What are the health benefits of prawns? I’ve loved these little blighters all of my life – I can safely say they are one of my all-time favourite foods.

Skin health

Prawns are incredibly rich in two vital minerals: zinc and selenium. Zinc helps regulate the oil-producing glands in the skin – if the skin is too oily or too dry, extra zinc can help balance things out a little. It is also vital for improved wound healing, as it regulates the activity of white blood cells involved in managing infection and wound healing. It does this by coding genes within white cells that in turn regulate the way in which white cells actually respond to pathogens they encounter. In issues such as acne where there is active infection, this will help to clear the infection faster. Selenium is also involved in wound healing, and in the reduction of inflammation, so this goes a long way in improving the appearance of the lesion and reducing recovery time. Prawns are also rich in a fat-soluble antioxidant called astaxanthin, which gives them their distinctive pink colour. Astaxanthin is a fat soluble antioxidant. By its very nature it will want to move out of the blood and migrate into fatty tissues. So naturally it accumulates in the fatty layer of the skin, where it can protect important structures like collagen and elastin against premature ageing and offer some anti-inflammatory activity. All of these things make prawns a great choice for acne, eczema and psoriasis.

Immune health

The high zinc level in prawns makes them a great food for the immune system. Zinc regulates many of the inner workings of white blood cells, the army of the immune system, ensuring they respond to the best of their ability to invaders or damaged cells and tissues.