The nutritional benefits of crayfish to humans are being celebrated this April 17, 2023, the World Crayfish Day.
Crayfish are fresh water crustaceans, sometimes referred to as crawfish. They are widely consumed around the globe as a source of protein and other nutrients.
Nutritive for Babies
Nutritionist have recommended crayfish as one of the elements to be introduced in the composition of foods destined for babies as from six months, once they are introduced to other meals apart from breastmilk.
“Crayfish is a very good source of iron which could be used to support the baby’s growth after six months,” Linda Seuna, a Nutritionist says.
She adds that crayfish is packed with high quality proteins as well as zinc and magnesium which are all important for the baby’s growth and development.
The nutritionist specified that the crayfish should be granulated and properly cooked before serving.
“Make sure you grind the it to powder form for children and cook it thoroughly to avoid food poisoning. You can then add it to your baby’s pap and purées,” the Nutritionist explains.
An Essential Addition to Meals in Adulthood
Linda goes on to highlight why adults should also eat crayfish.
“Crayfish which is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and zinc and its high protein content is beneficial for adults. All these nutrients help to promote a healthy brain and heart and a very good immune system,” she insists.
A Dietitian, Suzzy Kang supports the Nutritionist’s views.
“Crayfish is a rich source of proteins which is necessary for our body’s growth and repair. It is also a rich source of calcium which is necessary for bone formation and repair. Moreover, it contains iron which is necessary for blood formation thereby preventing anaemia.”
Suzzy Kang adds that crayfish is also rich in vitamin A which helps to boost immunity and it helps prevent night blindness in children.
In Cameroon, crayfish is usually sold already dried hence the Dietitian says to avoid loss of Vitamin A, it is advisable to add it at the end of cooking or when the food is almost ready.
Crayfish, a Love Affair in Cameroonian Cuisine
Crayfish is a special ingredient in many meals in Cameroon, especially vegetables.
A Cameroonian Chef, Chi Romeo explains that crayfish adds flavour to most meals.
Today is Crayfish Day, observed in many countries across the globe and on this day, Chef Chi Romeo highlights the place of crayfish in our many Cameroonian staples.
Crayfish, A No Go Zone for Some
While many savour crayfish in their meals, others are advised to avoid it because of allergies.
This is true for some babies as well as adults who develop allergic reactions after consuming the latter.
With the aforementioned nutritional values of crayfish and the difference it makes in most meals, when next you eat crayfish, pause, think of all these and relish your meal!
Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi