Power in Protein: The Major Health Benefits of Shrimp

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
Grilled shrimp skewers with salad and lime slices

If you’re looking to add more protein into your healthy diet, you might want to make a stop at the seafood counter on your next shopping trip. Shrimp boasts a variety of health benefits and is the perfect addition to your Nutrisystem program. These little crustaceans may be tiny. However, they pack a big punch of protein and can take on a wide range of flavors.

Shrimp is a popular seafood staple that is featured in many classic recipes. Not only is it delicious, it’s also weight loss friendly. According to Healthline, a three-ounce serving of shrimp contains a whopping 18 grams of protein and only 84 calories (one PowerFuel serving on your Nutrisystem weight loss plan). They’re also low in fat and carbohydrates. One medium shrimp is only around seven calories, says Health.com.

Along with being a low calorie, protein packed PowerFuel, shrimp provides many other health benefits. Women’s Health Magazine explains that shrimp is rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. It’s also high in selenium—an essential mineral that supports immunity, fertility and brain health, says Medical News Today. According to Healthline, its nutrient profile also includes iodine, a mineral that supports thyroid health and is not typically found in a lot of food sources.

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Of course, how you prepare shrimp will have a lot to do with how healthy it is as a meal. Oftentimes, shrimp gets tossed in high-fat creamy pasta dishes, carb-heavy batter, deep-fried breading and unhealthy butter sauces. However, there are plenty of flavorful ways to prepare shrimp that won’t add unwanted fat, calories or pounds.

Shrimp is an excellent lean protein that can be prepared in many delicious ways. In fact, we’ve pulled together five delicious and healthy shrimp recipes that are some of the most popular here on The Leaf. They’re super simple to prepare and you can whip up any of these seafood meals in minimal time.

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Reap the benefits of this small but mighty source of protein with these five popular shrimp recipes:

1. 5-Minute Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp with Spicy Apricot Sauce >

air fryer coconut seafood

Unlike the fatty, deep-fried version, this air-fried coconut shrimp recipe is light on the fat and calories. In fact, it only has 225 calories per serving and counts as half of a SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan. The sweet and spicy apricot dipping sauce brings it all together and perfectly complements the crispy, delicate shrimp.

2. Shrimp Pasta with Garlic Asparagus >

shrimp benefits

Instead of loads of butter, this recipe uses fresh and healthy ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil and garlic to create a delicious sauce. With some whole wheat pasta and a pound of asparagus mixed in, it helps fulfill multiple food groups and is nutritionally filling. On the Nutrisystem meal plan, this dish is perfectly balanced and counts as one PowerFuel, one SmartCarb, one Vegetable and one Extra.

3. Shrimp Fajita Bowl >

shrimp benefits

This hearty bowl has a whole lot of delicious and fresh ingredients packed in, including brown rice, shrimp, corn, onions and peppers. Tossed in a zesty olive oil and lime juice sauce, it’s quite scrumptious and thoroughly satisfying. Despite its hearty and filling components, you can rest assured that it won’t derail your healthy eating regimen. A serving is just 251 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and two Extras.

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4. Simple Shrimp & Veggies Foil Packet >

shrimp benefits

Foil packets are another super simple way to prepare shrimp without adding a bunch of calories. You can even prepare your foil packets in advance and pop them in the oven for a meal that’s ready in a pinch! These foil packets include shrimp, red potatoes, zucchini and onions mixed together with some olive oil and seasonings. But don’t feel limited to the recipe! Feel free to get creative and mix up the vegetables that you incorporate. When prepared our way, a serving is 265 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel, one Vegetable and two Extras.

5. Sesame Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry >

shrimp benefits

This shrimp dish—featuring stir fry favorites like brown rice udon noodles and baby bok choy—is both tasty and healthy. Smothered in an Asian-inspired sauce featuring garlic, sesame seeds, soy sauce and ginger, it’s the perfect meal for your weight loss program. A serving counts as one SmartCarb, two PowerFuels, one Vegetable and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.

Looking for more delicious meals that are easy to prepare? The Nutrisystem menu is filled with perfectly portioned versions of your favorite foods! Click here to stock up your kitchen >

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