CRAYFISH HEALTH BENEFITS - Grace Ngo Foundation

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Friday, 18 September 2015

CRAYFISH HEALTH BENEFITS

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Crayfish is the general word used in Nigeria most of the times to describe the group of sea foods known as Crustaceans .Other terms used to describe them are Shrimp and prawns depending on the size. Crustaceans (just like lobsters and crabs) belong to a category of living things called arthropods. Like all arthropods, Crayfish have their skeleton on the outside instead of the inside (it’s called an exoskeleton) and this outer skeleton is one of the features that gives shrimp their unusual look – almost like having a head shield that blocks out all of their features except their eyes, mouth opening, and antennae.
Traditionally, Crayfish or shrimps as they are also called are grouped together into categories based on their natural habitats. Warm-water shrimp come from tropical waters in southern parts of the world, and cold-water shrimp come from northern climates. Many warm-water shrimp belong to one specific family called Penaeidae.

Both warm-water and cold-water shrimp belonging to these two families are saltwater shrimp. They are found in many of the world’s oceans and seas, where they are typically caught by trawling.
Freshwater shrimp is a third category based on habitat. Just like the name implies, freshwater shrimp are not native to oceans and seas but to non-salt waters including lakes, rivers, and streams. Freshwater shrimp belong to a scientific category of living things (infraorder) called Caridea.
Unfortunately, the traditional ways of classifying shrimp listed above are no longer adequate for understanding shrimp in the marketplace due to the quick rise of shrimp farming and globalization of the food supply. It’s become common for shrimp to be removed from their native habitat and raised in farm settings that don’t always resemble their native conditions.
As described above, it’s possible to find white shrimp, pink shrimp, and brown shrimp that are native to warmer southern waters as well as older northern ones. However, the flesh of virtually all shrimp—when cooked—turns a vibrant shade of pink.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CRAYFISH
Crayfish have a super healthy combination of nutrients from its almost pure form of protein to its healthy amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids which we now know are among the most beneficial fats we can eat. Crayfish protein has large amounts of the amino acids tyrosine that mentally energizes the brain.
However, it appears, according to many physicians specializing in blood types in relation to foods, that people with type O blood thrive on shell fish while those of type B blood often are allergic to it.
In a serving of 3 – 4 ounces of crayfish, you can expect the following amounts of nutrients:
Total fat 1 g.
Saturated fat 0 g.
Cholesterol 126 mg.(compare one egg 200 mg.)
Sodium 170 mg.
Total Carbohydrate 0 g.
Dietary fiber 0 g.
Sugars 0 g.
Protein 16 g.
Calories 80 (compare to beef 242 calories)
In addition, there is a healthy supply of vitamin D and A as well as calcium and potassium, copper and zinc in crayfish. Iodine is also often mentioned as an important ingredient. As you can also see, crayfish is a very low carbohydrate food, and without ‘carbs’ you can safely eat crayfish without putting on unwanted weight.
Another favorable aspect of crayfish nutrition is that, it is a clean food. There is hardly ever any toxic residues or artificial hormones injected into the meat as crayfish usually come from lakes that are free from industrial or other pollution. In addition, crayfish are very sensitive to polluted waters and have in the past been used to test the purity of lakes before we invented other methods to determine water purity. However modern day farming of shrimps and prawns gives room for doubt on claim of being clean.

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