Oysters-Nutrition for health

oyster

If you like oysters, you should consider eating them as often as possible.  The oyster is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.  In fact, you could call it nature’s multivitamin.

Oyster Nutrition Facts

One 6 ounce serving of oysters contains 338 calories.  They are a nutritional powerhouse in terms of what you get for those calories.  Each serving contains 14 grams of protein or a little over a quarter of an individual’s daily RDA based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  One serving also contains 10% of  one’s recommended daily allowance for vitamin C and vitamin B-6.  They also contain a whopping 443% of one’s RDA of vitamin B-12.  B-12 helps regulate the nervous system as well as the digestive system.  Also, one serving of oysters contain 10% of the RDA of vitamin A.  Vitamin A plays a role in immune health as well as bone growth and reproductive health.  Unless you’re eating liver or other organ meats on a regular basis, your body has to make vitamin A.  Vitamin A is converted in the body from beta carotene that one gets from vegetables like carrots.  Oysters  are a great source of vitamin A , bypassing the extra energy the body needs to manufacture it.

Oysters Are Good Sources Of Minerals As Well 

Oysters are also high in the minerals iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc.  This is extremely important since most people don’t get enough minerals through their diet.  Soil depletion has lowered the vitamin and mineral content of our fruits and vegetables dramatically.  The Scientific American article I linked to ends with the following: “.. another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.”

Most people are deficient in selenium and magnesium.  Selenium is responsible for proper function of the thyroid and may protect against cancer and free radical damage.  Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body.  It helps to support nerve, muscle and  immune function.  It helps regulate heartbeat, bone strength and regulate blood glucose levels (think diabetes).

That  6 ounce serving of oysters contains 65% of your RDA of iron, 24% of your RDA for magnesium, 374% of selenium and 440% of your RDA for zinc!  Because of these high levels of selenium and zinc, it is important to not go overboard on your oyster consumption.  The possibility of zinc overdose is increased if one is eating  large amounts daily.  Also, on the subject of risk, most individuals who are allergic to shellfish are probably allergic to oysters as well.  Please keep that in mind.

How To Eat Oysters

The best way to eat oysters for their nutritional value, is raw.  Oysters may contain the Vibiro bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal issues, especially in individuals with a weak immune system. Depuration is a way of killing off this bacteria while keeping the oyster alive.  Always eat the freshest live oysters and check if they have been through the depuration process.  Oysters are amazing every way you can think of preparing them.  Fried, grilled, baked or raw, the oyster is a nutritious, delicious treat.