Crayfish, or crawfish as it is sometimes spelt, is a very popular seafood. In Nigeria, it is used in cooking to add flavour to food. Indeed, it is a very common cooking ingredient with a remarkable taste. It is a flavor enhancer in soups, stews, and other dishes
Crayfish can be dried and eaten raw without any need to further cook it.
But what makes crayfish good goes beyond its nice taste or how much it helps to season food as it is packed with a lot of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, potassium, selenium, calcium, copper, zinc, magnesium, and more. It is also rich in protein and packed with amino acids as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. This makes crayfish a great addition to your diet.
Today, we would be looking at nutritional value of crayfish as well as some of the health benefits of eating crayfish.
Nutritional Value Of Crayfish
Crayfish is a nutrient-rich food that provides a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional value of crayfish per 100 grams:
- Calories: 82 kcal
- Protein: 13.9 g
- Fat: 1.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.1 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Sodium: 83 mg
- Calcium: 37 mg
- Iron: 1.4 mg
- Magnesium: 38 mg
- Phosphorus: 197 mg
- Potassium: 272 mg
- Zinc: 2.2 mg
- Copper: 0.2 mg
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.05 mg
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.14 mg
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.6 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
- Vitamin B12: 0.8 mcg
- Folate (B9): 37.4mcg.
10 Health Benefits Of Crayfish
Below are some of the amazing health benefits that can be gotten from eating crayfish:
1. Helps in the development of stronger bones
Crayfish are very rich in calcium and magnesium, two minerals that help to make the bones stronger. This helps to make stronger bones and teeth, as well as muscles. It also increases bone density and prevents bone-related issues. Including crayfish in your diet would give you stronger and healthier bones.
2. Promotes healthy skin
Another benefit of eating crayfish is that it promotes healthy and better skin. This is because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the skin from harsh sunlight and ultraviolet rays. This also means it removes spots and blemishes, giving you all-around radiant skin.
3. Helps with weight loss
Including crayfish in your diet can help you lose weight effectively. Crayfish has low-calorie content and contains fewer carbohydrates. You can substitute your regular fish or meat for crayfish to help you lose weight faster.
Eating more crayfish would fill you up without adding to your weight. Instead of cooking with many processed seasons, which contain a lot of artificial components, cook with crayfish.
4. Improves metabolism
Eating crayfish can also help improve your body’s metabolism. It contains a lot of essential nutrients as well as Omega-3 fatty acids, which would reduce risks of diseases by helping to promote the function of the immune system, keeping your body safe from diseases. So, improve your body metabolism, eat crayfish regularly.
5. Improves brain function
Another amazing thing about eating crayfish is how it improves the development and function of the brain.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in crayfish help to improve the function of the brain by providing more energy to the brain and also helps boost cognitive function as well. T
his helps to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This makes it particularly great for children as it would help the development of their brains from an early stage.
6. Improves heart health
Another thing the brain helps to do is to keep the heart very healthy. The Omega-3 fatty acids help to protect the heart against diseases like stroke and heart attack. It also helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels and improving the intake of good cholesterol, creating a healthy balance.
7. Helps to regenerate lost cells
Making crayfish a part of your diet can help to restore your cells by repairing broken one and building new ones because it contains a lot of protein. This helps to make sure that your organs function effectively.
8. Rich in phosphorus
Crayfish is a rich source of phosphorus, with 100 grams of crayfish providing approximately 197 mg of this essential mineral, 18% of the required daily intake.
Phosphorus is a crucial component of many physiological processes in the body, including bone and teeth formation, energy metabolism, and DNA synthesis. It is also required for the proper functioning of cell membranes and the nervous system.
9. Good for pregnant women
Crayfish is an excellent source of folate, which is a crucial nutrient for pregnant women. Folate, also known as folic acid, is necessary for the proper development of the neural tube in the fetus, which eventually forms the brain and spinal cord.
Adequate folate intake during pregnancy can reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in the baby.
10. Healthy spice for cooking
One reason why you should use crayfish to cook is because it is a healthy and natural alternative to artificial seasoning in cooking. Many artificial seasonings contain high amounts of salt, preservatives, and additives that can be harmful to health when consumed in excess.
Crayfish, on the other hand, is a natural food that is low in salt and does not contain any harmful additives or preservatives.
Apart from its natural and healthy properties, crayfish also adds a unique flavor and depth to dishes, enhancing the overall taste of the meal. Its earthy taste and aroma can replace artificial seasonings like maggi cubes, which are commonly used in Nigerian cooking.