HEALTH BENEFITS AND RISKS OF OYSTERS
Oysters are marine, edible, bivalve mollusks associated with the Ostreidae family. Eastern and Pacific’s oysters are common varieties of these sea creatures.
In the 19th century, oysters were affordable food consumed mostly by employed people, especially America. Researchers say that oysters boost the water quality and offer proper habitats for invertebrates, other shellfish, and fish. Although individuals understand the oysters’ aphrodisiac properties, they are nutrient-rich mollusks and have health aids like iron and vitamin B12. Some folks consume them either uncooked or cooked. Previously, oyster production decreased significantly due to low demand and habitat destruction but it is currently highly demanded worldwide by connoisseurs. However, nutritionists have linked oysters with various health risks, including contaminants, mineral toxicity, and shellfish allergy. Readthis article to know oysters’ health benefits and risks.
a. Supports heart health
The omega-3 fatty acids in oysters favors heart health. They are good cholesterol forms and de-escalate blood pressure, inflammation, boost blood vessel functioning, and sustain heart rate. Additionally, oysters have magnesium and potassium nutrients that promote heart health by causing blood vessel relaxation and decreasing blood pressure. Further, they spike circulation, blood oxygenation, and lower cardiovascular system strain. Also, their vitamin E content contains cardiovascular properties, especially for individuals with chronic ailments such as diabetes.
b. Aids weight loss
Oyster is nutrient-loaded seafood with a reduced number of calories. For example, 100 grams of chicken breast have 176 calories, while the same amount of processed oysters has 74 calories with a fat composition below half. This implies that this food is perfect for individuals focusing on shedding weight healthily. Nevertheless, oysters are rich in sodium, and therefore consumption should be regulated, especially in people with hypertension or high blood pressure.
c. Oysters are reliable protein sources
Although protein content in these mollusks might be lower than in animal products such as chicken, they are a popular healthier choice. The problem with high protein animal foods like meat with high fats. However, oysters are loaded with healthy fats. For instance, 88 grams or 6 sized oysters provide 8 grams of protein. Research in 2019 showed that, besides being protein-rich sources, sardines and oysters contain the greatest amounts of healthy fats. Additionally, these sea creatures are environmental-friendly. Researchers have found that oyster harvesting does not emit harmful greenhouse gases but assist in cleaning water within its habitat.
d. They boast high zinc amounts
Most people extract zinc from poultry and red meat. Nonetheless, US researchers found that oysters have higher zinc amounts/ serving than various foods. For instance, several oysters of average-sized with approximately 8.31 milligrams each achieves your everyday zinc intake (11 mg and 8 mg for men and women, respectively). Regarding zinc amounts, oysters are healthier food substitutes than most meat sources. Additionally, zinc is linked with many health aids, including wound healing, loss of vision protection, better immunity, and a strong reproductive system.
e. Oysters are Aphrodisiac
Giacomo Casanova credited oysters as an aphrodisiac due to their legendary reputation. Experts claim that oysters increase energy and libido. Researchers found that these mollusks improve libido and sexual performance, especially high zinc levels. The deficiency of this mineral is linked to erectile dysfunction, impotence, and sexual dysfunction. Further, it supports embryonic development, specifically in women.
f. Elevates blood circulation
A study in Canada established that oysters are reliable sources of iron. For this reason, 100 grams of oysters can produce 6 milligrams of iron, nearly meeting everyday intake of 8 milligrams for postmenopausal men and women. Particularly, iron is an important ingredient in red blood cells formation. Additionally, it prevents anemia (iron deficiency) which leads to stomach disorders, cognitive malfunction, general muscle tiredness, and fatigue. A well blood cell fresh supply, specifically in the circulatory system, causes the organ systems to maintain elevated oxygenated blood levels to trigger their function. This improves their functioning and metabolic rate in the entire body.
g. Promotes health bones
Oysters contain high mineral amounts, which contribute to bone strengthening. Particularly, the significant levels of zinc, calcium, copper, iron, selenium, and phosphorus participate in escalating bone mineral durability and density, inhibiting the contraction of certain conditions such as osteoporosis. The research established that oyster fortified or fermented food products could treat and hinder osteoporosis.
h. Has unique antioxidants
Scientists show that oysters have an outstanding antioxidant called DHMBA or 3,5-Dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzyl alcohol. Different studies reveal it as a strong phenolic compound promoting our health in several ways. One research found that DHMBA and zinc in oysters enhance glutamatergic neuron activity appropriate functioning, which improves learning and memory brain functions. Further, it fights oxidative stress, which affects the liver. Additionally, oysters have selenium which is lacking in many diets. Selenium deficiency elevates chronic health issues risks such as heart disease. Experts have revealed that this nutrient inhibits HIV from turning into AIDS.
i. Improves immune function
From the research conducted, oysters have minerals and vitamins vital in boosting the immune system. Zinc and selenium nutrients of oysters serve important roles in ensuring the best immune system. Selenium especially contains strong antioxidant properties, while zinc contributes to combating pathogens. Besides having essential vitamins such as vitamin D and C, oysters contain high vitamin B12, which is vital in boosting our immune system.
Risks of consuming oysters
Oysters are essential in our health, although they have different risks that you should not ignore, including:
- Because oysters absorb most of the nutrients from their habitats, some might have toxins and pollutants, thus consuming only those gotten from reliable sources.
- Undercooked or raw oysters may cause infections, as CDC reports. They include vibriosis, whose impacts range from diarrhea to fatality and limb amputation.
- Individuals with weak immunity, pregnant or nursing women, are recommended to avoid raw oysters.
Oysters are nutrient-rich foods providing a range of body aids. They contain antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and best-quality proteins. These nutrients sponsor the body by aiding in weight loss, improving immune function, supporting bone health, increasing blood circulation, hastening to heal, and promoting heart health. However, undercooked or raw oysters have harmful bacteria that cause illnesses. Also, these mollusks contain excess quantities of minerals such as zinc and selenium, which the body requires in small amounts. Excess zinc intake for a long lead to zinc toxicity. Further, oysters have high sodium amounts, which people with heart condition should avoid. It is best to consume fully cooked oysters, and still limit portion sizes.