When you think of meal prep, lobster is probably one of the last lean protein options you even think of, if ever, but hear me out. Lobster like many other types of shellfish is packed with protein, it’s low in calories, and the perfect choice when it comes to healthy dinner options. We’re going to discuss more about lobster nutrition, benefits, and how to get more of this protein packed food into your diet.
What Is Lobster
Lobsters are omnivores, typically eating mollusks, fish and some plants. They are classified as a sea crustacean and like other sea faring friends, shrimp and crab, lobsters are packed full of protein and antioxidants, such as carotenoids and astaxanthin which can fight free radical damage, and minerals such a zinc, copper, and potassium. The red pigment in crab, krill, and lobster comes from a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin and can help reduce free radical damage.
Lobster is an extremely healthy food option when you’re looking to optimize body composition, by increasing muscle mass and lose body fat. Low calorie, protein packed foods will help increase thermogenesis, the calorie burning process and retain muscle mass. A 5 oz serving of lobster typically contains
- Calories: 128.
- Protein: 27 grams.
- Fat: 1.2 grams.
- Carbs: 0 grams.
- Copper: 198% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Selenium: 190% of the DV.
- Zinc: 53% of the DV.
- Vitamin B12: 51% of the DV.
Although it’s a bit on the pricey side, lobster can be a great addition as an entrée or side dish and mixed with pasta, mashed potatoes, or rice.
1. Contains Healthy Omega-3 Fats
Lobster provides nearly 300mg of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) combined. Omega-3 fats are essential, meaning they must be obtained from dietary sources or through supplementation. The modern-day western diet is high in omega-6 which can raise your blood pressure, lead to blood clots that can cause heart attack and stroke, and cause your body to retain water. More omega-3 will help suppress these negative effects of omega-6.
Numerous studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk for heart disease, promote joint health, and even improve athletic performance.
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2. Packed With Protein
Protein should be a priority in your diet, especially if you’re focus is on weight loss and muscle gain. Lobster is protein dense, packed with nearly 25g per 4oz serving. If you are a seafood lover, adding lobster a couple times a week to your dinner menu or meal prep can really help you achieve your goals.
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Protein-rich foods have a high thermic effect and can keep you satiated - another important component to weight loss. Research has consistently shown that diets higher in protein, preserve lean muscle mass and burn more body fat. The energy needed to metabolize protein is much higher at 20-30% than other macronutrients. Studies show that diet’s consisting of 30-35% protein will significantly improve thermogenesis.
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3. May Aid Thyroid Function
Lobster contains two key minerals required for proper and efficient thyroid function: iodine and selenium. Lobster and other seafood options, have an abundant amount of selenium to help cover the daily recommend value.
Selenium is an essential component of various enzymes and proteins, called selenoproteins. Selenoproteins help make DNA as well as protect against cell damage and infections; these proteins are also involved in reproduction and the metabolism of thyroid hormones.
4. Could Improve Cognition
Lobster contains some unique vitamins and minerals, shown to improve mental and cognitive health, like vitamin B12, B6 and Choline. Choline is an organic water-soluble compound. It can help improve efficiency of neurotransmitters, and even protect against neurodegenerative disease. Large observational studies have shown that choline can improve brain function, memory, and processing [R].
Lobster Benefits: Takeaway
Considered a delicacy around the world, adding in a couple of fancy dinner plates to your weekly routine loaded with some protein packed lobster can add some healthy benefits and support your health and fitness goals. If you live by the ocean, you can probably even get away with better priced seafood options, and make lobster a staple in your meal plan.
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