Crab belongs to the order of decapod crustaceans, which are characterized by a shortened abdomen. They have 5 pairs of legs, with the first pair of limbs having massive claws.
Crabs have tender and tasty meat, the extraction of which is a rather laborious process: first, you need to separate the claws. Then – the abdominal part of the body along with the legs. Then – legs. Remove the edible meat from the shell with a thin, two-pronged fork. And divide the claws and legs at the joints.
Seafood meat is very healthy. It is a low fat protein food. Seafood has long been used in food and at all times was considered a delicacy.
Crab meat is very rich in such an essential substance for the body as protein. 100 g of this product contains 18 g of protein, 1.8 g of fat and there are practically no carbohydrates – there are only 0.04 g of them in crab meat.
The composition of crab meat is no less unique. For example, it contains a lot of niacin (vitamin PP or B3) – a substance that regulates cholesterol levels in the blood and helps to normalize metabolism. And vitamin B5, also present in this product, stimulates brain activity, ensures good absorption of other useful components, improves the metabolism of hemoglobin, lipids, fatty acids and histamine.
History of crabs
Crabs appeared on earth about 180 million years ago and currently number over 10,000 species.
They have a small head, a short abdomen bent under the jaw and chest and four pairs of chest legs designed for movement. The fifth pair is armed with pincers that grab food. Aquatic decapods, in search of food, shelter, and individuals of the opposite sex, use not so much sight as smell, touch and chemical sense.
The crab is a carnivore that feeds on molluscs, various crustaceans and algae. The chitinous cover covering the body of the crab is periodically shed during molting. At this time, the animal grows in size. Malek in the first year of life molts 11-12 times, in the second – 6-7 times, an adult over 12 years old – once every two years.
At the moment of molting, the old chitinous cover is torn at the border of the abdomen and cephalothorax, and through this gap the crab squeezes out into the new chitinous shell. Molting lasts 4-10 minutes, after which the hardening of the new shell lasts for two to three days.
In the food industry, the meat of the snow crab, Kamchatka crabs, isotopes, and blue crabs is used, since these species are the largest and have a large population. The crab is not all edible. Delicious white meat is found in the legs, claws and where the legs join the shell. The quantity and quality of the mined meat depends on the size of the crab, the season and the time of moulting.
Crab composition and calorie content
Crab meat has a high content of copper, calcium (from 17 to 320 mg per 100 g), biologically active magnesium, phosphorus and sulfur. It is rich in vitamins A, D, E, B12. Thiamine (vitamin B1) contained in crab meat is not synthesized by the human body and is replenished only with food. Vitamin B2, registered as a food additive E101, is recommended to protect the retina from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
Crab meat contains up to 80% moisture; from 13 to 27% of proteins that play an important role in metabolism; 0.3 – 0.8 percent lipids; 1.5 – 2.0% of minerals and up to 0.5% of glycogen, which is the main form of glucose storage in the human body. In terms of the composition of useful components, crab meat is ahead of many products of plant and animal origin.
- Caloric content 82 kcal
- Proteins 18.2 g
- Fat 1 g
- Water 78.9 g
The benefits of crabs
Crab meat contains very few carbohydrates and fats, and most importantly, it is easily absorbed by the body. This is why it is often recommended for dietary meals. There are only 87 calla lilies in 100 grams of this product.
The high concentration of taurine in this product should be noted separately. It is a naturally occurring antioxidant that suppresses free radicals in the body and prevents early aging. In addition, taurine has a beneficial effect on the circulatory system and improves vision.
Unsaturated fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 are also present in crab meat. They are necessary for the normal functioning of the cardiovascular system, since they regulate the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
And due to the fact that crab meat contains iodine, it is very useful to use it for those who suffer from thyroid diseases.
Crab meat, like most other seafood, is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It increases male potency, promotes testosterone production, improves spermatogenesis and prevents a decrease in libido.
