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Health Benefits of Oysters

Last Updated on Feb 08, 2016
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What are Oysters?

Oysters are unusual, delicious molluscs that are eaten throughout the world. The oysters with the scientific family name of Ostreidae have been eaten as a delicacy for at least 700 years.


The edible component is the meat inside the oyster, and once the shell has been cracked, it can be cooked in a variety of ways.

Nutritional Information of Oysters

Whether you love them raw, fried, or on the half shell, oysters can provide you with a host of health benefits such as high levels of heart and brain-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids and enough zinc to keep your mojo flowing all night.

Health Benefits of Oysters

They can increase glutathione levels and help counteract fatigue, improve immunity and enhance sexual health.

The impressive health benefits of oysters come from its vast stockpiles of minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds.

Health Benefits of Oysters

For centuries, oysters have been eaten raw. However, some people opt for oyster sauce or take oyster supplements.

Oyster sauce is used in Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese cuisines as a tempering while cooking noodles, vegetables and stir fries or as a marinade. It is made by slowly simmering oysters in water until the juices caramelize into a thick, brown and intensely flavourful sauce. A vegetarian version of oyster sauce is made using oyster mushrooms.


Oyster Extract is useful for the body and liver cleansing as it promotes secretion of bile and enhances liver functions. Oyster shell calcium supplements are used to treat osteoporosis, indigestion and heartburn. These supplements are also useful for post-menopausal osteoporosis prevention. Oyster capsules arenít only high in zinc; they include numerous compounds, which benefit general health. They help in boosting glutathione levels, which aid in transportation of proteins and nutrients into the cell, energy production and in slowing down the aging process.

Aphrodisiac: The legendary lover, Casanova was said to have consumed 50 oysters for breakfast each morning, for its spectacular sexual benefits. Zinc has been closely linked to sexual dysfunction in men, while impotence and erectile dysfunction are closely associated with zinc deficiency. As an abundant source of zinc, oysters can help boost sexual performance and libido in men. Oysters increase dopamine levels, which boosts the level of sex hormones.

Oysters Boost Sexual Performance

Brain food: Oysters are good sources of Vitamin B 12, Omega 3 fats, iron and zinc, which boost memory and brain functioning. Low iron reserves reduce the ability to concentrate, whereas lower levels of zinc affect memory. Omega 3 fatty acids are a key component in brain functioning.

Weight Loss: Oysters represent one of the most nutrient-packed foods with the lowest calories versus its serving size. Compared to an equal serving size of chicken, oysters provide nearly half the calories making them a dieterís dream.

Heart Health: Oysters can positively impact heart health in a variety of ways. The high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the chances of plaque accumulation thereby reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis. The potassium and magnesium content of oysters help in lowering blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

Wound Healing and Immunity: The unprecedented levels of zinc in oysters result in a number of health benefits, including quicker wound healing rates, and a strong immune system to combat various infections.

Blood Circulation: Oysters are a fair source of iron, which is a key component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to the cells. A steady supply of oxygen makes the various organ systems function efficiently and boosts the overall metabolic rate of the body. Being an animal source, the bioavailability of iron in the oysters is considerably high.

Oysters Helps in Blood Circulation

Bone Health: The blend of bone-friendly minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc and copper contribute in their own way to increasing bone mineral density, thereby protecting from osteoporosis.


Potential Health Risks

In addition to the risk of shellfish allergies or accidental zinc overdose, oysters pose a potential health risk because of their moderately high cholesterol content. As oysters absorb nutrients from the areas where they grow, it is possible that some oysters contain pollutants and certain toxins, which can be detrimental to health. Furthermore, the high sodium content can be dangerous for people who are already at a risk from heart diseases or high blood pressure.

Eat oysters as a treat once in a while, and you can enjoy the vast wealth of health benefits they have to offer.

Oysters Health Risk Heart Disease


Here are some recipes that can be cooked using canned smoked oysters.

Smoked Oyster and Potato Salad:


  • 300 gm potatoes
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 can of smoked oysters (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil potatoes in salted water to for 12 to 15 minutes till they just become tender. Dice the potatoes.
  • Toss the potatoes together with all remaining ingredients except lettuce leaves and season with salt and pepper. Serve potato salad over lettuce leaves.

Smoked Oyster Macaroni:


  • 1 can of smoked oysters
  • 1 medium finely chopped onion
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp refined flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups boiled macaroni
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Add butter to a saucepan. Mix refined flour and milk together and add to the saucepan, stirring continuously.
  • In another pan, add only the smoky oil from the can of oysters. Cook onions in the smoky oil till they become translucent. Add the smoked oysters and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the oysters are cooked, add them to the white sauce mixture.
  • Add macaroni, salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

Smoked Oyster Burgers:


  • 1 can Smoked Oysters, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 6 whole wheat buns
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl mix yogurt, celery and parsley until they blend well. Fold in oysters. Add salt and pepper.
  • Heat the burger buns using little butter.
  • Spread the oyster mixture on the burger buns.

Mollusks, oyster, eastern, farmed, cooked, dry heat

The nutritional values of "Mollusks, oyster, eastern, farmed, cooked, dry heat" per 100 grams are:
Nutrition Summary
Total Calories 79
Protein 7 g
Fat 0.4 g
Carbohydrate 7.3 g
NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
Calcium, Ca 56 mg 5.6 %
Copper, Cu 1.43 mg 71.7 %
Iron, Fe 7.77  mg 43.17 %
Magnesium, Mg 33 mg 8.25 %
Manganese, Mn 0.42 mg 21.25 %
Phosphorus, P 115 mg 11.5 %
Potassium, K 152  mg 4.34 %
Selenium, Se 77.5 mcg 110.71 %
Sodium, Na 163 mg 6.79 %
Zinc, Zn 45.15 mg 301 %
Vitamin A 63  IU 1.26 %
Vitamin C 6 mg 10 %
Vitamin B6 0.08 mg 3.8 %
Vitamin E ~
Vitamin K ~
Riboflavin 0.06  mg 3.24 %
Thiamin 0.13 mg 8.67 %
Folate, DFE 24  mcg 6 %
Niacin 1.79  mg 8.96 %
Sugars ~
Fiber 0  g 0 %
Cholesterol 38 mg 12.67 %
Water 81.95 g
Carotene, alpha ~
Carotene, beta ~
Choline ~
Lycopene ~
View all +
Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
*Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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