Is Spot Shrimp Good for You? Benefits, Risks, Tips, and a Recipe

written by Skye Sherman - Apr 29, 2024

Photo Credit: by peggyhr,
Photo Credit: by peggyhr,

Maybe you’re a fan of coconut shrimp or shrimp cocktail, but sometimes the flavor of shrimp shines through best in a simple recipe that celebrates its fresh flavor.

Lately, spot shrimp (also known as spot prawns) have been trending. They’re a type of shrimp that are renowned for their salty, sweet, buttery taste and delicate texture, which many compare to that luxurious combination of high-quality lobster and fresh drawn butter. Spot prawns appeal to even picky eaters and those who don’t love seafood; some even consider them a seafood delicacy.

According to The Spruce Eats, “Spot prawns look like tiny lobsters but are technically shrimp.” They’re most popular in Southern California and British Columbia.

BC Spot Prawns notes, “The sweet flavor and firm texture is attributed to the fact that BC spot prawns are harvested from the chilly depths of the Pacific Ocean. They are harvested deep from the bottom of the ocean and frozen in saltwater immediately on the commercial vessels.”

Foodies and health enthusiasts love spot shrimp for both their flavor and potential health benefits. From supporting heart health to aiding in weight loss, to helping you see better and even encouraging skin glow, spot shrimp offer a range of advantages.

The West Coast loves spot shrimp so much that there’s an annual Spot Prawn Festival!

However, like any food, they also come with considerations such as allergies and cholesterol concerns. Read on to learn about the top benefits, risks, and tips for enjoying spot shrimp.

Top 5 health benefits of spot shrimp

Below, we delve into the main health benefits of spot shrimp.

1. Heart support

Spot shrimp are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are known for their heart-protective properties, such as reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Consuming spot shrimp as part of a balanced diet can contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and promoting overall heart health.

2. Eye health

Do you know what gives spot shrimp their characteristic pink color? It’s the presence of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant, which also benefits eye health.

Astaxanthin comes from the algae that prawns eat and has been linked to reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and supporting vision health by protecting the eyes from oxidative stress and inflammation. It may even reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

Regular consumption of spot shrimp can thus contribute to maintaining clear vision and supporting eye function.

3. Nourished skin

The combination of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in spot shrimp can also benefit skin health and get you that elusive glow. These nutrients support collagen production, improve skin elasticity, and help protect against UV damage and premature aging.

Including spot shrimp in your diet can help nourish your skin from within, promoting a healthy and radiant complexion.

4. Weight loss

Spot shrimp are low in calories and fat while being high in easily digestible, high-quality protein, making them a satisfying and nutritious option for those looking to manage their weight. Protein-rich foods like spot shrimp can help increase feelings of fullness, regulate appetite, and support muscle maintenance during weight loss efforts. They’re one of the tastiest foods that are this high in protein and low in fat, and also are a rich source of iodine and antioxidants.

Incorporating spot shrimp into meals can be a beneficial addition to any weight loss or maintenance plan (as long as you don’t drown them in too much caloric butter!).

5. Vitamins and minerals for overall health

Spot shrimp are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins (including B12 and folate), which are important for energy production and replenishing red blood cells, and E vitamins, which is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and may help protect against heart disease and cancer.

In fact, BBC Good Food adds, “Prawns provide about 22 times the vitamin E levels of either chicken or beef.”

As Healthline puts it, “Shrimp is also one of the best food sources of iodine, an important mineral that many people are deficient in. Iodine is required for proper thyroid function and brain health.”

BBC Good Food also notes, “Prawns are a useful source of some harder-to-get trace minerals, such as iodine, zinc and selenium. We need iodine to support the correct function of the thyroid gland, while zinc and selenium support the immune system.”

Eating spot shrimp is a protein-rich, calorie-light way to get in a variety of vitamins and minerals you may be missing. And, of course, getting these from your diet rather than a supplement is a more bioavailable and balanced way to do so.

Side effects and potential risks of eating spot shrimp

While spot shrimp offer numerous health benefits, there are also a few considerations to keep in mind. For some people, the health risks of spot shrimp outweigh the benefits.

1. Shellfish allergies: People with shellfish allergies should obviously avoid spot shrimp (and all other shellfish) to prevent a potentially dangerous or even lethal allergic reaction.

2. High cholesterol: While shrimp are low in saturated fat, they do contain dietary cholesterol. Those with high cholesterol levels or specific dietary restrictions should moderate their intake of spot shrimp.

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3. Environmental impact: Due to concerns about overfishing and sustainability, it’s essential to choose responsibly sourced spot shrimp from reputable suppliers.

Before you eat spot shrimp, ask a doctor if you have any allergy or cholesterol concerns. And, of course, even if you are medically cleared to eat spot shrimp, ask your fishmonger or grocer about the sourcing and sustainability efforts of their spot shrimp before buying.

And, of course, make sure to cook spot shrimp properly and avoid using shrimp that have gone bad. A mushy spot prawn is a sign that it has gone bad, and a properly cooked spot shrimp should transform from translucent to opaque during the cooking process.

How to cook spot shrimp: tips and a recipe idea

To enjoy spot shrimp while maximizing their benefits:

1. Choose quality shrimp: Opt for sustainably sourced spot shrimp from trusted suppliers to ensure freshness and minimize environmental impact.

2. Prepare with care: Follow proper cooking methods to retain nutrients. Grilling, steaming, or sautéing spot shrimp lightly can preserve their delicate flavor and texture.

3. Get inspired: To celebrate the natural delicious flavor, try a simple recipe like grilled spot shrimp skewers marinated in garlic, lemon, and herbs for a dish that’s both flavorful and nutritious.

Below, find a quick and easy recipe idea to get you started.

Recipe: Grilled Garlic Lemon Spot Shrimp Skewers


* 1 pound spot shrimp, peeled and deveined

* 3 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 tablespoons olive oil

* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

* 1 teaspoon lemon zest

* Salt and pepper to taste

* Fresh herbs (such as parsley or cilantro), chopped for garnish


1. In a bowl, combine minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

2. Add the spot shrimp to the marinade, coating them evenly. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Load the marinated shrimp onto skewers.

4. Grill the shrimp skewers for 2-3 minutes per side or until they are opaque (not translucent) and cooked through.

5. Remove from the grill and garnish with fresh chopped herbs before serving.

You can enjoy these flavorful and healthful grilled spot shrimp skewers as a main dish or appetizer.

As you can see, spot shrimp offer a range of health benefits, from supporting heart and eye health to nourishing the skin and even aiding in weight management.

However, it’s important to be mindful of the potential risks of eating spot shrimp, because some people may have allergies or cholesterol concerns. By making informed choices, incorporating spot shrimp into your diet can be a delicious and nutritious addition to a healthy lifestyle.



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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.