Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Recipe for Happiness – Shrimply Devine

Shrimp are a crustacean but unlike their close cousins the lobster and the crab they do not crawl, they swim. They use the swimmerets on their abdomen to swim forward and their tails to swim backwards. Shrimp are a wonderful alternative to meat proteins, both low in calories and saturated fat.

Although small in stature, shrimp are anything but small when it comes to nutrition. 4 ounces of shrimp at only 112 calories are a great source of tryptophan, protein, selenium, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acid, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B3, zinc, copper and magnesium.

Many people are confused about the fat and cholesterol content of shrimp. Shrimp are very low in fat but somewhat high in cholesterol. However studies have shown that a diet of shrimp raised LDL (bad cholesterol) by 7 % and HDL ( good cholesterol) by 12%. An egg diet raised LDL by 10% and HDL by 7 %. Further shrimp lowered triglycerides (a form in which fat is carried to the blood) by 13%. It appears that the good outweighs the bad.

But can these little crustacean really make us happy? Well they taste good, they’re low in fat, low in calories and can be added to a variety of dishes. That should make us happy. But little as they are, they are so much more.

 Nutritional Science tells us that certain things in the diet can be good for treating mild forms of depression. Vitamin D, vitamin B12, B3 (niacin), omega3 fish oils, zinc and magnesium are all good for supporting mental health and lifting mild forms of depression.

What do we find in shrimp? We get; vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, zinc, omega3 fish oils, zinc and magnesium. Ounce for ounce this makes shrimp a pretty good anti-depressant food. Further our bodies require a certain amount of fat to function well. We call these fats essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acid such as that found in shrimp cannot be manufactured by the body. We must get it from our diet. Essential fatty acids protect our cells against invading toxins, bacteria, viruses and allergens as well as support a healthy cardiovascular system.

Shrimp taste good, are low in fat and calories. They support both a healthy body and a healthy mind. So we get taste good, low calories, high nutrient food that can be prepared in a number of different ways, making shrimp something to smile about! Be happy…eat shrimp.  

 Doctor Lynn

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