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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Shrimp Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 78.5 g
Calories: 85 kcal
Protein: 20.1 g
Fat: 0.5 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 161 mg
Calcium: 64 mg
Iron: 0.5 mg
Magnesium: 35 mg
Phosphorus: 214 mg
Potassium: 264 mg
Sodium: 119 mg
Zinc: 1.3 mg

Shrimps (often known as prawns in some cases) are a common type of seafood eaten all over the world. Delicious, baked, boiled, barbecued, fried or grilled, the shrimp is used across the world as a seafood staple (probably due to its very high levels of protein), and as such is very easy to incorporate into your diet: whether you like Japanese, Thai, or Brazilian cuisine, the shrimp is often used. Shrimp not only has a great nutritional profile, but varied and unique benefits for fighting cardiovascular disease, and some other health issues.

The headline nutritional benefit of shrimp is, quite frankly, the astonishing amounts of protein available. 100g of cooked shrimp contains 99 calories, and 24g of protein: less than 5% of your Daily Value (DV) of calories, but 48% of your DV of protein. In addition to that, the shrimp has a number of essential minerals in decent amounts: 9% DV of magnesium, 7% DV of calcium, and 7% DV of potassium; fantastic for athletic, cardiovascular and bone health. However, that 100g also contains 63% DV of cholesterol, which may be a serious concern for some.

However, that 63% figure, while worrying, is actually a little misleading. While it is true that shrimp are high in cholesterol, they have been shown to decrease the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol (‘bad’ to ‘good’ cholesterol, and decrease the amount of triglycerides in the blood. Both of these problems are serious indicators of potential heart problems in themselves, and also one of the main reasons to reduce your dietary cholesterol. While it’s probably not a good idea to eat shrimp if you have a history of recent heart problems or obesity, for most there’s no issue.

In addition, shrimp are fantastic in terms of seafood because they avoid a central problem in seafood: high mercury levels. Mercury levels are dangerous in high doses, especially for young children, and while it is uncertain what harm low-level mercury contamination in fish does, it’s probably not good for you. Shrimp are low in mercury and high in omega-3s

Finally, shrimp is a unique source of an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin has been shown to have positive antioxidant effects in animal studies, addressing imbalances that were in this case induced by diabetes. Further, they have been shown to help with treating diabetic nephropathy a kidney disease caused by a complication of diabetes, and even may have some benefits for the prevention of colon cancer.