Tuesday, March 5Food Security Matters

Alimasag – Health Benefits of Eating Crab, and Side Effects

Are you a seafood lover? If yes, then you must have tried eating crab or “alimasag” in Filipino (Kasag in Cebuano/Hiligaynon). If you are here because you are curious about the health benefits of eating crab, continue reading.

Crab is one of the most popular and delicious delicacies that can be found all over the world. Not only does it taste amazing, but it also provides numerous health benefits to your body. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of crabs, their current industry status in the Philippines, and most importantly, how consuming them can improve your overall health! So let’s dive into the amazing world of crab meat!

What is Crab or Alimasag

Crab or “alimasag” is a type of shellfish that belongs to the crustacean family. They are commonly found in oceans, lakes, rivers, and even in freshwater streams. These creatures have ten legs and two claws which they use to catch their food.

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Cooked Philippine blue crab

There are various species of crabs all over the world with different sizes, shapes, and colors. Some are edible while others are not suitable for human consumption due to their toxic nature.

Alimasag is a popular seafood delicacy in the Philippines and is often used as an ingredient in many local dishes such as crab cakes, crab soup, crab curry, and many more.

One interesting fact about alimasag is that it contains high levels of essential nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins A & B12 along with minerals like calcium and iron. These nutrients provide numerous health benefits that can help improve your overall well-being.

Nowadays, crabs are extensively farmed using modern aquaculture methods which have helped boost production while also ensuring sustainable farming practices. This has made crab meat readily available all year round at affordable prices for seafood enthusiasts around the world!

Current Crab Industry Status in the Philippines

The Philippines is known for its vast marine resources, and the crab industry plays a significant role in its fisheries sector. The country’s geographical location makes it an ideal breeding ground for various crab species, including the locally popular alimasag.

However, the current status of the Philippine crab industry has been hampered by several challenges. One of these is overfishing, which has resulted in declining crab populations and lower catch volumes. This problem is compounded by destructive fishing practices such as dynamite and cyanide fishing that damage coral reefs where crabs thrive.

Another issue affecting the crab industry in the Philippines is inadequate infrastructure and technology to support efficient production and processing methods. This results in low-quality products with a short shelf life that limits market reach both locally and internationally.

Despite these challenges, there are ongoing efforts to improve the state of the Philippine crab industry. The government has implemented regulations on fishing practices to promote sustainability, while non-government organizations provide training programs for fishermen on proper handling techniques to ensure better quality products.

Furthermore, private companies have invested in modern technologies like refrigeration systems and automated processing machines to help maintain product quality while increasing efficiency.

Though currently facing some obstacles, there remain potential growth opportunities for this important sector if proper management interventions continue being taken into consideration by all stakeholders involved.

5 Most Popular Crab Species

Crabs are a popular seafood delicacy, and there is a vast variety of crab species available all over the world. In this section, we’ll explore the five most popular crab species that you can find in your local markets.

1. Mud Crab – Mud crabs are prized by recreational fishers for their impressive size and delicious taste. Their powerful claws can be dangerous and mud crabs need to be handled with care. Females are often called ‘jennies’ and males, ‘bucks’.

2. Blue Crab – One of the most common types of crab found in North America, blue crabs have tender meat with a slightly sweet taste that makes them an excellent choice for steaming or boiling.

3. Dungeness Crab – This large-sized crab is native to the Pacific Northwest region and has succulent meat with a mildly sweet flavor. It’s commonly used in dishes like salads, soups, and stews.

4. King Crab – Known for its massive size and long legs filled with delicate white meat, king crabs are typically found in cold water areas like Alaska.

5. Stone Crab – Found primarily on the eastern coast of North America, stone crabs have firm flesh with a sweet taste and are usually served chilled or hot with dipping sauces.

Each type of crab has its unique texture and flavor profile that makes them suitable for various recipes ranging from appetizers to main courses.

10 Health Benefits of Consuming Crabs

Crab meat is a delicious and nutritious food that offers several health benefits. Here are ten reasons why you should consider adding crab to your diet.

1. Rich in protein – Crab meat contains high-quality protein, which helps build muscle mass and promotes healthy growth.

2. Low in calories – Crab meat is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for people watching their weight or trying to maintain a healthy diet.

3. Boosts brain function – The omega-3 fatty acids found in crabs can improve brain function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

4. Promotes heart health – Eating crab may help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels, all of which can promote heart health.

5. Good source of vitamins and minerals – Crab meat is rich in vitamins A, B12, D, E, zinc, iron, calcium, and phosphorus which support proper body functioning

6. Supports immune system function – Zinc from crabs strengthens the immune system helping better fight off diseases including common colds.

7. Prevents cancer cell growth – Selenium present in crabs acts as an antioxidant that prevents rapid cell division inhibiting the development of cancer cells

8. Helps with thyroid regulation – Iodine from eating crabs supports the regulation of thyroid hormones responsible for regulating metabolism

9. Reduces risk of arthritis & osteoporosis – Vitamin C from crabs aids collagen formation reducing joint pain while calcium helps strengthen bones

10. Enhances overall mood– Consuming crab increases dopamine production enhancing positive moods

5 Possible Side Effects of Eating Crab Meat

While eating crab has several health benefits, it’s important to note that there are also potential side effects associated with consuming this seafood. Here are five possible side effects of eating crab meat:

1. Allergic Reactions: Some people may experience allergic reactions after consuming crabs, which can range from mild symptoms like itching and hives to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis.

2. High Cholesterol Levels: Crab meat is high in cholesterol, which can be a concern for those who already have high levels of cholesterol or heart disease.

3. Food Poisoning: Eating undercooked or contaminated crab meat can lead to food poisoning, which can cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

4. Mercury Poisoning: Like many other types of seafood, crabs can contain mercury due to environmental pollution. Consuming too much mercury over time can lead to mercury poisoning.

5. Gout Flare-ups: People with gout should avoid consuming large quantities of shellfish such as crabs because they contain purines that break down into uric acid and could trigger a flare-up.

It’s worth noting that these side effects are generally rare and only affect some individuals based on their existing health conditions or allergies. As always, it’s best to consult your doctor before making significant changes in your diet or if you experience any unusual symptoms after eating crab meat.

Conclusion

Consuming crabs or alimasag can provide numerous health benefits to an individual. From being a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to helping prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, there are many reasons why adding crab meat to your diet can be beneficial.

However, it is important to note that like with any food, there may also be some side effects associated with consuming crab meat. It is crucial for individuals who have allergies or sensitivities to shellfish to avoid eating them altogether.

Despite the possible side effects, the health benefits of eating crabs outweigh the risks for most people. With their delicious taste and impressive nutrient profile, it’s no wonder that crabs are a popular seafood choice around the world. So go ahead and indulge in this healthy delicacy today!

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