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Can You Eat Shrimp Shells? Surprising Facts

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Shrimp shells

Some people eat their shrimp after removing the shells.

Some other people eat shrimp shells too.

But the question is…

… Is it okay to eat shrimp shells?

Here’s something that just a few individuals are aware of…

What Are Shrimp Shells Made Of?

Shrimp shells
credit. virginiasweetpea.com

Chitin is a structural polysaccharide made up of modified glucose chains.

It’s the principal component of insects’ exoskeletons and fungi’s cell walls.

Although it sounds strange to think about eating chitin…

…it is a neutral bio-product that is safe to eat.

Shrimp shells have an unpleasant texture because of chitin.

In the meantime, the protein is fully digestible.

It’s one of the reasons shrimp shells are so nutritious since your body can utilize it perfectly.

But some people still think it’s gross.

Now let’s hear Alisha’s story…

“Ew, why do you eat the shrimp shells?” said my friend.

She was grossed out.

Why? Is consuming shrimps shells really any different, logically speaking?

When chicken and chicken skin are correctly cooked, we can consume them.

I’ve eaten shrimp shells when they’ve been prepared in a way too.

They can be chewed and digested, they are absolutely delectable!

It’s rather common in Asian cuisine particularly though, to deep fry the shrimp with the skin.

Fishbones are the same way. Yes, I’ve eaten the shells before...

…but not on a regular basis so it doesn’t make me nauseous.

Salt and pepper shrimp is one of my favorite Asian recipes.

Why does it grosses them out if I like them, what’s the big deal?

I also eat the tails. I’ve always done so.

Shrimp shells are bursting with flavor. Chefs sauté them with a little water…

…and herbs before using the liquid as stock to enhance any shrimp-based meal.

You’re missing out on life if you’ve never tried to eat shrimp shells!

Let us tell you something if you relate to Alisha’s story.

No, it’s not a weird or gross thing to do if you eat shrimp shells.

But, you do need to know some important things about shrimp shells.

Health Concerns

The glutamic acid concentration of dried shrimp shell samples is high.

The dried shrimp shell and head contain a lot of this amino acid.

There are no aflatoxins in the dried shrimp shell, and it is bacteria-free.

The shrimp shell, unless you’re allergic to it, provides nutrition to your diet.

Gout is a major health concern associated with shrimp.

Shrimp shells can trigger gout in some people.

Breathing problems, diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting are just…

…a few of the side effects of eating shelled shrimp or shrimp soup.

Gout is another human body reaction to shrimp.

Shrimp consumption causes an accumulation of acid…

…which can lead to inflammatory arthritis or gout.

According to the study, tart cherries, such as the Montmorency cherry have increased antioxidant levels, which may help with gout symptoms and flare-ups.

Despite the fact that shrimp shells don’t contain as much of this deposit as prawns…

…they can still trap purine from the shrimp that can cause it.


Is Shrimp Healthy?

Shrimp is regarded as a rather healthy food.

It contains many health benefits including protein, minerals…

…and a nutritional value that is comparable to chicken.

Shrimp, like chicken, has varying health effects depending on how it is prepared.

The primary problem with shrimp is that it is commonly prepared…

…with a lot of butter, animal fat, and also oil.

Shrimp cooked in various ways can make it an unhealthy food…

…to ingest in excessive quantities.

However, shrimp that has been broiled or cooked without any unhealthy…

…additions are usually fine to eat and are a good source of protein.

This assumes you are not allergic to shrimp or have digestive issues.

Shrimp should be considered unhealthy if either of those is true.

Some people also questioned

Does It Matter Where The Shrimp Is Caught or Farmed?

Yes, in a nutshell.

Depending on their environment shrimp will vary in size and biochemistry.

Depending on where they live shrimp will have different flavors.

A person with enough experience can tell the region of a shrimp by its taste.

Other Part Of Shrimps You May Eat

Can You Eat Shrimp Tails?

The tail of a shrimp is largely made of the same materials as its shell…

…and can be treated the same way.

