National Shrimp Day is celebrated on May 10 to recognize America's most popular seafood.

Shrimp is one of the favorite seafood consumed in the U.S accounting for around 25 -30 percent of the entire seafood market in the country. The estimates show that the U.S is the second-largest consumer of shrimp after China.

You can celebrate National Shrimp Day by cooking your favorite shrimp recipe or visiting the nearest seafood restaurant to grab some shrimp scampi, seafood gumbo or shrimp cocktail.

Here are some fun facts about shrimp that you may like to know:

  1. The scientific name of shrimp is "caridea," which belonged to decapod crustaceans, meaning crustaceans with ten legs.
  2. All shrimps are born male and some transition into a female on maturity.
  3. There are many similarities between a shrimp and a prawn. Shrimps are generally smaller than prawns and have claws on two of their five pairs of legs compared to three pairs in prawns.  
  4. The body of a shrimp is divided into two parts: the thorax and the head and a shrimp’s heart is located inside the bottom of its head.
  5. Shrimps don’t have a skeleton and a backbone like human beings, but they have an exoskeleton which is a hard large shell-like covering that protects them.
  6. Shrimps shed their skin around once a week when they are small and adult shrimps molt every 3 to 4 weeks.
  7. Shrimps are very efficient in reproducing and a female shrimp can lay up to one million eggs at once which would take just two weeks to hatch.

grilled-g0974c9b52_640 representational image Photo: pixabay

Shrimp is low in calories and rich in several nutrients including omega-3, calcium, iodine and protein. Here are some  health benefits  of the seafood delicacy that would encourage you to eat them more frequently:

Eating Shrimp Helps to Fight Cancer: Many researchers have found out that eating shrimp can reduce cancer risk as it is rich in antioxidants. The presence of selenium and astaxanthin in shrimp help to activate enzymes that fight the growth of cancer-causing free radicals. 

Promotes Heart and Brain Health:  The antioxidant astaxanthin is found to help strengthen arteries which can, in turn, reduce the risk of heart attacks. Eating shrimp may also help increase levels of high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol which will improve heart health. The anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin help to reduce brain cell damage that can lead to memory loss and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.