Health Benefits of Oysters

by Chuck Edwards

Oysters are often a staple of a seafood-rich diet. While small, their health benefits are great. Many people, both young and old, men and women, can benefit from the nutritional value of these sea creatures.

Zinc

For men, oysters can be key in the proper development and maintenance of their hormones. These sea creatures are rich in zinc, a key element in the production of testosterone. Zinc, however, is not beneficial solely to men. It is a multi-faceted mineral that can aid in energy production, DNA repair, and cardio-respiratory functioning. More importantly, zinc deficiencies often lead to a loss of appetite, slow growth, decreased ability to heal wounds, and hair loss. Lower levels of zinc can also increase risk of infections, and inhibit smell and taste.

Protein

Oysters also provide an excellent source of protein, most specifically tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid–the building block of all proteins–that helps regulate mood and stress levels in the brain.

A diet rich in oysters will also help maintain collagen levels in the skin. This allows the skin to retain its elasticity, and delays the onset of wrinkles. Oysters also contain high levels of calcium, iron, and vitamin A, which are essential for healthy bones, blood, and eyesight, respectively.

Fat and Cholesterol

Perhaps just as important as what oysters have is what they do not contain. These sea creatures are low in cholesterol, containing only 55 mg per serving (generally considered to be six medium oysters.) In addition, the fat content of these sea creatures is minimal–only about two grams of fat per serving.

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