It’s widely known that the Food Standards Agency recommends eating 2 portions of fish per week – and living in Salcombe, this isn’t too difficult. However, we often get asked the question ‘is crab good for you? and we’re here to let you in on a little secret… crab may actually be more beneficial to human health than finfish!
The British shoreline is host to the pie crust edged brown crab (cancer Pagurus) which is caught and mostly shipped across the Channel to France and Spain. There it is consumed with gusto, mainly by us Brits abroad.
So why not enjoy crab when you are in the UK? Eating a portion of this nutritious crustacean has incredible health benefits when eaten regularly. Is crab good for you? The answer is a big juicy ‘YES!’ Read on to find out the health benefits of crab.
1. CRAB IS A GREAT SOURCE OF PROTEIN
- Crab is one of the best possible dietary sources of protein available. It contains almost as much protein per 100 grammes as meats without anywhere near the same levels of saturated fat, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
- The protein in crab is of high quality and, because of a lack of connective tissue, very digestible for people of all ages.
2. CRAB CONTAINS LONG-CHAIN OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
- Rich in vitamins and minerals, crab meat is also low in fat and contains Omega-3 polyunsaturated acids.
- Helps provide protection from heart disease and aids brain development. Some research suggests that Omega-3 also inhibits aggressive behaviour.
- And it’s not just any old Omega-3 – it’s the long chain variety. These are more beneficial to our health because they can be used immediately, unlike short-chain Omega-3 found in vegetables and oils; they need to be converted to the long chain form first which our bodies aren’t very good at.
- 100g of crab provides a third of the UK recommended weekly intake of Omega-3.
[blockquote align=”left” reverse=”off”]Find out what the difference is between white and brown crab[/blockquote]
3. CRAB CONTAINS SELENIUM
- All shellfish are a good source of Selenium but crab meat is particularly rich in it.
- Selenium plays a key role in the human’s antioxidant defence system, preventing damage to cells and tissues.
- Selenium also plays an important role in the function of the immune system, in thyroid hormone metabolism and synthesis in reproduction.
- 100g of crab meat provides 112% of the daily recommended value for men and 140% daily recommended value for women. Crab meat contains 3 times the amount of Selenium than cod and 12 times that of beef!
4. CRAB CONTAINS RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2)
- As vitamins are water soluble, and therefore not stored in the body, they have to be obtained through our diet, such as through crab meat.
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is important in the production of steroids and red blood cells, the promotion of normal growth, and the maintenance of the skin, eyes and the nervous system.
- Riboflavin also plays a role in iron absorption in the digestive tract and supports the activity of antioxidants.
- And take note all you athletes and bodybuilders: turnover of Riboflavin in the human body is thought to be related to energy expenditure, and therefore physically active peoples may have an increased requirement of Riboflavin in their diet.
[blockquote align=”left” reverse=”off”]Check out some tasty crab recipes here[/blockquote]
5. CRAB CONTAINS COPPER AND PHOSPHORUS
- Crab meat contains nearly 30 times the copper found in cod and 56 times that found in salmon, chicken and beef.
- Even though iron usually gets the spotlight, copper is involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron. It is important in the formation of red blood cells and keeps bones, blood vessels, nerves and the immune system healthy.
- Phosphorus is after calcium the second most abundant mineral in the body. It is a principal mineral of bones and teeth and is, therefore, important in skeletal health and development.
- Phosphorus is involved in most metabolic actions in the body, including kidney functioning, cell growth and the contraction of the heart muscle. It is also involved in converting food to energy.
- 100g of crab provides 62% of daily recommended value for adult men and women.
Do you eat crab meat as part of a healthy diet? We would love to hear about your recipes. Post them below in the comments section. Carry on crabbing!