Are Oysters Healthy?

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

When looking for seafood rich in nutrients, you can’t ignore oysters. If you wonder about are oysters healthy, you should know the pros and cons of oysters. 

Simply, oysters are low in calories but rich in protein. Moreover, there are many essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties in consuming oysters. They contribute to skincare to control anemia, maintain strong bones and teeth, etc. Oysters also contribute to the proper functioning of the heart and liver. 

However, before consuming oysters, precautions should be taken as raw ones might contain bacteria. Oysters are not recommended to eat unless cooked. 

Again, it would be best if you did not eat a lot of oysters regularly or even on a single meal. Excess eating of oysters may result in stomach pain, acidity, nausea, and even vomiting. The rich minerals might affect you with mineral toxicity.

What Are Oysters?

Oysters are ocean-based animals categorized as Mollusk. These creatures have shells on them, and they are bivalves. 

They possess great economic value as they have a usage in both food and jewelry. We find pearls from them. They have irregularly shaped shells. 

A mollusk possesses a soft body and also a shell to protect itself. As oysters are bivalves, the two shells are connected with a little hinge. This animal can open and close its shell as necessary, like when consuming food, leaving wastages behind, or even when alarmed by any risks. 

All oysters belong to the family called Ostreidae. There are five major species with different variants under these five species. They taste different based on the water they grow in. 

Food Value Of Oysters

Oysters have two different types of material in their structure – the shell and the inner body. 

The inner body is referred to as the flesh. Though they are low in calories, they come in handy in terms of nutrients, vitamins, protein, healthy fats, and minerals. Oyster shells are also a good source of fatty acids. They provide us with polyunsaturated fats that support us in fighting type 2 diabetes. 

The USDA has provided the following nutrition info for 3 ounces (~85 grams) of Oysters without the shell:

  • Calories: 69
  • Carbohydrates: 4.2g
  • Fat: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Sodium: 90mg

Raw Oysters

The following content holds the nutrition info for 100g of raw Pacific oysters. These specifics are provided by the Department of Agriculture: 

  • calories: 81 kilocalories
  • carbohydrates: 4.95 g
  • copper: 1.58 mg or 176% of a person’s daily value (DV)
  • fats: 2.30 g
  • iron: 5.11 mg (28% of DV)
  • magnesium: 22 mg (5% of DV)
  • vitamin B12: 16 micrograms (667% of DV)
  • protein: 9.45 g
  • zinc: 16.6 milligrams (mg)

Cooked Oysters

100 grams (~3.5 ounces) of wild eastern oysters (cooked) provides the following ingredients:

  • Calcium: 7% of the DV
  • Calories: 79
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Copper: 493% of the DV
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Iron: 53% of the DV
  • Manganese: 20% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the DV
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Riboflavin: 9% of the DV
  • Selenium: 56% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 538% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 9% of the DV
  • Zinc: 555% of the Daily Value (DV)

Pros and Cons Of Oysters

Oysters are a decent service provider for our diet, economy, and ecology. We will be discussing some in-depth benefits of oysters in some specific sectors below: 

Are Oysters Good For Your Stomach?

Humans have considered Oysters a part of their diet for almost 700 years. People around the world consume it both raw and cooked. 

Hence, this item contains a mentionable amount of iron. 100g of oysters may have up to 6mg of iron, and that amounts to meeting a large portion of iron, according to the DV. 

Iron, a key component to forming red blood cells (RBC) in a human body, works as the preliminary defense against anemia. Anemia is referred to as iron deficiency and may lead to stomach disorders. 

However, eating oysters on an empty stomach may lead to acidity. It is highly recommended to have oysters later in the meal. 

Are Oysters Good For Your Heart?

Being a significant source of LDL (bad/dietary cholesterol), it is preferable not to take in a lot of oysters regularly. That might affect your heart health. 

But at the same time, it is to keep in mind that oysters happen to be a fantastic source of healthy protein beneficial to the heart. 

As oysters contain a rich amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, it appears as a healthy alternative option to other meats.

