The Sweet, Affordable, and Healthy Crayfish

Seafood contributes to a healthy diet. And, when you think of seafood, you may immediately think of lobsters and oysters. These kinds of seafood are indeed delicious, but they tend to be on the more expensive side. So if you wish to have some seafood but are on a budget, then you might as well go for crayfish, which are considered the freshwater cousins of lobsters. And, they are sweeter than lobsters but are relatively cheaper.

Also known as crawdads and freshwater lobsters, crayfish are crustaceans that live in freshwater. Because they can be rarely found in polluted waters, the presence of crayfish can be an indication that the water is relatively clean.

The availability and price of crayfish are affected by weather conditions, so it is best to buy them from late spring to late autumn. Also, in the spawning season, their flesh softens and has less flavour.

As with other edible crustaceans, only a small portion of crayfish can be eaten. In most crayfish dishes, only its tail is used, although portions of the seafood may also be eaten, such as the claw meat.

Because of its sweet meat, cooking a nice crayfish need not be so complex. You can just cook it and server with mayonnaise and some lemon juice. Or, you can just fry them in paprika, garlic, olive oil, and stir into pasta.

While enjoying the sweetness of crayfish, you will gain some health benefits at the same time. A 3-ounce serving of crayfish, for instance, has 14 grams of protein with only 70 calories. Protein is a macronutrient needed for important body processes, such as the production of enzymes and hormones and building and repair of cells and tissues.

In terms of minerals, crayfish is definitely not lacking. Have a 3-ounce serving of the seafood and you will have 10 percent of the daily value (DV) for zinc, health benefits of which include increased immunity, increased fertility, and diabetes prevention. The same serving of crayfish also contains 8 percent of the DV for magnesium, a lack of which can result in an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. People with magnesium deficiency also tend to have high inflammation markers; inflammation is linked to major health problems, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The seafood is also rich in iron, deficiency of which is associated with various health problems, such as gastrointestinal problems, decreased immune function, and poor body temperature regulation.

Crayfish is also a great source of vitamins, particularly the B vitamins. A serving of the seafood can give you 30 percent of the DV for vitamin B12, 10 percent of vitamin B3, and 4 percent for vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6. B vitamins work together to maintain your nervous system, produce energy, and keep your eyes, skin, and hair healthy.

In sum, crayfish can be a great choice if you are looking to enjoy delicious seafood and save at the same time. It is really healthy, too, with the various vitamins and minerals it contains.