What are Oysters?
Oysters-the seafood make up a family of a large number of salt-water bivalve mollusks that are often found in brackish habitats. They are very irregular in shape with a soft un-segmented body protected by two permanent hard shells, which increase in size with growth. This marine bivalve belongs to the family. Ostreidae, which comprises three genera; Crassostrea, Ostrea and Pyncnodonta.
The two shells (valves) of oysters tend to be highly calcified. Oysters are typically harvested in the spring and summer months and then transported to processing facilities, where they are shucked, washed, and packed into containers for shipment. Oysters are eaten raw, grilled, baked, broiled, steamed, poached, fried and simmered. They are usually served with lemon juice, butter, salt, pepper, and sometimes Tabasco sauce. Oysters are considered a delicacy due to their rich flavour and texture.
What are the types of Oysters?
Kumamotos are widely cultivated in Japan and the West Coast. They spawn in warmer water than other oysters, so they remain firm and sweet into the summer months. Concerning their flavour profile, these oysters have a metallic, savoury, and salty taste and a slightly crispy texture. They have a profoundly fluted, sharp, pointy and almost bowl-shaped shell and can be up to 7.5 cm in length. Kumamotos have white flesh inside that has a creamy, sweet, buttery, meaty, and salty taste with some melon notes.
The Pacific Oyster is also known as the Japanese Oyster or Miyagi. These oysters have a mild and crisp flavour with a very high level of saltiness. They can grow up to 3.5 inches in size, perfect to be eaten with those oyster types of forks you see in seafood restaurants. These oysters have light brown meat that has a creamy and metallic flavour. They have sweet overtones and a sort of 'coppery' finish. Pacific oysters have fluted, elongated shells that are rough & jagged, and their colors run from grey to green to purple.
The Olympia oyster is native to the Pacific Northwest. It was named after the Greek city of Olympia, where the first modern Olympic Games were held. The Olympia oyster is known for its large size and firm meat. They are usually between 4 and 6 inches in length. They have the delicious and unique flavour of smoky copper and celery salt. Their shells are thick and hard, making them perfect for eating raw.
What are the Benefits of Oysters? Are they good for you?
Rich Source of all Nutrients
Oysters are packed with all essential nutrients and are believed to help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. The adults should consume between two and four servings per week. The nutritional facts of Oysters are discussed below:
Vitamin B12: 538% of the Daily Value (DV)
Zinc: 555% of DV
Copper: 493% of DV
Protein: 9 grams
Iron: 40% of DV
Calcium: 7% of DV
Vitamin E: 9% of DV
Phosphorus: 12% of DV
Manganese: 20% of DV
Keeps Brain Healthy
Oysters contain Vitamin B12, which is essential for the production of red blood cells and DNA synthesis. It helps maintain normal nerve function in the brain. It is also needed for the proper functioning of the immune system. Eating just 3-4 raw oysters per week could increase the supply of polyphenols in the brain by 30%, meaning you could potentially reduce your risk of developing dementia and improve your cognitive function.
Good for Bones Health
According to nutrition experts, oysters contain up to 10 times the amount of calcium per serving than milk, making them one of the best foods for bone health, especially in women over 50. A large study published in Osteoporosis International in 2007 showed that menopausal women who ate three servings of oysters each week significantly reduced their risk of developing osteoporosis compared to those eating less than one serving per month.
Source of Selenium
Selenium is an essential element needed for the normal functioning of the human body. It helps maintain a healthy immune system, thyroid gland, skin, hair, nails, and eyes. Selenium is also necessary for the proper production of thyroid hormones. The shells of oysters contain large amounts of selenium. They are also low in calories, making them a great snack option. If you're trying to eat healthily, getting enough nutrients from food alone can be challenging, especially regarding selenium.