Eat Oysters or Not?

Fresh oysters on ice

If you particularly enjoy seafood, you probably don’t miss eating oysters. Whether they’re cooked or uncooked, oysters are a great source of unique nutrients that offer amazing health perks!

From aiding in weight loss efforts to reducing bad cholesterol levels, oysters prove to be a great addition to a healthy diet.

Seafood lover or not, these oyster health benefits are worth discovering. Find out how eating oysters can support your weight loss goals, improve your blood pressure, boost your immunity, and enhance your sex drive!

We’ve also included some yummy tips on how to add oysters to your diet, so read on!

What are Oysters?

Oysters are a type of bivalve mollusks that can be found in marine habitats. While there are several varieties, the most common kinds are used for culinary purposes or farmed for pearls.

Culinary oysters have been enjoyed by people in various cuisines all over the world. And while it can be added to a number of yummy recipes, many people prefer to eat it raw.

Unfortunately, oysters suffer a significant drop in population brought about by an environmental decline due to ocean plastic pollution and invasive species.

Because of their scarcity, cooked or uncooked, oysters are considered a delicacy and are often sold at a higher price in markets around the world.

Oysters: Interesting Facts

  • Oysters can change their gender.

  • The taste of oysters depends on where they are fostered.

  • Oyster farms can help enhance the health of nearby waterways.

  • Consuming four oysters a day can provide you with a complete daily supply of copper, iodine, manganese, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

What are the Health Benefits of Oysters?

Fresh oysters seafood

So, we’ve been told that adding oysters to our diet can bring impressive health perks. Let’s dig deeper into these supposed oyster benefits and examine them in greater detail.

Oysters enhance sexual performance

Not interested in some bed action? Oysters might help turn up the heat! Tagged as the aphrodisiac of the sea, oysters can help boost sexual drive, especially in men.

Animal studies revealed that oyster extract prevented reproductive defects caused by zinc deficiency in male rats. Zinc deficiency has been linked to sexual problems in men such as erectile dysfunction and impotence. But luckily, oysters are a rich source of zinc!

In fact, they contain over 1500 percent of the recommended daily intake of this important mineral per serving. This means, eating oysters can boost men’s sexual performance and enhance their masculinity.

Oysters are rich in protein

Our bodies need significant amounts of protein to stay healthy, and oysters are a rich source of this essential nutrient, too.

Many of our body’s functions and structures rely on protein, which is why it is important to include protein-rich foods in our diet such as oysters. Among the key functions of protein include cellular growth, tissue repair, and muscle strength.

Oysters promote heart health

Oysters are also good for your heart. Their heart health-promoting effects are attributed to their rich omega 3 fatty acids content.

Oysters contain 672 mg of omega-3 per 100 grams. Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 helps to lower triglycerides and blood pressure, decrease blood clotting, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Oysters also contain significant amounts of magnesium and potassium, which were found to help lower blood pressure and relax the blood vessels, reducing strain on the cardiovascular system.

This shellfish is also packed with vitamin E, which enhances the flexibility and strength of cellular membranes, protecting the heart against the risk of heart diseases.

Oysters boost immunity

Oysters also have the potential for improving the immune system. The impressive nutritional value of oysters is seen to contribute greatly to their immunity-enhancing effects.

Oysters were found to be rich in vitamins C and E, as well as other important nutrients that contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These beneficial effects help protect the body against free radical damage, boosting the immune system.

Oysters accelerate healing

According to the Journal of the American Dietic Association, oysters are an outstanding source of zinc, with more than 5 mg per 3 oz of cooked serving.

Having significant amounts of zinc provides various health benefits including faster healing of wounds and an enhanced immune system.

Zinc also plays a crucial role in the growth and development of both children and adults, and sustenance of people’s bodily functions regardless of age.

Oysters promote healthy blood circulation

Not only are oysters a great source of zinc but other key minerals like iron. Each serving of oysters gives you 90 percent of the recommended daily iron intake.

