It’s the most widely served seafood in the country. It’s low in calories and dense in vitamins and minerals.
In fact, shrimp are some of the best sources of iodine out there… which is good news for your thyroid and brain health. And they’re also an excellent source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain will thank you for those too.
Shrimp can even lower your blood pressure.
But this little crustacean tends to get an undeserved bad rap for being high in cholesterol.
The truth is a steady diet containing shrimp has been shown to significantly increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) and decrease triglycerides.
And there’s even more to like about shrimp…
We’ve covered the benefits of cancer-preventing antioxidants a lot here but never this specific powerhouse: astaxanthin.
This compound has been shown to strengthen arteries and in turn reduce your risk of heart attack.
It might also be beneficial for brain health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties that prevent cell damage to the brain.
It’s also been linked to healthy skin, endurance, male fertility and the treatment of joint pain.
And the best part?
Shrimp love to eat it (it’s found in algae and zooplankton)… It’s the reason for a shrimp’s reddish hue.
Eating shrimp is a great way to get a dose of astaxanthin… and other rich nutrients like selenium and copper.
But before you rush out to the store to stock up, there are some things you need to know.
Americans’ insatiable desire for shrimp has led to a shortage.
It’s estimated that as much as 92% of available shrimp in the U.S. is imported from countries with less-than-stellar regulatory records.
Here’s the scary part: Many foreign industrial shrimp farms are so crowded and unsanitary that producers resort to using high levels of pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals (many of which are banned in the United States) in order to prevent disease.
Even though the FDA is tasked with inspecting imported seafood to make sure it’s antibiotic-free, the sheer volume imported into the U.S. all but insures some tainted food is getting through.
That’s why you want to make sure you purchase your shrimp from a supplier that knows where its product comes from.
Wild shrimp is preferred. Farmed shrimp from the U.S. is a decent backup. But if you’re not sure where it came from, it’s best to look for a different protein.