Prawns have fewer kilojoules, more protein and way less fat than beef, skinless chicken, pork and lamb.
But that's only the beginning.
Queensland Prawns - the new superfood
Prawns are very efficient protein. While seafood such as salmon and tuna are also wonderful sources of protein, they must consume a lot of other food themselves to grow to size. It is estimated 5 kilos of other food is eaten for every kilo that makes it to your plate. Prawns on the other hand, are at the sustainable end of the food chain - feeding on plankton, vegetable material and other less “energy intense” material. In fact, they’re doing a service keeping the oceans clean.
Prawns contain more protein than beef, chicken, lamb or pork. They have zero carbs and less fat than all land based animal protein sources. It’s been known for a while just how good seafood is for us, and it’s unfortunate that Aussies, especially our kids, get nowhere near enough.
Prawns are naturally high in Omega 3 and 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, better known as the “good” fats (or PUFA’s). These are important ingredients to our health that the body cannot make on its own - we have to get them through food. Most seafood is naturally high in Omega 3’s. Fish and prawns have justifiably earned the title of “brain” food as a result. But the story of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is not as simple as “eat more of them they are good for you.”
From information supplied by the FRDC, we’ve compared the levels of Omega 3’s and 6’s in different species of prawns. The results were very interesting.
To oversimplify - King Prawns for brain, Endeavour prawns for brawn, Tigers and Bananas for balance.
As you can see by the above graph - King Prawns are high in Omega 3 DHA, an important ingredient in brain function. Endeavours are high in Omega 6 AA, important in skeletal muscle growth.
Omega 3 oils found in prawns assist in blood circulation by lowering blood fats and preventing blood clot formation. This aids blood circulation and researchers believe it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Research also indicates the omega 3 oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and so may reduce the risk of a wide range of health problems, including asthma, pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Prawns vs other sources of animal protein
With less than 1/4 the fat of lean beef and close to 1/7th the fat of skinless chicken, it's easy to see why prawns are so good for the waistline. The news only gets better when you consider that they also have more protein and fewer kilojoules too. The real bonus comes when you see how many of those all important omega 3 PUFA's there are in prawns. What does this mean? A much better source of all the nutrients you need, with much less of all the things you don't AND they make theor way to your plate in a much more sustainable manner.
Packed with vitamins and minerals
Prawns are an excellent source of vitamins including iodine which is essential for thyroid gland function, iron for red cell formation and zinc for wound healing. They are especially rich in niacin, essential for a healthy skin and for the release of energy in the body and vitamin B complex needed for metabolic processes.
Most seafoods also supply phosphorus (a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth and for so many of the B-group vitamins to be used effectively). Potassium (essential for muscles & nerves and for controlling blood pressure); and small quantities of many other minerals including magnesium. They are a natural source of sodium.