They are safe to eat, but their texture might not be palatable to everyone.

As a delicacy, you can find a dish that manages the texture of the shell.

The same question goes to

Can You Eat Shrimp Legs?

Shrimp shells
credit. marthastewart.com

Shrimp legs, like the tail and shell, are edible!

They distinguish themselves from the rest of the shrimp in a significant way.

The legs might become crispy when cooked.

Many people appreciate the texture of the shrimp legs and eat them whole.

They continue to gather seasonings so that they can be appetizing as well.

Most significantly, the legs of the shrimp are absolutely safe to eat…

….as long as they are cooked (provided you have no allergies).

Can You Eat Shrimp Heads?

The answer to this question is a little debatable.

The head of the shrimp is not any more dangerous to eat than the body of the shrimp.

Although it is safe to consume, certain cultures avoid eating heads (of any animal).

Cooked shrimp heads, on the other hand, absorb a lot of flavors.

It’s normal to twist the head loose and suck off the flavorful juice inside…

…when frying shrimp with the head attached.

With crawfish, this method is much more popular.

There are two schools of thought on whether or not to consume this type of shrimp head.

Those in favor of eating believe that the shrimp head is nutritious and tasty.

The yellow in the shrimp head is similar to that of crab butter or roe.

Of course, crab roe is edible.

Those who oppose eating shrimp heads will counter with the claim…

…that all shrimp heads are shrimp feces.

Shrimp differs from other seafood. Its metabolites are concentrated in the brain.

It’s easy to envision how horrible the shrimp feces is if it’s eaten.

The three components of the shrimp we observed were the shrimp head, belly, and tail.

The essential organs of the shrimp such as the brain, heart, liver, and stomach, are all housed in the shrimp head.

When in reality, the ovaries, sometimes known as “shrimp yellow,” are one of these organs.

It’s true, so don’t be surprised.

Generally speaking, when you open a shrimp head, you will find yellow and black stuff inside.

The yellow hue comes from the shrimp’s ovary which is higher in fat and cholesterol.

Normal intake will not cause difficulties.

But people with physical anomalies, such as three highs or eating shrimp yellow…

…in excessive intake, won’t be healthy in the end.

The shrimp’s excretion is not the yellow stuff in the shrimp head!

It is a type of bodily organ.

Although, you must pay great caution when eating shrimp.

Because there is more cholesterol, it is preferable to remove the head.

The shrimp with a blackened head is also tasty. It’s merely a natural reaction.

Regarding the shrimp-eating prohibition, I hope everyone is aware of it ahead of time.

You must not consume it incorrectly.

So, if you’re still unsure whether you, personally, can eat them or not…

…we recommend you simply remove the shells before eating.

Remove The Shells Easily With This Tool!

The shrimps shells contain Chitin. Chitin and its more refined cousin, chitosan, already are available in diet-pill form. If you take chitosan, you’ll slim down even if you eat a lot,”

Willem F. Stevens, researcher at the Asian Institute of Technology.

Popular Ways To Cook Shrimp Shells

Shrimp & Garlic

Servings for 4

Time to cook: 15 minutes


  • 2 pound/1000 g cleaned shrimp in shell
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons butter/oil
  • Garlic cloves, ten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Season with salt to taste.


  • Butter or oil should be added to a cooking pan. Allow it to reach a medium temperature.
  • Cook until the garlic cloves are light brown in color.
  • Toss the shrimp with the salt and turmeric and toss thoroughly.
  • Cook for 8 to 10 minutes with the shrimp in the pan.
  • Place in a serving bowl. Serve with a parsley garnish.

