Health Benefits of Oysters

Notoriously referred to as the gentleman’s aphrodisiac, this controversial shellfish has a lot more to offer than a simply heightened mojo. Oysters contain an impressive amount of nutritional value that shouldn’t be overlooked. Packed with high levels of protein, iron, omega 3 and zinc – to name just a few, maybe it’s time to look into this controversial dish.

plate of oysters

Nutritional Value

Studies undertaken by students from the University of Washington found that the consumption of oysters helps raise HDL’s (good cholesterol levels) and lower LDL’s (low cholesterol level). Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. The recommended daily guideline for your protein intake according to the USDA is 56 grams a day for a man and 46 grams a day for a woman. Take into account that in a six-ounce serving of oysters there is on average 16 grams of protein, you can see the benefits for yourself. Increasing the level of protein you consume can have the added benefit of a better mood.

Immune System

Oysters are rich in Vitamins C, D, and B12, all of which attribute to a better functioning immune system. Packed with protective properties, oysters contain anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and minerals. Our bodies use proteins every day in order to keep the body functioning correctly, from our digestive enzymes and immune system antibodies to our hair, skin, and nails. Raw oysters or extracts of oysters are a rich source of not only zinc which is beneficial to the immune system but selenium and other immune boosting minerals. A healthy immune system means a lower risk of infection, fast recovery of wounds or tissue damage and the prevention of disease.

The high levels of zinc found in oysters help strengthen your immune response, making the production of white blood cells more efficient and rapid. Noted in the book “Biochemical Pathways” Zinc enhances the actions of antibodies, thus making them more effective in warding off infection.

Blood Circulation and Volume

With over 90% of the recommended daily amount of iron in one serving, oysters prove to be a great and natural way to boost your iron intake. Iron is pivotal to combating against anemia (iron deficiency) which can lead to medical issues such as fatigue, stomach disorders, and muscle weakness. Iron also helps transport oxygen to the cells, which results in higher levels of energy. Another potent ingredient in oysters is selenium, which helps detoxify your tissues and regulate blood pressure.

Due to the high levels of potassium, omega 3 and magnesium, blood pressure can be significantly improved. These help fight against heart attacks and risk of stroke and thus makes oysters a worthy choice on your menu.

Skeletal Benefits

It is communally known that as we age our bone density decreases and therefore makes conditions such as osteoporosis more likely to occur. However not many are aware of the health benefits oysters possess

They boast an impressive mineral content, high levels of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, all of which contribute to bone mineral density and durability.

Due to the large quantities of zinc present in oysters, they prove to be a great way to increase tissue repair and growth, which is fundamental to bone development.

Aids Weight Loss

Low in calories, fat and a good source of protein, oysters represent one of the most nutrient-packed foods with a low level of calories versus volume of serving. As previously mentioned oysters are a great source of protein resulting in making you feel fuller for longer. Since oysters are a naturally sourced form of protein, the body is required to work harder to digest the proteins, unlike fast-acting refined carbohydrates.

Eating too little protein can result in a sluggish metabolism, making it harder to shift excess weight. Oysters aid weight loss due to their protein-packed ingredients, boosting your metabolic activity.

Now that you know how beneficial a plate of oysters can be, is it time that we overlooked their slimy exterior and started appreciating the gems of the sea for what they really are? A highly nutritional, low in fat health boost.

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