The Health Benefits of Crab Meat

The Health Benefits of Crab Meat

Crab meat is the edible portion of crabs, and is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Although it is often consumed as a main course, it can also add flavor to soups, salads and dips. Crab meat is valued for its succulent and sweet taste.

Common Sources of Crab Meat

There are many known varieties of crabs; however, not all crabs are safe to eat. Those that are fit to be eaten include Blue crabs, Dungeness crabs and King crabs. Blue crabs are marketed soon after their molting period, that is, when the shell is still soft. Dungeness crabs are large crabs with pink and juicy meat. King crabs are extremely large, weighing about 5 kg, but only the legs and claws are usually eaten.

Benefits of Eating Crab Meat

The price of crab meat is relatively high in countries where crabs are not abundant. Therefore, not everyone can afford to buy crab meat and enjoy its delectable taste. Crab meat, however, is very nutritious. Like red meat, crab meat contains nutrients that are essential to the body. Unlike red meat, however, crab meat is low in fat and calories.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Source: Crab meat contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower blood pressure and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower triglycerides, increase the supply of HDL or good cholesterol, prevent blood clotting and strengthen resistance to infections.
  • Rich in Proteins, but Free from Carbohydrates: One serving of crab contains 20g protein. This makes crab meat a good alternative to tuna fish. If you are trying to get enough protein, but worry about gaining weight in return, eating crabs is a good choice. Crab meat is carbohydrate free, which is why it is a good diet food if you are trying to lose weight, build muscles, or have diabetes.
  • Natural Source of Some Vitamins and Minerals: Crab meat contains high amounts of vitamin B12, which is crucial for normal and healthy brain and nervous system function. Vitamins A (for good eyesight) and C (for proper growth and development), and other B vitamins such as thiamine (B1, for conversion of carbohydrates into energy), riboflavin (B2, for the manufacture of red blood cells) and niacin (B3, for proper digestion) can also be found in crab meat. The minerals found in crab meat include potassium (for healthy cells), sodium (for blood pressure regulation), phosphorus (for strong teeth and bones) and calcium (for overall health maintenance).
  • Low Mercury Content: You may avoid eating crab meat because of the fact that seafood contains high levels of mercury. Crab meat, however, is actually low in mercury, making it safe to eat.
  • Low Caloric and Fat Content: Crab meat is a highly recommended food for losing weight. A 4 oz. serving of crab meat contains only 98 calories and less than 2g of fat. This also makes crab meat an excellent food for a healthy heart.