For hundreds of years, oysters have been one of the more popular forms of seafood around. Either eating them raw or cooking them, oysters are considered to be a luxury food item in many parts of the world. While oysters don’t look like an appealing food at first glance, there are those that eat them on a regular basis despite the odd appearance. There are some months where you should avoid oysters, but others where they bring a lot of health benefits.
There are many vitamins and minerals to be found in oysters, and that can cause you to experience a health boost. So what can you find inside of an oyster, and what are those benefits? Let’s take a closer look at the popular seafood that is also known to contain some valuable pearls that people collect.
Nutrition of Oysters
While oysters might not be the first thing that pops into mind when thinking about foods with a lot of vitamins and minerals, they certainly should. Each cup of raw oysters comes in at just under 170 calories. Oysters are high in protein, accounting for 35 percent of your daily recommended value. As for the vitamins, you are getting nearly 200 percent of your vitamin D recommendation and more than 800 percent of vitamin B12 values. There is also a significant amount of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
As for the minerals, there is 1500 percent of your recommended zinc intake, which sounds shocking to hear. There is also 552 percent of copper, 226 percent of selenium and nearly a full day’s worth of iron. You can even find calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese, along with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
As we just mentioned, oysters have a significant amount of vitamins such as D and C. These vitamins will help to improve your immune system, allowing you to avoid both minor and major diseases down the road. Oysters are also packed with antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties that will fight off free radicals that cause chronic diseases.
Vitamin B12 helps your body to increase the efficiency of the nervous system. With more than enough vitamin B12 in each serving of oysters, you can reduce your chances of developing certain forms of cancer. Even heart disease, strokes and anemia are all able to be prevented by increasing the amount of minerals that you can get from foods such as oysters.
One part of your body that will really see a huge benefit from the increase in minerals is your skeletal system. Zinc, calcium and many of the others will help to make your bones stronger. This will reduce your chances of bone density loss in the future, which could help you prevent problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Even those that are experiencing joint pain or have suffered wounds will benefit from the power of zinc. This allows growing children to also develop stronger bones and fight off injuries, which we know is something that parents think about. So all in all, both old and young alike can see some great bone benefits from eating more oysters.
If you are looking to trim some weight and possibly build muscle, oysters are one of the best foods that you can eat. Oysters are very low in calories with just 169 per serving, while being very filling. There is a large protein content in oysters, which gives them that filling feature while also helping you to build muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories that your body naturally burns, leading to fat loss.
Oysters have fewer calories and more protein than a lot of meats that people tend to think about in that regard. It can be hard to find a food that has a crazy amount of minerals and protein without the calories, but oysters can make that claim. Just make sure to watch how many you are eating.
Of course, one of the best things that you can do to increase your weight loss efforts is by doing more physical activity. It can be hard if you find yourself without the energy throughout the day, but oysters can help with that. Vitamin B12 and iron increase the blood flow in your body, allowing you to not only exercise for longer, but also experience more natural energy.
This energy boost also results in an increased function of the brain. That will improve your memory and overall mood. Studies have even shown that oysters actually help your body increase testosterone in men and estrogen in women. This means that you can even get an energy increase at home if you know what we mean.
The fatty acids, vitamins and minerals all found in oysters will help you to increase your heart health and lower the chances of heart disease and stroke. The minerals such as magnesium help to open up your blood vessels, clearing out the arteries to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. That will also lead to an increase in your HDL (good) cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory properties of oysters also have a big benefit to your heart health.
Those that are experiencing high blood pressure would see a benefit from eating oysters. Though they contain quite a bit of sodium and should be eaten in small doses, they can have a good effect if you don’t eat them too often.
Summing it Up
Among the most common food allergies out there is shellfish, so oysters obviously aren’t for everybody. You’ll want to avoid eating them if you feel that you might have an allergy, so check with a doctor before adding oysters to your diet. While most of the healthy foods that we have looked at don’t really have a limit to how much you can eat, that’s not the case for oysters. While they are tasty, you will want to limit yourself.
That’s because there are many different minerals in oysters, and a lot of them. A buildup of some of these minerals such as iron can cause health problems such as hemochromatosis. The excess of zinc could also cause digestive issues. So while it wouldn’t be wise to eat oysters on a daily basis, adding some to your diet if you’re not eating them at all right now would be a good idea. You’ll start getting a lot of those important minerals that your body will need in the long run.