This year’s harvest season for China’s highly sought-after freshwater crabs began on Wednesday in the Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province.
A total of 10,940 tonnes of the tasty and pricey mitten crabs were expected to be harvested and hit the market starting around the National Day Holiday in early October.
The crabs would be collected from a breeding area that covers around 5,900 hectares, according to the municipal agriculture and rural affairs bureau.
The number of bigger crabs was also expected to increase from last year due to better climate conditions, the department noted.
Chinese people have a custom of eating crabs in autumn when the meat was at its best.
The tradition can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (202 BC to 220).
The crab was considered auspicious as the Chinese word for crab is “xie,’’ which is pronounced the same as the Chinese word for “thanks.’’
Crabs have nutritional value but not all crabs are edible.
There are approximately 850 crab species found in both seashores, freshwater, terrestrial, and semi-terrestrial habitats.
According to Tropical Life Sciences Research, an online publication, data on nutrient contents of freshwater crabs are important for ecological studies and species conservation assessments.
The intake of crabs promotes healthy teeth and bone and helps to decrease the risk of cancer attack.
The consumption of crabs improves blood sugar metabolism, regulates the cholesterol level, and is ideal for pregnant women. However, consumption should be in moderation.
Crab is an excellent source of chitin and as such suitable for facilitating and accelerating the wound healing process.
Being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, crab meat is recommended for supporting the cardiovascular system.
It helps promote the healthy functioning of the heart thus preventing heart-related diseases such as heart failure, heart attacks.
The high amount of omega-3 fatty acids in crab aid brain development and boosts memory. Crab intake can also help to prevent anxiety and depression.
Crab is a suitable supplement of protein and minerals needed to support and balance human nutrition.
Thus consuming edible crabs is essential for preventing nutritional deficiencies.
Crab is an excellent source of antioxidants such as selenium.
This nutrient prevents oxidative damage to the body tissues and cells thereby reducing the risk of cancer attacks.
While the omega-3 fatty acids found in crab are essential for preventing blood clotting, the potassium and omega-3 fatty acids present in it are essential for regulating the blood pressure level