Shrimp and avocado are really a powerful combination for Keto salads. If you see it from the point of view of a Keto nutritionist, you’ll get only the best macros. It will give you the space to add Keto friendly vegetables to make this salad interesting, yet avoid excess carbs. Even though it sounds like an exotic Caribbean dish, this can fit nicely into our Keto Mediterranean approach. Especially if you want to to prepare tasty and nutritious meals.
Salads, in general, are preferred in the summer season when we have fresh vegetable available locally. However, since in the modern world almost all countries, regardless of their location, import fresh vegetables from the areas where it’s always spring or summer, we can enjoy this salad at any season.
Since I’ve covered avocado and its benefits in this article, let’s dive a bit more into the deep sea of shrimp health benefits…
Shrimp and their powerful nutritional profile
Shrimp have a high nutritional density and they are abundant in substances that are not easily found in many foods, such as iodine or astaxanthin. Even though shrimp are quite low-caloric food, (less than 100 kalories per 100 g of meat), their nutritional profile is extremely interesting.
Namely, they do not contain carbohydrates at all, while almost 90% of the energy value comes from the protein and the rest from the fat. Isn’t this Keto? Very much so! As for micro-nutrients, they contain more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. This includes about 50% of the recommended daily intake of selenium, an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and preserve heart health.
Iodine and astaxanthin treasure source
As I mentioned above, nothing will give you iodine as shrimp or shell-fish. This is important for maintaining thyroid function and brain development in the fetus. In addition, shrimp are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin, which can have beneficial effects on heart health.
Shrimp and cholesterol
Specifically, 100 grams of shrimp meat contains about 195 mg of cholesterol. This is more than 65% of the recommended daily intake. However, people usually avoid consuming shrimp and other seafood. The reason for this is the cholesterol fear that I covered in this article.
A common misconception says that an elevated level of cholesterol in the blood is the cause of heart diseases. However, we should not be afraid of the cholesterol from shrimp or any other seafood! Research shows that increased cholesterol intake for most healthy people does not affect the change in their blood cholesterol.
The mighty Omega-3 always comes as a gift from Poseidon
Shrimp contain a number of beneficial substances, such as omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin. These substances are beneficial to our health, especially the heart and the vascular system.
The results of the study published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice have shown great results. Women who regularly consumed seafood, primarily shrimp, had significantly lower values of total triglyceride and blood pressure than those who did not consume seafood at all. Also, a survey conducted on more than 13,500 people showed that a group of subjects who regularly consume shrimp has no increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
An amazing antioxidant level
The most common antioxidant in shrimp is carotenoid called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is naturally found in micro-algae which are the main food for shrimp. Interestingly, this antioxidant gives a typical red colour to shrimp! Apart from that, astaxanthin also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting our cells from the action of free radicals.
The results of many studies have shown that astaxanthin has a potential role in the prevention of many chronic non-communicable diseases. Studies have shown that astaxanthin can strengthen the artery wall, which can reduce the risk of heart attack.
Brain loves them
Aside from having a positive effect on heart health, astaxanthin can have beneficial effects on the brain as well. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activity of astaxanthin has a protective effect on brain cells! As we know, damaged brain cells can lead to memory loss, as well as various neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Since the preparation of shrimp is very fast and easy, you can simply fit them into almost every meal. Options are numerous so you can make cold or hot dishes. In this particular recipe, I am combining them with avocado, red bell pepper and cauliflower. This will give them a great mild response from the neutral aromas of vegetable.
Here’s a fun fact! in Croatia, shrimp are called “kozice” which literally means small goats. Funny, isn’t it? For this specific reason, I will add some goat cheese to lift this salad to another level of nutritional awesomeness! But you can use goat feta, to make it more Greek and Mediterranean at the same time.
Keto Shrimp Avocado salad
- 130 g (4.5 oz) shrimp medium sized, fresh or unfrosted
- 1/2 medium avocado cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp red bell pepper cut into small cubes
- 130 g ((4.5 oz) cauliflower rice Use food processor to create "cauliflower rice"
- 40 g (1.4 oz) goat cheese cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 1 tbsp butter I used goat butter
- Melt the goat butter in a deep frying pan and add the shrimp. Cook them for 4 minutes from each side. Remove them from the pan and add cauliflower rice in the same pan. Saute for 4 minutes and add salt, pepper to taste. Stir well.
- Place the cauliflower in a salad bowl. Add freshly chopped avocado and red bell pepper. Add goat cheese then mix well. Finally, add shrimp on top and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
- Mix olive oil with lemon juice and pour all over the salad. Enjoy!