Maybe you’ve been avoiding shrimp in the kitchen, and we get it. With their veins and shells, those little buggers can be pretty damn intimidating.
But here’s the thing: if you buy the right type, this protein-packed seafood (21 grams per serving) actually cooks quickly—and preparation requires very little technique or skill. “Shrimp offers heart-healthy omegas, B12, and selenium, an antioxidant that boosts immunity,” says Robyn Youkilis, nutritionist and healthy cooking expert. “Plus it helps protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.”
So what should you buy? Frozen or fresh varieties work equally well, says Youkilis, but if you’re buying frozen, look for packages labeled “flash-frozen,” which will taste fresher once thawed. Simply place those little guys in a bowl of cold water to defrost, then remove that little dark vein before cooking—digging in with a little paring knife should do the trick.
Oh, and one last piece of good news: Unlike other types of fish or seafood, shellfish has little-to-no mercury, meaning it can be consumed up to three times a week. Ready to get started? Here are six easy ways to work shrimp into your diet.