Oyster Benefits For Females

Oysters are popular among women. This food item is blessed with various nutrients. They eventually help strengthen the immune system, fight against anemia, maintain healthy bones and teeth, and so on.

Iron and Vitamin B12 from oysters help reduce dark circles. Iron, protein, or zinc can help a woman with hair loss. Iron allows women to fight anemia as primarily women suffer from it. 

Oysters Benefits For Male

Oysters carry a bunch of nutrients. Therefore, some of them may have a positive effect on supporting sexual health for men. 

The presence of zinc in oysters may trigger testosterone levels. It may also help a male to keep maintaining dopamine levels. 

Omega-3 fats, which are heart-healthy, increase blood flow and function to prevent erectile dysfunction. Thus oysters have been considered a natural aphrodisiac for quite a while, like hundreds of years. 

How Many Oysters Can You Eat In A Day?

Though oysters contain a significant number of nutrients that make them appealing to eat, it is not recommended to take in too many of them at once. 

Taking too many of them in one sitting might make you suffer from stomach pains, nausea, and even diarrhea. Moreover, it is also recommended not to eat oysters on an empty stomach.

It’s best to take between 3 to 4 dozen and 6 to 7 dozen oysters for an individual in a single day. But this is not a fixed one. Your other dishes served with the oysters may also vary the oysters count. 

The fundamental reason for not taking too many oysters in one sitting is that they carry a toxin called domoic acid, which is liable for causing nausea and vomiting. 

Are Raw Oysters Good For You?

Oysters can be eaten in different ways – raw, cooked (steamed, boiled, fried). The rich food nutrients in oysters make them a good diet habit. 

Though raw oysters taste good, they are actually a bit briny and salty. You will find a smooth texture in a raw oyster. 

It is recommended not to eat raw oysters unless they are harvested since they might contain some bacteria. Any ingredient like lemon juice, hot or cocktail sauce, or even alcohol can’t kill the Vibrio bacteria. 

Therefore, avoid eating raw or undercooked oysters. Eating raw oysters might get you sick. 

Are Oysters Bad For You?

Concerning nutritional benefits, among other shellfish, oysters offer us impressive health benefits though it contains risk if eaten raw. Apart from that, people may encounter allergic experiences after consuming this Mollusk. 

Raw oysters are referred to as contaminants. This may lead to vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach pain, etc. They might carry harmful bacteria with them. 

Being rich in the mineral count, it can appear harmful to consume too many oysters causing mineral toxicity like zinc toxicity. Hence, avoid eating raw oysters. 

Other Benefits Of Oysters

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, there are some other good sides. Many health benefits include fighting heart disease, liver disease, blood pressure (lower blood pressure), maintaining bone health, and improving the body’s immune system. 

Oysters also boost weight loss, cell growth, wound healing, central nervous system, fighting zinc deficiency, selenium deficiency, and many more. 

According to professional medical advice, oysters contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin c, vitamin d, etc. These vitamins and minerals, including other organic compounds, work as higher protein diets. They appear as a complete protein source. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the food values of oysters?

Oysters are considered a high-quality protein source rich in vitamins and necessary minerals. Therefore, they play a significant role in decreasing the risk of heart disease and other disease control. 

It is preferred to eat after cooking oysters. Raw oysters may contain potential health risks. These bivalve mollusks also play a role in cleaning the water and contributing to the ecosystem. They also carry oxygen themselves. 

Are oysters good for weight loss?

If you are looking for low-calorie, protein-rich food, oysters are the ultimate alternative to your usual protein source while ensuring other vitamins and minerals. 

Are oysters good for your skin?

Zinc and collagen from oysters can trigger skin regenerative qualities, including repairs. Collagen is also known for making hair strong. 

Final Words

Oysters are bivalve mollusks, and they have body shells and body meat. They may open shells based on necessity. 

Though consuming too much of them produces potential risks, they are an excellent source of low-calorie protein. They should be taken according to a person’s body’s ability. Bacterial contamination might happen in eating raw oysters. 

If you are looking for – are oysters healthy, you should know that food science recommends adding oysters to your diet. Oyster nutrition covers our significant DV nutrition. 

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