Crabs are a type of crustacean that composes about 20% of all the marine crustaceans that are farmed or caught, and consumed. Every year all over the world, it is estimated that 1.5 million tons of crabs are caught or harvested for consumption.
Classification of Crabs in Cookery
When it comes to dishes, soft-shell crabs are those that can be eaten whole, with the shell included. There are also types of crabs where only the legs and claws can be consumed. An example of this type is the snow crab, which is classified as one of the larger crabs.
In most Asian countries, the female crab’s roe is eaten. The roe is that part of the crab that appears as yellow or orange in color. Still in Asia, some popular crab dishes include chili crab and masala crab. In Chesapeake Bay, in the U.S., blue crabs are often accompanied with the famous ‘Old Bay Seasoning.’ Cromer Crab, a British dish, has the crabmeat taken out and put inside a hard shell. Another crab dish that is widely popular is the crab cake, where crabmeat is extracted and added with flour and seasoning and then fried or baked. Crabs are also used as a main ingredient in the French dish, bisque.
Nutrition in Crabs
Crabs are said to contain high amounts of cholesterol and so it is advised to eat it in moderation, just like most foods. Crabs are rich sources of protein.
Like all other shellfish, crabs are a very good source of chromium. Chromium is a mineral micronutrient that partners with insulin in sugar metabolism. This helps the body maintain the body’s blood glucose levels to normal. Chromium is also helpful in increasing HDL (high-density lipid) levels in the body. Having higher levels of HDL significantly reduces the risk of developing strokes or other heart diseases.
Selenium is also present in crabs. Selenium is another trace element that is important in fighting diseases. Selenium is considered an antioxidant and detoxifies the body from carcinogenic substances like mercury, arsenic and cadmium. There have been studies showing that people who have high levels of selenium in the blood have low possibilities of developing cancers. Selenium also helps reduce circulatory, as well as heart diseases.
Lysate is another substance that is found in crabs, specifically in horseshoe crabs. Lysate is extracted from the blue blood of horseshoe crabs. This substance helps detect meningitis in the spine.
Other nutrients found in crabs (crabmeat) include important fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and calcium.