Prawns Health Benefits

Many people think prawns are like shrimps only larger in size, but the truth is that they belong to different families. Nevertheless, prawns taste quite like shrimps and even enjoy a similar nutritional profile. It is possible to use one in place of the other in recipes. While prawns can be quite high in cholesterol and sodium, they also provide you with a variety of nutrients.

Prawns Health Benefits

Prawns are a great source of selenium, omega-3s, and many other essential nutrients that keep you healthy. Here is more about some of the reasons why you may want to include prawns in your diet.

1. Lowered Cancer Risk

As mentioned already, prawns contain selenium, and this is the reason why they help prevent cancer. This micronutrient plays a big role in limiting the growth of cancer cells. Regular consumption of prawns provides you with enough selenium that lowers your cancer risk.

2. Better Heart Health

Thanks to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, prawns work amazingly well to improve your cardiovascular health. Omega-3s remove cholesterol from the arteries and in turn widen the lumen of the arteries. This helps lower your blood pressure and keeps you from dealing with heart attack, stroke, and other serious complications.

3. Improved Cognitive Abilities

Among many other prawns health benefits, one is associated with your brain. Regular consumption of prawns improves your cognitive abilities, mainly because of the presence of vitamin-B12. This vitamin is essential for better memory and enhanced concentration. As prawns also contain omega-3 fatty acids, they lower your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

4. Stronger Teeth and Bones

Eating prawns provides you with more calcium, which is extremely important for stronger bones and teeth. By including prawns in your diet, you can also lower your risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.

5. Proper Weight Management

One of the many prawns health benefits is that they can help you lose weight. They are a great source of protein that helps build lean muscles, but at the same time, they are low in calories and do not make you put on weight.

6. Increased Muscle Mass

You cannot stay healthy when your protein intake is on the lower side. Prawns contain loads of protein, which is essential for muscle building. Moreover, your body uses protein to repair itself. The good thing is that while prawns are rich in protein, they are low in carbs. You get about 17g of protein from a 100g serving of prawns.

7. Healthier Skin and Hair

You need vitamin E for healthier skin and hair, and prawns are rich in this vitamin. Your body uses vitamin E to replace dead skin cells with new ones. Moreover, it prevents rashes, sunburns, and other skin conditions. If you have dull, brittle hair, you may not have sufficient vitamin E in your body. Include prawns in your diet to see a change.

Easy Ways to Cook Prawns

Prawns health benefits are certainly amazing, but you should also know how to cook them properly to get maximum benefits. Here are some simple instructions to follow when cooking prawns.

Clean and Prepare Prawns

You should always start by cleaning prawns properly and then preparing them for cooking. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove the heads and shells. This also helps make it easier to eat prawns after cooking. You can leave the shells though if you are pan frying or grilling the prawns.
  • Pull and twist the heads to remove them easily. You should grab close to the eyes and then twist the head firmly. Then, pull off the legs using your hand.
  • Use your thumbs to peel off the shell. Look for the larger end and start from there. Put your thumb under the shell and take it to the tail. Now, pull it off firmly. It is fine to leave the tail in place.
  • Create a slit down the back of the prawn with the help of a knife. Look for the black vein near the tail – it runs through the entire prawn. Take it out by lifting with a knife and then removing with your fingers.
  • Rinse your prawns thoroughly under running water. Take some paper towels and pat dry your prawns. You can store them in the refrigerator if you do not want to cook them right away.

Pan Frying Prawns

  • Take a skillet and melt 2 tbsp. of olive oil or unsalted butter. Do it over medium-high heat. Use enough oil to ensure it covers the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add any aromatics or flavor at this stage. The best options include 3-5 garlic cloves, half cup of chopped shallots, and a tbsp. of chopped ginger.
  • Add a layer of shelled prawns and start cooking for 3-4 minutes, until the underside is pink. Stir in your flavorings only when you have cooked the first side.
  • Add seasoning as well and keep stirring the prawns to ensure the outside is coated well with your seasonings. You can use different seasoning options, like red pepper, lime juice, garlic powder, and chili powder for Mexican prawns; lemon juice, salt, oregano, and olive oil for Mediterranean prawns; and thyme, cayenne, paprika, salt, chili powder, butter, and black pepper for Cajun prawns.
  • Flip your prawns and keep cooking until the outside is pink. Do not overcook because prawns lose moisture within minutes. Turn off the heat once your prawns show deep streaks of pink. Serve!

Grilling Prawns

  • Start by preheating your grill. You should do it at high heat because you need to cook prawns quickly to ensure they do not lose their moisture. You can leave the tails and skins in place while grilling.
  • Combine a tbsp. of baking soda and a tbsp. of salt in a cup of water and soak your prawns in it for 15 minutes. This helps make your prawns crispier.
  • Prepare the skewer and thread your prawns one after the other. You can throw in some vegetables as well. Ensure your prawns are threaded tightly together because this helps retain moisture.
  • Take a brush, dip it in olive oil, and then coat the prawns properly. You can also sprinkle some salt and garlic powder here.
  • Place the skewers on the grill but ensure they do not touch each other. You need to check that the prawns touch the hot grate. Cook for 3-4 minutes and change sides once pink.
  • Take them off the grill and use your seasonings – you can simply toss them with melted butter, olive oil, pepper, and salt. For Mexican prawns, you can use red pepper, lime juice, chipotle, cayenne, garlic powder and chili powder. Use black pepper, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano, and parsley for Mediterranean prawns. 

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