The most popular seafoods are the ones that you can get easily and at a low cost. Then, there are those luxury items, and lobster is usually the first one to come to mind. Lobster certainly isn’t among the cheapest seafoods, but many people agree that it delivers the best taste. There was a time when that wasn’t the case, however, because the lobster that was caught was typically low in quality and was rather cheap.
Times have changed, and now lobster is a high end seafood that people don’t get to eat on a regular basis. If you do get your hands on lobster, though, you might be surprised to find that there are actually a lot of health benefits. The reason most don’t consider lobster to be healthy is because it’s usually eaten with a lot of butter. If you can lay off the butter when eating lobster, you’re doing yourself a favor. Here is the nutritional breakdown and some of the health benefits that you can enjoy from eating lobster.
Nutrition of Lobster
Lobster seems like one of those indulgent foods, but in terms of calories, really isn’t. A one cup serving (which is over five ounces) of cooked lobster contains just over 140 calories. That same serving has fewer than two grams of carbohydrates, but brings about 60 percent of your daily recommendation of protein. There’s not even one gram of fat in lobster, but plenty of vitamins. The most abundant is vitamin B12, with 75 percent of the daily recommendation. Those that come in at just under 10 percent daily value include vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6, with around five percent of your vitamin A, folate and pantothenic acid needs. In terms of minerals, lobster delivers more than 140 percent of your daily copper and nearly a full day’s worth of selenium. Lobster is a significant source of phosphorus and zinc at more than 20 percent, while calcium, magnesium and potassium are all over 10 percent. There are trace amounts of iron and manganese to top it off, and 125 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids.
As we pointed out, lobster is surprisingly low in calories, even for a seafood. At under 150 calories per serving, lobster can be combined with plenty of other healthy foods to make a well balanced meal that clocks in under 500 calories. It’s also the perfect food for people that are watching their carbohydrate intake, as lobster cuts on the carbs, but still packs in plenty of protein with more than half of your daily recommendation.
Lobster will help your body create more muscle, which in turn burns more calories and fat in your body. It’s also helpful for those that can’t seem to find the energy to get into the gym. Getting enough protein boosts your energy and repairs muscles, allowing you to become more motivated to go to the gym without all of the aches and pains. All of that with very little fat and almost no saturated fat!
Good For the Heart
Speaking of the lack of saturated fat, that’s automatically a big boost for your heart’s health. Many people don’t consider lobster to be heart healthy because of the higher contents in sodium and cholesterol, but those aren’t concerns, especially if you’re eating lobster in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet. Lobster contains plenty of heart health omega-3 fatty acids, which is great for your heart, especially when lobster is your only major sodium source of the day.
The omega fatty acids within lobster help your heart by reducing inflammation, balancing your cholesterol in the process. Those that eat crustaceans such as lobster once per week as part of an otherwise low sodium diet have seen their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels dip while their HDL (good) cholesterol levels rise. While it’s suggested that those with a heart condition don’t eat lobster, people who don’t can enjoy the cholesterol benefits.
The same omega-3 fatty acids that help your heart are also massively beneficial for your brain. In addition to vitamin B12 and choline, lobster makes for a great brain food as it allows your neurotransmitters to operate more efficiently. That alone will give you more cognitive function on a daily basis, boosting your memory and ability to think clearly throughout the day.
There are long term benefits to these nutrients, as well. People who get more omega-3 fatty acids in their diet are less likely to suffer from neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or dementia later in life. It’s estimated that there are nearly 10 million people that currently have Parkinson’s disease, making it more common than you might think. Getting omega-3 at a young age will help you avoid becoming a statistic.
It’s really impressive how many different minerals you can find in one serving of lobster, including calcium, phosphorus and copper. These minerals are building blocks for your bones, especially calcium. When combining all of the necessary minerals, you’ll be able to prevent bone loss that leads to problems such as osteoporosis.
You can also avoid arthritis due to the inflammatory properties in lobster. Even those that have arthritis can alleviate some of the pains that come with it by eating lobster. Obviously you’ll want to add more calcium into your diet through other sources (that can include supplements), but lobster is a tasty and significant source.
Lobster contains a high amount of selenium, which is one of those minerals that can be hard to find outside of seafood. Selenium helps you prevent many different diseases, starting with thyroid problems as it boosts the efficiency of this vital organ. It’s even been found that lobster can help prevent certain types of cancer, with research showing large benefits in preventing colon and ovarian cancers. The main reason for this is because of the massive amount of protein in lobster that allows you to build new cells that can counteract free radicals that attack your body’s cells.
Summing it Up
One thing that you’ll really want to watch out for when eating lobster is how it’s prepared. Lobster already contains a fairly high level of sodium at more than a quarter of your daily recommendation, with some people preparing lobster with even more salt. Also make sure that the lobster is cooked all the way through, as consuming raw crustaceans can result in parasites that include tapeworms, and you certainly don’t want that.
Some people see the high amount of cholesterol on the nutrition label for lobster, but we’ve shown that’s actually not a concern due to its heart benefits. Lobster is also one of those things that you don’t want to “cheap out” on, as getting the right type will ensure that you don’t have to worry about mercury (which is low in most lobster) or other contaminants. The biggest drawback about lobster, though is the price. It’s not something that you can eat every night, but when you get lobster in your diet, you’re certainly doing good for your body even while indulging!