compared to prawns. Moreover, shrimps generally have a curled body and prawns generally have a straight body. If you really want a clear difference between both, you need to closely look at the claws of both prawns and shrimps. Shrimps just have one pair of legs that possess claws at the end whereas prawns have three pairs of legs with claws.
Although there are not many nutritional differences between both of them, certain surveys prove that prawns are considered much tastier than shrimps.
Nutritional information of prawns
Prawns are extensively rich in protein, healthy fats and various vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Moreover, prawns are also rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, niacin, calcium, iron, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12.
500grams of prawns consists of the following approximate nutritional information.
Amazing health benefits of prawns
Rich in protein
Prawns are actually rich in protein. Consuming about 100grams of prawns will provide you with about 10grams of protein which is fairly good. Seafood which is really tasty providing you with a good amount of protein should always be appreciated. Protein is nothing but a chain of amino acids that helps in repairing cells and producing new ones. Moreover, if you are a gym freak or a bodybuilder, you already know the necessity of protein in your body.
Low in calories
Unlike most kinds of seafood that are high in calories, prawns are actually low in calories. About 100g of prawns provides you with approximately 120Kcal of energy. Hence, prawns are actually considered a good option if you are following a weight loss diet. Foods that are low in calories but high in protein and other vitamins and minerals will definitely aid you in your weight loss journey. Prawns are also considered low-fat seafood which will again contribute to your weight loss journey.
Rich in Vitamin E
Prawns contain a high amount of Vitamin E. The amount of Vitamin E present in prawns is 22 times more than that present in cooked beef. 100grams of cooked prawns contain about 2926 µg of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is extremely needed by our body to boost our overall immunity. Moreover, Vitamin E is considered the best vitamin for improving our hair and skin.
Rich in Vitamin B6 and B12
Prawns are also quite rich in Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 is responsible for maintaining the proper function of fats, sugars and proteins in our body. On the other hand, Vitamin B12 is responsible for the formation of RBC and DNA. Both of the water-soluble vitamins are found in selective food items. Prawns are one of the food items that provide you with good amounts of both B vitamins.
Rich in trace minerals
Trace minerals are minerals that need to be obtained from food. The amount of trace minerals that are body require is minimal, unlike other macrominerals. Prawns are rich in three trace minerals that are zinc, selenium and iron.
Zinc plays a major role in the creation of DNA, maintaining the growth of cells and healing damaged tissues.
Iron helps in maintaining proper growth and development of the body. It produces hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body.
Selenium, on the other hand, boosts immunity by providing protection against cell damage and infections. So, eating prawns will help you to get all of these trace minerals within a serving.
Prawns during their lifetime love to consume a type of algae that contains a compound known as astaxanthin. Prawns generally tend to carry this compound in their body even after their death. A little bit of this compound is still left even after cooking prawns. Astaxanthin is directly related to the protection of cells from damage and ultimately boosts immunity. Moreover, many studies show that consumption of astaxanthin reduces the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease, aging skin and tiredness.
Contains Omega 3 fatty acids
While prawns contain more cholesterol than the average, their healthy fat profile prevents them from raising cholesterol levels in the body. This is due to the fact that they contain nearly three times more Omega 3 Fatty Acids than Omega 6 Fatty acids. According to research, meals high in Omega 3 are related to a lower risk of heart attack and blood pressure. In reality, the cholesterol in prawns is essential for a balanced diet.
Are prawns considered safe to eat for everyone?
Despite being tasty and nutritive in nature, prawns are actually not for everyone.
The main problem lies in the cholesterol content in prawns.100grams of prawns contain approximately 73mg of cholesterol, which is fairly high. But even being rich in cholesterol prawns they contain less amount of saturated fat. Foods that are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats increase the LDL cholesterol in your body which leads to coronary heart diseases. But prawns being low in saturated fats do not raise your LDL cholesterol in your body.
Another problem with prawns is their high sodium content. 100grams of prawns contain roughly 119mg of sodium which is considered relatively high. High sodium intake is always related to high blood pressure. So if you have high blood pressure make sure to avoid foods that are rich in sodium.
People who have shellfish allergies should definitely avoid prawns under any circumstances. If you witness itchy skin, swelling of lips, choking, belly pain or dizziness right after consuming prawns, you should straightaway stop consuming prawns and consult your doctor.
As you can see, besides being tasty prawns are actually very nutritive and possess several health benefits. But make sure not to overeat them as a controlled potion is always the key. It is never recommended to consume more than 100grams of prawns in a single day.