Oysters: Benefits And Harms

Oysters are an elegant, refined, and very expensive delicacy that is valued not only for their taste but also for their unprecedented health benefits. It is noteworthy that oysters are eaten fresh, straight from the shells, and lightly sprinkled with lemon juice. It is also extraordinary that this product is not chewed, but rather drunk from the shell, and then washed down with a light beer or white dry wine. Like many other seafood products, oysters have many fans who claim that oysters are not only delicious but also extremely healthy.

It is worth noting that the special value of oysters is in their freshness; mollusks are eaten almost alive; if an oyster does not react to the opening of the shell, it means that it is already dead, and it is not useful to eat it in this form, even well flavored with lemon juice.

Today, oysters are also consumed after heat treatment (boiled, baked, fried), but under the influence of high temperatures, the diastase breaks down, and the benefits of oysters decrease.

Composition and nutritional value of oysters

The caloric content of 100 grams of oysters is only 72 calories, which, with a reduced proportion of fat and sufficient protein content, makes this mollusk a valuable nutritious product not only for weight loss but also for the health of the entire human body.

Their flesh consists of a large number of minerals with beneficial properties:

  • 60 mg of calcium.
  • 220 mg of potassium.
  • 165 mg of chlorine.
  • 90 mg of sodium.
  • 140 mg of phosphorus.
  • 60 mg of magnesium.
  • 90 mg of sulfur.
  • 6.2 mg of iron.
  • 0.7 mg of zinc.

The oyster pulp also contains vitamins: A – 85 mcg, B1 – 0.15 mcg, B2 – 0.19 mcg, PP – 3.5 mcg, C – 3 mg, and E – 0.9 mg.

100 grams of oysters contain 9 g of protein, 2 g of fat, and 4.5 g of carbohydrates.

Useful properties of oysters

The flesh of oysters has a unique composition, which determines its benefits for the human body. There is also a category of people for whom the consumption of mollusks is essential.

Oysters have such beneficial properties:

  • They are natural antidepressants because they contain a large amount of thiamine, which helps to optimize the functioning of the nervous system. There is also tryptophan, an amino acid whose properties contribute to fast falling asleep and good sleep. No wonder seafood lovers consider seafood to be a great food that puts you in a good mood and makes you feel happy.
  • Zinc contained in shellfish meat is beneficial for improving the condition of the skin, nails, and hair, and helps to strengthen the immune system. It is also necessary for men, helping to strengthen reproductive function. The oyster is a natural aphrodisiac, i.e. a natural stimulant whose properties increase sexual desire.
  • Oysters contain unsaturated acids, such as Omega-6 and Omega-3, which are required for proper cell growth and development. In addition, they can stop the growth of malignant tumor cells. These beneficial acids are necessary for the prevention and treatment of vascular atherosclerosis because of their ability to remove harmful cholesterol.
  • The properties of iron and various mineral salts when combined with vitamins help to improve hematopoiesis, so oysters should be included in the diet of people with such a disease as anemia.
  • Oysters contain provitamin D3, which is converted in the human body into vitamin D, necessary for strengthening bones, and teeth, and boosting immunity. A deficiency of this vitamin can be harmful to the body, leading to obesity and lethargy. By including seafood, or more specifically, oysters, in the diet of men and women, this can be corrected.

Contraindications and harm of oysters

Dead oysters can cause harm and poisoning; their meat is not eaten even after heat treatment. Therefore, in order to avoid trouble, this product should be consumed alive, so that the benefits from them will be maximized.

Oysters should not be included in the diet of allergy sufferers, especially those who are allergic to seafood.

Rapid digestion of oysters can cause gastrointestinal diseases. Therefore, people suffering from such problems, as well as pregnant and lactating women, should give up shellfish. There are contraindications for young children and those with thyroid dysfunction.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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