Health and Fitness

Oyster Nutrition and Health Benefits

Whether or not you like ’em otherwise you’re repulsed by them, oysters are a preferred kind of shellfish you’ll be able to eat cooked, uncooked, and even pickled.

Of us have lengthy thought-about oysters a delicacy and a pure aphrodisiac, however these libido claims are principally anecdotal. Nevertheless, oysters do provide some legit well being advantages since they’re extraordinarily nutritious.

Oysters are supply of protein, zinc, selenium, B nutritional vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids that present health-boosting dietary advantages.

So, even when you’re not Casanova, right here’s how oysters can truly profit your well being.

There are a couple of various kinds of oysters, however Pacific and Jap oysters are the most typical. Technically bivalve mollusks, these little critters hand around in the ocean and bays earlier than you crack open their shells (by way of shucking) and slurp out their smooth, meaty our bodies for a snack.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of uncooked Pacific oysters gives these vitamins:

  • Energy: 81
  • Protein: 9.45 grams (g)
  • Fats: 2.30 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.95 g
  • Zinc: 151% of the Day by day Worth (DV)
  • Copper: 176% of the DV
  • Manganese: 28% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 667% of the DV
  • Iron: 28% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 5% of the DV
  • Selenium: 140% of the DV

Oysters carry a boatload of vitamins to the desk that may assist your general well being. Right here’s the lowdown on probably the most outstanding advantages you will get from oysters’ numerous vitamins.


Oysters are an amazing supply of full protein, which means they include all of the important amino acids your physique must maintain your muscle mass, bones, and tissues wholesome.

In accordance with a 2018 analysis assessment, consuming sufficient protein could make you’re feeling fuller and assist with weight administration. Meals stuffed with protein additionally increase your ranges of hormones like peptide YY, which assist you really feel full and glad.

Together with optimum quantities of protein in your weight loss plan may additionally assist with blood sugar regulation, which is especially necessary in case you have diabetes. Research in of us with kind 2 diabetes recommend that excessive protein diets could assist decrease excessive blood triglyceride ranges, a major threat issue for coronary heart illness.


Oysters truly provide extra zinc per serving than another meals.

You want zinc for immune system well being, wound therapeutic, development, and improvement. Zinc deficiency is tremendous unusual in the USA, but when it occurs, it will probably trigger you to lose your urge for food, hair, and sense of style.

Zinc additionally performs a crucial function in reproductive well being, together with sperm manufacturing — which can be why oysters gained their aphrodisiac repute. (The extra you recognize 💫)

Vitamin B12

There’s an entire vary of B nutritional vitamins, however you particularly want B12 for nervous system perform, DNA synthesis, and purple blood cell manufacturing.

Fortunate for you, a 3.5-ounce serving of uncooked oysters provides you greater than 6 occasions the DV for B12.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Should you’re not a fan of different omega-3-rich meals, like salmon, you will get dose of omega-3 fatty acids from oysters.

Omega-3s are necessary for eye and coronary heart well being, mind perform, development, and improvement. Additionally they have anti-inflammatory properties, and analysis reveals that people who eat numerous omega-3s have a decrease threat of coronary heart illness and cognitive decline.


Your physique wants iron to make hemoglobin (part of your purple blood cells that helps transport oxygen all through your physique).

Not getting sufficient of this important mineral can have all types of adverse well being results, together with iron deficiency anemia and issues with development and hormone manufacturing. It’s notably necessary to get sufficient iron when you’re pregnant.

Some of us have hassle getting sufficient iron. Consuming meals excessive in iron, like oysters, may help you meet your quota (although you’ll wish to skip the uncooked shellfish whereas preggo). A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked oysters provides you with 51 % of the DV for iron.


Actual speak: Oysters aren’t an enormous supply of magnesium, however each little bit counts relating to weight loss plan.

Magnesium is necessary for greater than 300 completely different enzyme reactions in your physique.

You want it to make new protein in your muscle mass, maintain your nerves functioning nicely, and regulate your blood stress and blood glucose ranges. This mineral additionally helps assist your immune system to guard you from invading nasties.


Oysters are one of many meals highest in selenium, with a uncooked unfold boasting 140 % of the DV (Brazil nuts are nonetheless the king, although 👑).

Selenium is an important hint mineral crucial for sustaining thyroid perform and defending towards thyroid illness. As well as, selenium has antioxidant properties that assist defend your cells from injury by free radicals.

