NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF OYSTERS
Oysters are naturally high in many essential vitamins and minerals including protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, and vitamin C.
Our bodies need Protein to build strong bones, muscles, skin, and cells. Because we can't store Protein in our bodies the way we can store carbohydrates, we need to make sure we get enough Protein every day.
What does Protein do for the skin?
Protein is a component of all the cells in the body and a building block of skin tissue. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of new Proteins for the body's constant reconstruction job. They are like Legos, coming in different shapes, sizes, and types that help construct collagen in the skin. It's a perfect economy, with the amino acids being recycled into new Proteins on a supply-and-demand basis.
Iron aids in transporting oxygen to the body's cells. Iron is a facilitator for regulating body temperature and also plays a key role in providing strength to the immune system.
What is the connection between Iron and anemia?
A lack of Iron in the body is the most common cause of anemia. Your body uses Iron to make hemoglobin and without the needed amount of Iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin. The main function of red blood cells is the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the body's cells and red blood cells contain the hemoglobin which carries that oxygen.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Oysters are loaded with Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are good for your joints, skin, vision, brain, heart, and helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. 100g (about 6 medium oysters) have 740mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The average recommended daily value is 1000mg for women and 600mg for men.
Here's how a daily dose of Omega-3 fatty acids can improve and protect your body's functioning:
- Lubricates joints - By keeping joints lubricated, you experience less grinding and less overall wear and tear - and thereby - less pain as you age.
- Decreases inflammation in inflamed joints.
- Fights wrinkles - As we age, fat cells in our skin's third layer thin out; Omega-3s help make that layer thicker and smooth. The effect? Wrinkles go away and skin becomes fuller. Protects Vision - Our eyes' retinas are membranous structures and the whole eye is covered in a soft double layer of membranes, making your eyes' health dependent on the liver. The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that feed and maintain those membranes. If you're deficient, it affects how we see by delaying the system that converts light into neural energy in the retina.
- Pumps the heart - Omega-3s reduce triglycerides, stabilize your heartbeat, make platelets "less sticky" and can even lower blood pressure.
- Attacks Acne - An inadequate intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids contributes to breakout-prone skin.
- Clears Cholesterol - Boosts levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and helps clear your arteries.
- Boosts the Brain - In keeping your arteries clear, you're immediately improving brain function. They also alter your neurotransmitters to help reduce depression.
Calcium is needed for strong bones, aids in blood clotting and activates enzymes to help with digestion.
What does Calcium do for the body, beyond building bones?
Calcium is actually responsible for a lot of things in your body. Proper amounts of calcium help keep your joints free of inflammation and arthritis, as well as help your muscles contract. Calcium also helps your brain communicate with your nerves, keeps your blood pressure normal and reduces the risk of colon cancer.
The majority of Americans get most of their Zinc from meat and poultry. A serving of oysters contains more Zinc than any other food per serving (76.7mg in 6 medium oysters!). This is more than 100% of the suggested daily amount of 8-11mg. Zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system which is needed for fighting illness and healing wounds. It also helps maintain your sense of taste and smell. Because your body has no natural way to store zinc, it's important to make sure you're getting your daily dose.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals, which may cause heart disease and cancer. It also helps your immune system and helps you heal from scrapes and bruises.
If Vitamin C is an antioxidant, what is the role of antioxidants in the body?
Antioxidants act like superhero nutrients in the body. They extinguish toxic oxygen molecules known as free radicals, the bad byproducts of cell renewal that are also produced by pollution and sun damage.
Pacific Oysters are naturally one of the most nutritionally well balanced of foods. They are low in fat, calories and cholesterol in addition to being high in protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc and vitamin C.
According to a study at the University of Washington, shellfish poses no danger to cholesterol levels. This study found that some of the most commonly eaten shellfish, including oysters, showed evidence of raising HDLs (good cholesterol levels) and lowering LDL's (bad cholesterol levels).