Oysters are usually known as a powerful aphrodisiac but they have plenty of benefits when you add them in your diet.
A cup of raw oysters contains 650 percent of the recommended daily value of zinc. This essential trace element is only needed in small amounts, but it is important to the system. The main function of zinc is to boost the body’s immune system, which is advantageous for cold prevention. Because of the zinc content, oysters also have a libido-boosting effect, according to celebrity dietitian and author Tanya Zuckerbrot.
The B vitamins are known as energy-releasing vitamins because they break down carbohydrates for energy. Oysters are very high in B-12, known scientifically as cobalamin, and they contain moderate amounts of riboflavin and niacin. A 1-cup serving of oysters contains 362 percent of the recommended daily intake of B-12, 13 percent of riboflavin and 11 percent of niacin. Since B vitamins are water soluble, they are eliminated from the body. Eat foods rich in B vitamins throughout the day to replenish this vitamin.
Stronger Integumentary System
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women get at least 46 grams of protein a day and that men strive for 56 grams. A cup of oysters contains 14 grams of protein. This is advantageous if you are a pescatarian and do not eat meat from land animals. As a macronutrient, protein is important for preserving muscles and strengthening the integumentary system — the coverings on the exterior of the body that protect the insides, such as skin, nails and hair. Oysters are complete proteins, which means they contain all of the essential amino acids. You do not have to combine them with any other foods to create a complete protein.
Reduced Disease Risk
Canned oysters are packed in oil or water. The oil used is a form of monounsaturated fat, which is healthy. Smoked oysters often come in olive oil. According to MayoClinic.com, olive oil comes with a blend of powerful antioxidants that lower low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, levels. LDL is the bad type of cholesterol that raises heart disease risk. Be cautioned that fat contains 9 calories per gram. This is why canned oysters are higher in calories than raw versions. A can of oysters ranges from 180 to 200 calories.
Photo Credit: LA Living Health
The Blue Oyster Bar (Police Academy)