• Shaina Painter

Functional Food: Oysters

Unknown fact: Oysters are secretly my favorite food. They are often recognized as an aphrodisiac, but I am sharing all the functional nutrition benefits these little shell dwellers contain that you may not know.



I learned about the nutritional benefits of oysters roughly 2-3 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Weirdly, I love the taste, texture, and most likely placebo, but I feel awesome after eating 6-8 oysters. Note: I eat these babies maybe once a month or every other month (and I'll share a bit more why below).


 

O Y S T E R S



 

N U T R I T I O N F A C T S



1 medium, 4oz oyster contains:

- Protein: 7g

- Vitamin D: 80% of the RDI

- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 7% of the RDI

- Niacin (vitamin B3): 7% of the RDI

- Vitamin B12: 324% of the RDI

- Iron: 37% of the RDI

- Magnesium: 12% of the RDI

- Phosphorus: 14% of the RDI

- Zinc: 605% of the RDI

- Copper: 223% of the RDI

- Manganese: 18% of the RDI

- Selenium: 91% of the RDI



Oysters are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, known to be an important component for integumentary (skin, joint), cardiovascular and neurological health as well as inflammation regulation. 100g (about 6 medium oysters) of oysters contain 740mg of Omega 3's. For reference, the average recommended DV for Omega 3's is 1000mg for women and 600mg for men. Oysters also contain 3,5-Dihydroxy-4-methoxybenzyl alcohol (DHMBA), a free-radical scavenger and metal ion chelator thus exhibiting antioxidant actions.



Oysters can be ingested raw or cooked. When consumed raw, it is important to know where the oyster is sourced. Oysters that are raised in dirty, unnatural environments can develop Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a pathogen more dangerous than salmonella. I recommend doing your research on the best months to purchase oysters, ask restaurants where they are sourced from and the practices of the farm to ensure safety.


Due to the amount of selenium, iodine, and zinc within oysters, they are a fantastic food for individuals suffering from hypothyroidism. These micronutrients are critical building blocks to convert thyroxine (T4) into triiodothyronine (T3), the active form of thyroid hormone. Hence, why I love these guys so much!


 


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