B-vitamins, B6, calcium, carbon dioxide, crayfish, crustacean, DNA, expensive seafood, Folate, heart patients, high sodium content, hypertensive people, immune system, lobster meat, lobsters, luxury, Magnesium, Niacin, nucleic acid, oxygen, Pakistani taste buds, Pantothenic Acid, phosphorus, proteins, raise cholesterol, riboflavin, Selina Anand, shrimp, Vitamin A, vitamins, winter months, Zinc
As one of the most expensive seafood available, lobsters are often considered a luxury. This crustacean’s subtly flavoured meat is highly prized and priced and tends to be found on menus of high end gourmet restaurants while only a few connoisseurs and food enthusiasts dare to cook it at home. However, slowly but surely, Pakistani taste buds are also developing an appreciation for the delicate flavour of lobster meat, especially during the winter months.
The phrase “too much of a good thing” particularly applies to lobster and other crustaceans, including shrimp and crayfish which are easy on the palate but can cause health problems if eaten in excess. Although it’s common knowledge that crustaceans raise cholesterol and have high sodium content (and should be avoided by heart patients and hypertensive people) it’s not all bad news because they have some redeeming qualities too – they are rich in the following beneficial nutrients:
- Proteins are carriers of vitamins, oxygen and carbon dioxide plus they act as enzymes essential for chemical reaction in the body. They are an integral part of the immune system and participate in building muscle.
- B Vitamins (B6, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin and Folate) need to be consumed daily because this group of water soluble vitamins is not stored in the body. This vitamin group plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production; folate is required for nucleic acid (DNA) synthesis and a deficiency during pregnancy can result in spinal tube defects in the baby.
- Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth and for efficient muscle contraction, including proper pumping of the heart muscles.
- Magnesium is required for strong bones and teeth.
- Phosphorus is a constituent of DNA and helps build strong bones/teeth.
- Zinc helps the speedy healing of wounds and efficient growth; a deficiency can lead to hair fall.
- Vitamin A is important to maintain good vision, though excessive levels can lead to toxicity.
– Selina Anand
The writer is a doctor in training with the NHS in the UK.
First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 13, 2013.