3,5-Dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzyl alcohol (DHMBA)

Say what? It doesn’t precisely roll off the tongue, however oysters include a novel antioxidant referred to as DHMBA. Scientists found this molecule fairly not too long ago, and it seems to have highly effective antioxidant results.

A 2015 test-tube examine discovered that DHMBA was 15 occasions more practical at addressing oxidative stress than an artificial type of vitamin E referred to as Trolox. One other lab examine printed in 2014 means that DHMBA could particularly defend liver cells from oxidative stress injury.

DHMBA may additionally assist with coronary heart illness — a 2012 test-tube examine suggests it might scale back oxidation of LDL ldl cholesterol (the “bad” form).

Simply word: We nonetheless want extra analysis in people to search out out simply how DHMBA helps defend us from oxidative stress IRL.


Copper is a reasonably forgotten mineral, and deficiencies are tremendous uncommon. However you’ll get about 176 % of the DV by slurping down some uncooked oysters.

Copper works with iron to assist your bod kind purple blood cells. It additionally helps metabolic processes and the well being of your bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune system.


You want manganese to assist enzymes perform and to maintain your bones, reproductive processes, and immune response in tip-top form. It additionally works with vitamin Ok to assist with blood clotting.

Manganese deficiency is definitely tremendous arduous to diagnose, uncommon, and usually a little bit of a thriller. However you will get dose of this mineral by snacking on oysters.

Despite the fact that oysters have an amazing dietary profile, they get a reasonably unhealthy rap as a dangerous meals, together with their shellfish siblings. Right here’s what to look out for.

Micro organism

Uncooked oysters could include Vibrio vulnificus, a sort of micro organism that lurk within the waters the place oysters are cultivated. Because the water will get hotter through the summer time months, these micro organism can thrive. So regardless of how recent your oysters are, there’s nonetheless a threat. And it’s unimaginable to inform by sight or odor whether or not oysters are contaminated.

Signs can embody fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and even a probably life threatening blood an infection.

Heavy metals and viruses

Oysters can carry Norwalk-type viruses and enteroviruses that may make you v. sick. The mollusk can even be contaminated with heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury which can be no good in your well being.

Together with micro organism issues, that is why the CDC recommends you follow consuming cooked oysters. And kiddos, pregnant and breastfeeding of us, and these with compromised immune techniques ought to keep away from consuming uncooked seafood like oysters.

Allergy symptoms

Shellfish are infamous for being a significant (and probably life threatening) allergen. So in case you have a recognized allergy to different shellfish, like shrimp, skip the oysters.

Though it’s extra frequent for people to be allergic to crustaceans like prawns and crabs, you’ll be able to completely be allergic to oysters too.

You may decide to poach your oysters in purple wine sauce, fry them in beer batter, coat them in chili pepper and purple onion salsa, add them to a broth… the checklist goes on.

Should you’re not seeking to dwell on the wild facet (and threat a nasty case of meals poisoning ☠️), you’ll be able to take pleasure in oysters in so some ways past uncooked and chilled with a facet of lemon.

Listed below are some ideas for safely cooking oysters:

  • Choose by way of the oysters first and ditch any with open shells.
  • Pop them in a pan of boiling water and proceed boiling till the shells open.
  • As soon as they open, boil for an additional 3–5 minutes or place them in a sizzling steamer and prepare dinner for an additional 4–9 minutes.
  • Discard any oysters that don’t totally open after cooking. In the event that they’re sealed tightly or partially opened, throw them away.

Should you’ve opted for shucked — aka already opened — oysters, you may also strive the next:

  • Fry in oil for not less than 3 minutes at 375°F (190°C).
  • Broil 3 inches from the warmth supply for 3 minutes.
  • Bake at 450°F (230°C) for 10 minutes.

And when you determine to shuck the oysters your self, be extraordinarily cautious and use a particular oyster shucking knife (nobody likes a dinnertime pressing care go to!). You’ll additionally wish to wrap the hand holding the oyster in a kitchen towel for grip and safety.

Then, it’s merely a matter of putting the tip of the knife on the base of the oyster’s hinge and twisting it to pry the shell open.

Oysters are a seafood fave which can be an amazing supply of vitamins like protein, zinc, selenium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.

However uncooked or undercooked oysters could include probably dangerous micro organism that might make you critically in poor health. So when you fancy including oysters to your weight loss plan, prepare dinner them totally to keep away from getting sick.

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