Iron is an essential mineral for the formation of red blood cells, and consequently, the prevention of anemia. Iron deficiency often results in fatigue, muscle weakness, stomach disorders, and cognitive impairment.

Eating iron-rich foods like oysters can help combat these adverse effects.

Oysters can aid in weight loss

Oysters are low in calories and high in important nutrients. Because of this, they make an excellent choice for people who want to load their bodies with essential vitamins and minerals without gaining excessive weight.

Oysters contain nearly half the calories of chicken with equal serving size. It is important to note, though, that oysters are also high in sodium. So, people with obesity might want to moderate or avoid oyster intake altogether to prevent aggravating the problem.

Oysters strengthen your bones

With its impressive nutritional content, it’s no longer surprising that oyster can strengthen bones, too.

One research found proof that oyster shell electrolysate (OSE) provides a ready source of calcium, which helps to increase bone mineral density, and consequently, fights the risk of osteoporosis.

How to Add Oysters to Your Diet?

Grilled oysters

Depending on your preference, oysters can be eaten raw or cooked. If you want to consume uncooked oysters, you’ll have to open them using a thick towel and an oyster shucking knife.

Some markets are selling oysters that have already been shucked. But, if you prefer enjoying oysters cooked, you can try any of these following ideas:

Fried Oysters

With an excellent batter, you are sure to enjoy a delicious, crunchy fried oyster dish! You can use a cornmeal batter to coat your drained oysters and fry them up for a yummy meal. You can also incorporate some of your fried oysters into a healthy salad!

Char-grilled Oysters

If you want to enjoy a unique combination of flavors, you can try grilling your oysters! You can create a mixture made of butter, garlic, chopped green onions and cilantro, and lime juice.

You can stuff your shacked oyster with this mixture before placing them on your preheated grill. Dust it with some Parmesan cheese and wait for the cheese to melt. Yummy!

Oyster Rockefeller

Probably one of the most popular recipes is the Oyster Rockefeller. This famous appetizer maximizes a mixture made of finely chopped green onions, ample amounts of unsalted butter, fresh spinach, and watercress.

After adding this mixture to your shacked oysters, you can already begin baking! This recipe is so rich that it was named after the richest man of the day, John D. Rockefeller. It’s sure to impress your guests – even the non-seafood lovers!

What are the Potential Risks of Consuming Oysters?

The thing about oysters is that they absorb the nutrients from areas where they are raised. This means, while they get beneficial nutrients, it’s possible that they absorb toxins and other pollutants as well.

To avoid consuming oysters that are marred with toxins, make sure that you are getting your supply from well-trusted sources.

Also, since they contain significant amounts of minerals, there’s also a possibility for mineral overdose or toxicity exposure. Oysters are particularly high in zinc, iron, selenium, copper, and vitamins B12 and D.

Having too much of these minerals can cause adverse effects, too. For example, iron toxicity may lead to hemochromatosis, an iron disorder, which when left untreated can be fatal.

As with all things, moderation is key. Even the essential nutrients must be taken moderately. So, remember to consume oysters at a healthy level.

Also, foods that are high in sodium may present possible danger, especially for people with or at a higher risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Oysters make an ideal food choice for preventing the risk of heart diseases, and not for treating such conditions.

People who are allergic to seafood and shellfish like oysters are advised to avoid consumption. Eating oysters when you have such allergies may aggravate symptoms.

While the vast health perks of oysters sound promising, this isn’t an excuse to indulge, especially if you have allergic reactions to this particular type of food.

If cravings get the best of you, it’s best to ask your doctor first if you can enjoy them as a delicacy or a treat in small amounts.

Takeaway

Oysters have been enjoyed as a delicacy for so many years. And you can enjoy its yummy goodness, too!

You may be surprised to discover that you’re not only savoring its culinary value but amazing health perks as well. Just remember to consume oysters moderately, so you can reap its potential benefits.

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