In many countries of the world, the basis of the inhabitants’ nutrition is not bread or meat, but seafood dishes, since they are prepared faster, easier to digest and better absorbed. Nutritionists are increasingly recommending seafood! And this menu is also your insurance against:
- cardiovascular disease. The beneficial properties of seafood lie in the fact that they contain unique omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Once in the body, they lower the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
- excess body fat. In 100 grams of mussels there is only 3 grams of fat, in shrimps – 2, and even less in squid – 0.3 grams. The calorie content of seafood is also striking at record low numbers – 70-85 kilocalories. For comparison, 100 grams of veal has 287 kilocalories. The benefits of shrimp, crabs and other seafood are obvious!
- disruption of the digestive tract. If the body processes meat protein for about five hours, then it copes with the protein of seafood twice as fast. Indeed, compared to game meat and domestic animals, seafood has much less coarse connective tissue, and therefore, marine life is a more useful product than meat.
- diseases of the thyroid gland. The beneficial properties of seafood lie in a huge amount of a deficient trace element – iodine. It is not produced by the human body, as it happens with other trace elements, but is only found in some foods. But it is enough to eat 20-50 grams of crabs or shrimps, and the daily intake of iodine is guaranteed. This means that there is “fuel” for the thyroid gland and brain. In Japan, the country with the most “marine” cuisine in the world, there is only one case of thyroid disease per million inhabitants. This is what real healthy eating means! Unlike artificially iodized products (salt, milk, bread), iodine from seafood does not evaporate at the first meeting with the sun’s rays and oxygen.
- emotional overload. It is noticed that the peoples living near the seas and oceans are more benevolent to each other than their counterparts “from the hinterland”. This is largely due to their diet based on seafood. A strong friendship of vitamins of group B, PP, magnesium and copper unites almost all seafood. This is the main formula for poise and a cheerful disposition. And phosphorus guarantees the complete and unconditional absorption of all vitamins of group B. The benefits of seafood are obvious!
- decreased libido. They say that Casanova ate up to 70 oysters for dinner before a love date, washed down with champagne. This is because seafood is considered a powerful aphrodisiac and promotes the production of the “passion hormone” testosterone due to its high concentration of zinc and selenium. True, we do not recommend repeating such a feat in the name of love. Even a single serving of a light crustacean and shellfish salad can have a similar effect.
So, the benefits of eating crabs, shrimps and other seafood are undeniable – they are rich in proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, including phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper, iodine. No wonder in those countries where seafood is widely used, people get sick less and live longer.
Crab meat has practically no contraindications. Of course, it is not recommended to eat it for those people who are allergic to seafood.
Crab taste qualities
They say that a person who has tasted crab meat once will never be able to forget its taste. Many gourmets claim that this product is in no way inferior to even such recognized delicacies as lobster or lobster, especially when cooked correctly.
Crab meat is notable for its softness and juiciness, has a very delicate, delicate, exquisite taste, and it remains even during the conservation process. Glycogen, a special carbohydrate that meat contains in large quantities, gives it a specific sweetish taste.
In the culinary traditions of different peoples, meat is used from the crab’s claws, legs and places of their articulation with the shell. It can be prepared in many different ways: boil in salted water, canning, freezing. It is cooking that is considered preferable, since almost all useful substances are preserved in the process.
Canned and freshly cooked crab meat is used as a separate dish and served as a savory snack, and also added to soups, main courses and salads, especially vegetables. It goes well with other seafood, rice, eggs, various sauces, and lemon juice can emphasize the delicate taste of the delicacy. Pieces of meat are great for garnishing fish dishes.
It is impossible to list all recipes based on a product. The most popular are crab salads with vegetables or fruits (especially apples, with the exception of tangerines), rolls, cutlets, and various snacks.
Real gourmets cook each type of crab differently, for example, soft-shell crab is served with a creamy sauce, and Kamchatka crab – with a vegetable side dish.
Crabs in medicine
From 50 to 70% of the weight of all crabs caught in the world are their shells and other by-products. As a rule, such waste is destroyed, which requires additional costs, and only a small part is somehow recycled. Meanwhile, marine crustaceans, like all arthropods, contain a lot of chitin – their exoskeleton consists of it.
If some of the acetyl groups are removed from chitin by chemical means, it is possible to obtain chitosan, a biopolymer with a unique set of biological and physicochemical characteristics. Chitosan does not induce inflammation or an immune response, it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and degrades into non-toxic components over time.