Part of transitioning to a healthy diet is building in lots of nutrient-dense real foods. Nutrient density means there’s lots of value packed into every calorie, as opposed to consuming empty calories. Nutrient-dense foods are more nourishing to the body, and are also more satisfying, preventing overeating.
Oysters are an incredibly nutrient-dense food. They contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids for robust brain and heart health, plus Atlantic oysters are the richest known animal source of zinc. Animal-based zinc is much more digestible than plant-based zinc from nuts and seeds.
Since oysters spend their lives immersed in mineral rich water, they become rich sources of those minerals, including iodine, selenium, and magnesium, along with vitamin A and B-12.
Oysters traditionally have the best flavor during the autumn and winter months. This is because they spawn in spring and summer, resulting in a thinner, less tasty meat. The warmer seasons also encourage more growth of algae and bacteria, which bring toxins that can be harbored in seafood. This is generally not a concern with modern farming, since cultivated oysters are now grown with methods that nullify the effect of the seasons and are strictly regulated for safety.
Experts recommend choosing oysters that are from a source as close to your home as possible, so they will have spent less time out of the ocean water.
Oysters have a reputation for inspiring diners to heat things up in the bedroom after their meal (a special type of dessert?) While this isn’t supported by scientific studies, the long-standing myth may be founded in the fact that zinc is one of the main constituents of semen, and a lack of it can contribute to impotence.
This may be because zinc acts as an antioxidant preventing deterioration of the sperm and stabilizing their DNA. It seems that the impotence resulting from a lack of zinc is a protective measure to prevent conception with damaged sperm. The body also needs zinc to produce testosterone, which supports the sex drive of both men and women. Oysters are a source of dopamine, too, which can leave us feeling a little “friendlier”!
The body also needs zinc to produce testosterone, which supports the sex drive of both men and women. Oysters are a source of dopamine, too, which can leave us feeling a little “friendlier”!
The Pacific oyster has a high ability to reproduce, and its reproductive parts can form at least 50 percent of its entire meat volume. Perhaps there is some sort of energetic “translation factor” when we consume these virile parts!
The important role of zinc in the body
Zinc is the second most plentiful element in the body, after iron. It is used in cells throughout the body for cell division and for cell growth in wound healing. It helps support the workings of the immune system and healthy growth during gestation and childhood.
Interestingly, zinc is also vital for the proper function of our sense of smell and taste. We also need zinc to properly break down carbohydrates.
When zinc is lacking, we can experience frequent illness, poor ability to heal, loss of hair, and skin sores. Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc, but it can also be obtained from other protein-rich foods, such as beef, pork, lamb, or the dark meat of chicken. Nuts and legumes also contain zinc, although other plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables are usually poor sources. The zinc from animal foods are much more usable by the body.
Six raw oysters contain approximately 32 milligrams of zinc, while cooking reduces the content to about 27 milligrams. The government currently recommends a minimum of about 10 mg a day, so a healthy consumption of red meats and oysters a few times a week will cover your nutritional needs.
Enjoy oysters as a nourishing, sustainable and mood-elevating treat.