Crabs are crustacean; they have hard shells and legs. There are many varieties of crabs and each species has a somewhat different taste and texture. Crab meat is available fresh from most seafood markets, and can be found frozen or in cans from your local supermarket. Either way, you’ll enjoy the wonderful health benefits that crab has to offer.
Health Benefits of Crabs:
- Crab is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s help to lower triglycerides and blood pressure along with reducing the risk of heart disease, it is also thought to reduce the inflammation, enhance immune function, and even lower the risk of certain types of cancer. A three-ounce portion of cooked crab has about 300-500 milligrams of the healthy fats.
- Crab is a good source of lean protein. This makes it an excellent high protein alternative for the athlete, or body builder who doesn’t want to eat fish.
- Crab and other shellfish are good sources of chromium, which works with insulin in the metabolism of sugar helping the body to maintain normal blood glucose levels. It is also carbohydrate free which makes it a good choice for diabetics.
- Crabs contain selenium. Selenium helps reduce oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Eating enough selenium is important to keep these systems functioning.
- Crab is low in calorie, a four ounce serving of crab meat has only 98 calories, and with as little as two grams of fat per serving making it a heart friendly food.
- Crab is high in natural sodium.
- Crab is low in mercury. One of the big concerns with eating a seafood rich diet is exposure to mercury. The good news is blue crab is very low in mercury, making it a good seafood choice for the whole family. In fact, crab is considered to be the safest forms of seafood in terms of mercury levels.
How to Buy and Store Crabs: Fresh cooked crab has bright red shell and smells fresh, with no hint of ammonia odor. Any exposed meat should be white and moist, not dried out or yellow. Fresh cooked crab is best eaten the same day you buy it but will keep safely in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Different Varieties of Crabs:
- Blue crabs aresmall crustaceans found along the Atlantic coast; they are particularly valued for their soft-shell phase, when they can be eaten shell and all.
- Dungeness crabs are large and meaty, they are found on the Northwest coast.
- King crabs have most of the meat in their legs rather than their claws. They can grow up to six feet across.
- Stone crab, found in Florida and Texas, are sold fresh, cooked, and frozen.
- Red crabs are small, meaty crustaceans that live along the continental shelf.
“This post was originally published on January 15, 2012 @ 20:38”