Written by Isabella Boston.
Oysters are freshwater bivalve mollusks made up of a shell with two hinged parts. They feed and process water with their gills and cilia. Oysters have internal organs, a small heart, and no central nervous system.
Because Oysters lack a central nervous system, it is unlikely they feel pain and most vegetarians feel comfortable eating them. While some oysters have two sexes, they all contain both eggs and sperm.
Oysters are a popular seafood enjoyed by many global connoisseurs. They are commonly eaten raw with a few drops of lemon juice or other spices but can also be steamed or broiled. When eaten raw, oysters provide an abundant source of several vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12 which medical research has proven plays a key role in keeping your brain healthy.
Oysters are high in micronutrients and are low calorie. They make a healthy food for many people.
Six Health Benefits From Eating Oysters
1. Brain Health ~ Oysters may help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and certain mental health disorders. Because of their potent amount of vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and iron, oysters help to promote good brain health and combat mental disorders such as depression and suicidal thoughts. Studies also show that a diet rich in iron and zinc can increase a person’s ability to concentrate while also enhancing one's memory.
2. Prevents Bone Loss and Osteoporosis ~ Oysters contain the micronutrients copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamin D. This in combination with calcium are believed to play a key role in preventing osteoporosis and bone loss in older women. An article in The Independent, stated that French biologists have been studying the way oysters produce nacre and believe that the replication of the process could provide preventative treatment for arthritis, osteoporosis, and certain skin conditions.
3. Promotes Heart Health ~ Oysters reduce the harmful plaque that accumulates in the arteries and on the artery walls. In addition, the high amounts of potassium and magnesium contents in oysters helps to lower blood pressure and relax the blood vessels. This plays an important role in combatting the risk of a stroke and a heart attack.
4. Promotes Immune Health ~ Oysters contain a solid dose of vitamins C and E which aid in the health of our immune system. They contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect against free radicals which are released during cellular metabolism.
5. Good for Your Eyes ~ Oysters are a natural source of zinc, an important mineral for good eyesight. Zinc ensures that the pigment in the eye is sufficiently produced in the retina. Reduced pigmentation is connected to a reduction in the central visual field of vision. The more zinc you have, the stronger your eyesight.
6. Sex Health ~ Due to their large zinc content, oysters are considered an aphrodisiac. Zinc aids the body in the production of testosterone, an important hormone that regulates the sexual function and libido in both men and women. Research shows that this mineral improves sperm viability, and the sperm count in men while balancing and regulating the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in women.
Potential Health Risks From Eating Oysters
Since most people eat oysters raw, there are some rare health risks. Oysters can contain a harmful bacteria known as Vibrio Bulnificus. This bacterium is linked to serious illnesses and can even be fatal.
There is no way to know if the oysters you consume have been contaminated, because there is no difference in the way they look, smell, or taste. Symptoms usually begin 24 to 48 hours after you have eaten the infected oysters and may include nausea, chills, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and even shock.
Those most at risk are people with diabetes, liver disease, and cancer. Heavy drinkers are also at greater risk.
If you or anyone else you know experiences these symptoms after eating raw oysters, please seek emergency care immediately.
In conclusion, oysters are a nutritious seafood and global cuisine that can provide you with many health promoting benefits.
Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the Founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She has several years of experience in content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies. She is the author of the romantic and rare memoir, Passion of Flames. Isabella is currently working to spread awareness on the dangers and inhumanity of human sex trafficking. She has special interests in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, and natural healing as it pertains to the body, mind and soul. When Isabella is not writing, she enjoys playing the violin, learning new languages (currently Italian), and reading books of substance.
1. Health Fitness Revolution. “Top 10 Health Benefits of Oysters.” Health Fitness Revolution, May 5, 2022. https://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-oysters/.
2. Contributors, WebMD Editorial. “Oysters: Are They Good for You? Pros and Cons, Nutrition Information, and More.” WebMD. WebMD. Accessed September 8, 2022. https://www.webmd.com/diet/oysters-good-for-you.
3. Mary McMahon Last Modified Date: August 05, Mary McMahon Date: August 05, Mary McMahon Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, and Mary McMahon Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago. “What Are Oysters?” All Things Nature, August 5, 2022. https://www.allthingsnature.org/what-are-oysters.htm.
4. “Healing Powers of Oysters Could Mend Human Bones.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, October 30, 2007. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/healing-powers-of-oysters-could-mend-human-bones-395527.html.