Jumbo Grilled Shrimp

Servings for 6

Total time to cook: 1 hour


  • 3 pound (3 kilogram) giant shrimp with shell
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemons’ juice
  • a quarter teaspoon of black or white pepper
  • 3/4 cup oil for cooking
  • a quarter teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • 14 cup parsley, chopped


  • Wash the shrimp thoroughly. Snip the shell in the middle, leaving the tail intact. Remove the vein while taking care to keep the shell in place.
  • In a mortar and pestle, mince the garlic into a paste and combine with the salt. Combine the ingredients in a blender with the pepper and lemon juice. While the mixer is still running, pour in the oil. Blend thoroughly and transfer to a mixing basin.
  • On top of the stove or over a charcoal fire, prepare the grill. Maintain a medium heat setting.
  • In a bowl, combine 14th of the mixture with the shrimp and marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Grill the shrimp for 5 to 6 minutes with the remaining dressing. Allow it to brown.
  • Place on a serving dish. Serve with a garnish of parsley.

Frying Shrimp

Serving for 4

Total time 25 minutes


  • 500 gram Shrimp with shell
  • 1tsp, chili powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. of cornflour
  • Salt to taste
  • Water for mixing


  • Thoroughly clean the shrimp. Remove the shrimp from the shell and devein it.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients—spices, cornflour, and water. Season with salt.
  • To make a paste, add a little water at a time.
  • Mix in the shrimp well. Refrigerate for 20 minutes after marinating.
  • Fill a deep-frying pan halfway with oil. When the oil is hot, drop the coated shrimps in in batches into the hot oil.
  • Fry until brown, then transfer to a dish lined with paper towels.
  • Serve immediately.

Consider This Thing!

How To Avoid Shrimp Shell Allergy?

Shrimp shell is an aberrant immunological reaction…

…to proteins found in certain marine creatures.

Some persons with shellfish allergies are allergic to shrimp shells.

Whereas others are allergic to only a few types of shellfish.

Mild symptoms, such as hives or a stuffy nose…

…can progress to severe and even life-threatening reactions.

Consult your doctor if you suspect you have a shellfish allergy!

Tests can help you confirm whether you have an allergy so you can take…

…precautions to prevent future responses.

Here are a few things to avoid…

  • When eating out, be cautious. Always check to see whether the pan, oil, or utensils used to prepare shellfish aren’t also used to prepare other dishes, resulting in cross-contamination. It’s possible that you’ll have to avoid seafood from the menu of restaurants like Red Lobster where you can get seafood at affordable prices because of the increased risk of cross-contamination.
  • Pay attention to the labels. Cross-contamination can occur during manufacturing and in retailers where other foods are prepared or displayed near shellfish. Carefully read food labels.Shrimp shell is rarely disguised, but it can be found in fish stock or seafood flavoring. Companies must label any product that contains shrimp shell or other foods that commonly cause allergic responses, however mollusks such as clams, oysters, and scallops are exempt from the requirements.
  • Maintain a safe distance. It’s possible that you’ll have to stay away from places where seafood is prepared or processed entirely. Touching shrimp shell or inhaling steam from frying shrimp shell might cause allergic reactions in certain people.

If the allergy reacts…

Consult your doctor about carrying emergency epinephrine if you have a shrimp shell…

…allergy. Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or necklace that communicates…

…your food allergy to others.

As directed by doctor, use an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin)!


To Sum It Up

Can we eat shrimp shells?

The answer is yes! It’s totally fine!

In fact, there are some benefits to eating shrimps shells.

One of them is it’s good for your eyes and extra fun facts! It’s a mood booster!


I hope this post is able to answer: Can we eat shrimp shells?

Let me hear your thoughts.

Do you already know the answer to can we eat shrimp shells?

If you still have any questions on our topic of: Can we eat shrimp shells?

Perhaps you need to know more about it or maybe you need to know a few more detail.

Don’t hesitate to contact me!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat shrimp shells if I’m pregnant?

Shrimp shells are not recommended for pregnant women…

…to eat as they may contain harmful chemicals.

Can I feed my dog shrimp shells?

No, shrimp shells should not be fed to your dog as…

…they can contain toxins that could potentially harm them.

What are the benefits of including shrimp shells in my diet?

Shrimp shells are a great way to add nutritional value to your diet.

They’re rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium…

…and other minerals that can help improve overall health.

Additionally, they contain some of the highest levels of dietary shrimp available.

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