Oysters are a healthy food with an impressive nutritional content. Eating them provides several wonderful health benefits for the brain, nervous, cardiovascular and immune system, thyroid gland and endocrine system, muscles and energy metabolism. From improving fertility and increasing pregnancy chances to reducing fatigue, boosting metabolism and energy levels, strengthening the immune system and preventing degenerative diseases of the nervous system, oysters are a good food for preserving good health.
How are oysters good for you? Eating oysters provides the following 8 amazing benefits:
1) More vitality and energy. The high zinc content of oysters has a revitalizing, energizing effect on the body. The nutrient plays an important part in protein synthesis and further impacts carbohydrate metabolism, with effects on blood sugar levels and energy metabolism. Oysters also provide important amounts of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins that regulate energy metabolism.
2) Good for the heart and other muscles. Oysters are rich in healthy fats like Omega-3 which help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. These healthy fats also help prevent the calcification of the interior walls of arteries which could restrict blood flow and cause hypertension. Oysters are also a good source of protein and essential and non-essential amino acids required for building muscle mass and repairing damaged muscle fibers, benefits which may extend onto the heart, also a muscle.
3) Stronger immune system. The zinc in oysters helps with the normal development of several types of white blood cells, including neutrophils, T cells, B cells and NK cells. Zinc also reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, lowering the risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Vitamin D controls the production of inflammatory cytokines, with benefits on the immune function. More exactly, a generous intake of vitamin D has been shown to improve autoimmune disorders like autoimmune hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. A severe deficiency increases the risk for autoimmune disorders and encourages their progression.
4) Good for thyroid health. Oysters are a source of selenium and iodine, two nutrients that help preserve thyroid health. Selenium and iodine deficiency cause hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid produces too little hormone. This has serious implications on the health of other systems and organs and affects the endocrine system primarily, causing infertility especially in women. Symptoms of hypothyroidism also include poor metabolism, weight gain, fatigue and depression. Eating oysters is thus good for the thyroid and helps combat fatigue, raise energy levels, boost fertility and mood.
5) Increases fertility naturally. Eating oysters boosts fertility naturally because of high contents of zinc and vitamin D. Research reveals a diet sufficient in zinc boosts male fertility significantly. Moreover, zinc is required for estrogen and progesterone production, the two hormones behind what is essentially female fertility. Women with a sufficient dietary intake of zinc have been found to have better quality eggs and enjoy a balance of hormones that favors fertility and pregnancy.
Vitamin D determines female fertility by helping the uterus and eggs reach a level of maturity that supports pregnancy development. Vitamin D is also present in the placenta and its role is to sustain normal growth and development of the child in the womb. Oysters are also good for pregnancy because they provide important DHA Omega-3 fatty acids which help with brain development of children in the womb.
6) Food for the brain. Oysters and other shellfish, fish and marine life are abundant in a special form of Omega-3 called DHA. This particular type of Omega-3 is one the human body cannot synthesize in the amounts it needs and requires it from dietary sources. DHA Omega-3 from oysters is physically part of the brain, making up the cell membranes of nerve cells. It promotes cognitive development of children in the early years of life, maintains normal cognitive functions in adults and may even help prevent early onset dementia.
7) Protects from memory loss, dementia, multiple sclerosis. Oysters are a source of DHA Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Both nutrients have been shown to enhance memory and learning and reduce the risk of degenerative disease of the nervous system that cause memory loss and loss of motor functions. Both the fats and vitamin B12 help preserve the myelin sheath, the protective coating surrounding the tail of nerve cells. Deficiencies have been linked with the deterioration of the myelin sheath and are suspected to cause dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis etc.
8) Improved sleep, better mood, combats depression. Oysters contain quality protein and protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are used by the brain to synthesize neurotransmitters and regulate cognitive functions and emotions with benefits on mood, appetite and sleep. Furthermore, eating oysters supplies important nutrients such as B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine, selenium and magnesium, all of which help improve mood, regulate sleep and appetite, normalize metabolism, combat fatigue and other benefits.
Whatever benefit you may be looking to achieve from eating oysters, remember there are risks associated with consuming them raw. Raw oysters may be carriers of pathogenic bacteria that cause severe gastroenteritis and even sepsis in those with a compromised immune function. So make sure to check the origin of your oysters, learn how to tell if raw oysters are good or bad or choose cooked oysters over raw ones to avoid side effects. Other than this, know that eating oysters favors good health and has benefits for the thyroid, endocrine system, boosts immunity, male and female fertility, energy levels, enhances brain functions and preserves nervous system health.