While shrimp may be small in size, they are huge in terms of nutritional value and the health benefits they provide. Consuming shrimp can help in weight loss, provide you with important beauty nutrients - like the antioxidant astaxanthin - and add cancer-fighting minerals to your diet.
Weight loss benefits of eating shrimp
Packed with protein, vitamin D, vitamin B3, and zinc, shrimp are a fantastic, carbohydrate-free food for anyone determined to lose some wight. Zinc supplementation of zinc deficient subjects has been shown to increase the levels of circulating leptin. Leptin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the body's energy expenditure, fat storage, and appetite. Insufficient leptin levels are believed to be the primary cause of food cravings, overeating, and obsession with food. The iodine in shrimp is great for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland which controls the basal metabolic rate, or the rate at which the body consumes energy at rest. Iodine deficiency can result in sluggish thyroid activity which in turn can lead to weight gain or hinder weight loss.
A real beauty food
Shrimp contain astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives them their pink color and that can act as a potent antioxidant and protect the skin from premature aging.
The omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp provide antioxidant protection. The zinc shrimp boast plays an essential role in the production of new cells (including hair cells and skin cells). It also helps maintain the oil-secreting glands on the scalp that keep hair shiny.
Additionally, shrimp are an excellent source of copper that can help prevent hair loss, contribute to hair thickness, and intensify hair color.
Shrimp are packed with selenium
According to several population studies, the risk of death from cancer, including lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers, is lower among people with a higher intake of the trace mineral selenium.
Some studies have shown that selenium reduces cancer risk in two ways: first, selenium being an important constituent of glutathione peroxidase - an enzyme with anti-oxidant properties - can help protect the body from damaging effects of free radicals. Second, selenium is believed to prevent tumor growth by boosting the immune system and inhibiting the development of blood vessels to the tumor.
Is shrimp cholesterol bad for you?
Shrimp are frequently given a bad reputation for their high cholesterol content. Well, even though it is true that shrimp are relatively high in cholesterol (about 200 milligrams in 3.5 ounces, or 12 large boiled shrimp), the Rockefeller study on shrimp and cholesterol shows that shrimp cholesterol may not be that bad for you.
Shrimp Nutrition Facts
- Glycemic Index (GI) Rating / Glycemic Load: As shrimp contain no carbohydrates, their Glycemic Index rating is 0.
- Calories: Shrimp are relatively low in calories, with 1 gram of shrimp containing 1 calorie (1 ounce of shrimp, or 28 grams, therefore contains only 28 calories).
- Macronutrients: Shrimp are made almost completely of protein and water, however they do contain some fat and cholesterol as well.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Shrimp are packed with vitamin B12 and selenium. They also provide a fair amount of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, sodium (salt), zinc and copper. Shockingly, they even contain some vitamin C.
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How often do you eat shrimp? Is it part of your diet? Please share with us in the comments section below.