August 5 was National Oyster Day!
Oysters are enjoyed in many parts of the world, and are considered a delicacy. Oysters are a New England coastal favorite, especially during the summertime! There are over 100 species of oysters, and their taste varies in flavor according to their location. East coast oysters tend to be smaller and saltier, whereas west coast oysters tend to be larger and creamier.
These small sea creatures are very nutritious. Oysters are low in calories yet loaded with nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals: A serving of oysters provides over 100% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin B12, zinc, and copper, and over 75% of your daily needs for selenium and vitamin D!
‘Good’ fat: Oysters are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is beneficial in many ways: it can lower cardiovascular mortality risk, can benefit brain health, has anti inflammatory properties, which decreases risk of chronic disease, as well as reduce symptoms of high blood pressure.
Protein: Not just the amount, but the type of protein you eat matters! Oysters oysters offer seven grams of protein for only 68 calories, which rivals lean red meat for protein density. And unlike lean red meat, oysters contain a high amount of omega-3, which means they offer a high amount of quality protein.
Zinc: Zinc plays an important role in your body – it helps promote immunity, protein and DNA synthesis, as well as general growth and development. In fact, oysters are the world’s best dietary source of the mineral!
Vitamin D: Among its many functions, vitamin D promotes bone health and modulates cells, immune function, and inflammation. Also, it even has anti-cancer properties. Sunshine is the single best source of vitamin D, but we can also get it from our diet, and oysters are one of the best sources.
Vitamin B12: This is important for maintaining healthy blood cells and nerves, and it plays an essential role in DNA synthesis. When people think of vitamin B12, red meat usually comes to mind. However, oysters offer far more of this nutrient than any typical meat!
Oysters are indeed delicious, but you have to be careful when eating them raw. A bad oyster can make you feel ill or lead to food poisoning. However, you can still enjoy oysters if you prefer not to eat them raw! Oysters can be grilled, steamed, or fried. Steaming oysters is the healthiest option, and keeps the original flavors most intact!
Now we know just how good oysters are for you, time to start slurping!
Did you know:
-The world loves oysters! We consume almost two billion pounds of oysters each year around the world.
-Only one out of every 10,000 oysters will produce a pearl.