The Health Benefits of Oysters and Why You Should Eat Them
When it comes to these tasty group of mollusk only two things can happen, or you like them or you hate them, there is no middle ground, some don’t like the texture or the flavor but it can really provide many benefits for your body and that is no surprise since they have been part of the culinary world for at least 700 years, although they’re mostly eaten as a raw delicacy there are many things you can do with them.
1. Nutrition and benefits
You might not think that oysters are that big of a deal, but they actually bring a lot to the table, they are packed with many minerals and vitamins like zinc, iron, copper sodium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin C, B12 and D along with high protein values and also omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants making oysters an incredible source of benefits for your body.
They are amazing for losing weight because of the number of calories they have in comparison to the serving size, you can have all the benefits mentioned above that will undoubtedly improve your overall health without adding to many calories, in comparison with others meals that are preferred like meat or chicken they get for an equal serving the double of the calories that oysters give you.
Thanks to the omega 3 fatty acids levels that they oysters provide, they can affect the heart in many positive ways since the omega 3 acids are known as “healthy” cholesterol options in comparison with omega 6 acids, they prevent the cholesterol from binding in the blood vessels and artery walls and thus reducing the danger of cardiovascular diseases, they also help a lot when it comes to increasing the blood circulation and oxygenation, that is mostly associated with the sexual benefits that oysters provide for men.
2. Tasty delicacy
As many of you already know, oysters are delicious, quite a few might not like the idea of something slimy and raw, but there are oysters for every taste, since there are many kinds, there is one right for you, if you like a briny toughness then the East coast oysters like the Bluepoint, Malpeque or Duxbury are the right choice that can be enjoyed raw with some Prosecco, Riesling or Vinho Verde wine.
On the other hand the West coast oysters like Olympia, Kumamoto and kusshis are best enjoyed with wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon rosé, red wines are not recommended unless they are fruity and light bodied but these wines mentioned bring a good amount of acidity that just make a perfect combination with the oysters that unlike popular belief shall not be swallowed right away, you have to take a bite and then swallow, then you have a sip of wine that will clean your palate.
Some even choose beer instead of wine, being one of the favorite beers to have with oysters the stout, giving a whole other point of view of the experience and since the beer have so many kinds there are endless combinations, and for the truly bold they can be enjoyed with absinthe, the mint flavor and the oysters pack a punch to your palate making it an experience like no other.
3. Raw or cooked?
Many people believe that oysters are only eaten raw and slurped with some lime juice while taking a view of the beach, well, yes, that is a way to eat them but is not the only one, there are so many ways to make them that can easily be made to impress a date or for any social event, and here we present a few recipes.
#1 Tasso Butter Oysters
- 8 oysters
- 1 stick of butter (softened)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 8 ounces of finely diced tasso ham
- ½ cup of grated parmesan
- 1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
Shuck oysters. Combine the butter and garlic. Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 ounce of tasso ham, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pinch of Spice Mix. Grill over high heat until oysters curl and cheese melts.
#2 Char-Grilled oysters
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
Garlic Finishing Butter
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 24 oysters, shucked on the half shell
- 1 loaf Italian bread, sliced and charred on the grill
For the cheese topping: Mix the Parmesan, mozzarella, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley in a bowl and reserve for later use.
For the finishing butter: Place the butter, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, chopped garlic, granulated garlic and 1/2 cup water into a small pot on the stove. Slowly melt and whisk ingredients until incorporated.
For the oysters: Preheat the grill until it is very hot, about 400 degrees F.
Top each oyster with a liberal amount of the cheese mixture. Carefully place the oysters on the grill and close. Cook until the cheese is melted and the oysters are starting to get some color, about 10 minutes.
Remove the oysters from the grill with tongs and place them on a cookie sheet or a heat-proof surface.
Arrange 6 oysters per plate or leave on the large platter. Ladle some melted garlic butter over the oysters. Serve with grilled bread to soak up the juices and butter.
And there you have it, benefits, how to eat, and how to prepare, now you know what it takes to make a meal to impress a date or just to enjoy part of the gifts that the sea is offering, just take it easy with the wine.