Love ’em or hate ’em, oysters are a staple of cuisines all over the world. Some people shudder at the thought of slurping down the slimy inside. Others can’t get enough of the briny flavor. Whatever camp you are in, you should know the health benefits hidden behind the rough shells.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
These mollusks pack a solid dose of both vitamin E and C. They also contain various other minerals that help our immune system. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of oysters also protect against free radicals, which are released during cellular metabolism.
Oysters positively influence heart health. They reduce the plaque that accumulates on arteries by inhibiting it from binding to the artery walls and blood vessels. Moreover, the high magnesium and potassium content in oysters helps lower blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels. The vitamin E increases the flexibility and strength of cellular membranes.
Good for Eyes:
Oysters top the list of natural sources of zinc, the mineral that ensures that the eye’s pigment is adequately produced in the retina. The more zinc, the stronger your eyesight, because reduced pigmentation is often related to a reduction in the central visual field of vision.
Improves Brain Function:
Oysters are a rich source of B12, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and iron, benefiting both brain function. Studies have shown that low iron in the brain reduces the ability of a person to concentrate while zinc deficiency can affect the memory.
Due to the high levels of zinc found in these sea dwellers, they are known to stabilize mood. Zinc is considered an essential mineral because it is not stored by the body and needs to be consumed through diet. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increased serum blood concentrations of zinc in children were associated with decreased anxiety and depression. Another study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adequate zinc intake was effective at reducing anger and depression in young women.
Good for the Skin:
The powerful mineral zinc plays a big role in skin repair by helping create and boost collagen. Collagen is crucial for the structural support in skin and reduces sagging. It also helps maintain stronger nails, and keeps scalp and hair healthy.
Healthy vascular system and blood vessels:
A serving of oysters contains 16-18% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps fight cardiovascular disease by activating the coenzymes the body needs to make norepinephrine- a chemical essential for nerve function. They are also high in omega–3 fatty acids, potassium, and magnesium which are known to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and also effective at lowering blood pressure.
Oysters contain a good amount of B12 vitamins, which boost energy and turn the food we eat into energy. Recent studies suggest anywhere from 15-40% of Americans don’t have adequate levels of B12 for optimal health. Oysters also contain iron, which helps the body transport oxygen to individual cells giving an energy boost.
The Presence of selenium, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium found in these mollusks lead to stronger bone health and density. Also, according to an article in The Independent, French biologists have been studying the way oysters produce nacre (mother-of-pearl), and believe the process could be replicated to provide cures and preventative treatments for osteoporosis, arthritis, and certain skin complaints.
The zinc found in oysters is why they are considered an age-old aphrodisiac! Zinc helps the body produce testosterone, a hormone critical in regulating women’s and men’s libido and sexual function. In men, research suggests that this mineral improves sperm count and swimming ability. In women, zinc may help ovaries, and therefore help in balancing and regulating the combination of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.