Oysters are salt-water bivalve molluscs that live in bays and oceans.
They are a very popular type of shellfish and are served either raw or cooked. There are many different types of oysters, and their flavorful meat is widely considered to be a delicacy around the world.
You may have heard about the potential nutritional benefits of eating oysters. It’s true, oysters do contain large amounts of some important vitamins and minerals.
In this oyster nutrition facts article, we’re going to take a close look at exactly how much of the important vitamins and minerals oysters contain.
Some of the nutritional contents of oysters may surprise you, as they are extremely rich in certain minerals such as Zinc and Iron.
We’re also going to examine some of the potential risks of eating oysters, especially when they are raw.
So, without further ado, let’s start taking a closer look at the nutritional content of oysters.
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Oysters – The Nutrition Facts
Oysters are an excellent source of a number of important vitamins and minerals.
Editor's note: The health claims about the ingredients mentioned in this article are listed as authorised on the EU Register at the time of publishing.
You may have heard that oysters are rich in minerals such as Zinc and Iron, but how much does a serving actually contain of these important micronutrients?
The list below shows some of the important nutrients contained in a 100g serving of raw wild eastern oysters, as reported by the US Department of Agriculture.
A 100g serving of raw wild eastern oysters provides the following nutrients:
• Calories: 51
• Protein: 5.71g
• Fat: 1.71g
• Carbohydrate: 2.72g
Vitamins and Minerals in 100g of raw wild eastern oysters:
• Calcium: 59mg
• Iron: 4.61mg
• Magnesium: 18mg
• Phosphorus: 97mg
• Potassium: 156mg
• Sodium: 85mg
• Zinc: 39.3mg
• Copper: 2.8mg
• Manganese: 0.29mg
• Selenium: 19.7µg
• Riboflavin: 0.09mg
• Niacin: 0.9mg
• Pantothenic Acid: 0.2mg
• Vitamin B6: 0.03mg
• Vitamin B12: 8.75µg
• Choline: 65mg
• DHA: 136mg
• Total Omega-3 content: 435mg
As you can see for yourself, oysters are pretty nutrient dense, and they contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
In particular, oysters contain a good amount of the essential mineral Zinc. Zinc plays a number of important roles in the body, including the maintenance of normal serum testosterone levels, normal fertility and reproduction, normal cognitive function and normal macronutrient metabolism.
They also contain a decent amount of Iron. You probably already know some of the benefits of Iron. It contributes to normal energy release, normal cognitive function and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, amongst other things.
Oysters are a pretty good source of the essential vitamin, Vitamin B12. In case you didn’t know, Vitamin B12 contributes to normal energy release, the normal functioning of the immune system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Oysters also contain Potassium, which contributes to normal muscle function and the maintenance of normal blood pressure.
They also contain a decent amount of Choline. In case you didn’t know, Choline contributes to the maintenance of normal liver function and normal lipid (fat) metabolism.
Oysters do contain some, though not a huge amount, of Magnesium, which is an important essential mineral. Magnesium contributes to normal energy release, normal muscle function, normal psychological function and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, amongst other things.
Oysters contain some of the important essential mineral calcium. Calcium contributes to normal energy release, as well as the maintenance of normal teeth and bones.
Oysters are also a decent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These play a number of important roles in the body. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) in particular both contribute to the normal function of the heart.
So, as you can see for yourself, oysters do contain a number of important nutrients which can play some key roles in the body.
Are Oysters High In Zinc, Iron and Calcium?
Oysters are good sources of both Zinc and Iron – and they also contain a small amount of Calcium. All three are important essential minerals.
A 100g serving of raw wild eastern oysters provides 39.3mg of Zinc, which is more than four times the 9.5mg recommended daily intake for men and 7mg for women in the United Kingdom.
A 100g serving of raw wild eastern oysters provides 4.61mg of Iron, which is a decent amount. In the UK, men and women are recommended to consume at least 8.7mg or Iron per day, with women aged 19 to 50 recommended to consume 14.8mg of Iron per day.
A 100 serving of raw wild eastern oysters provides 59mg of Calcium. In the UK, it is recommended that you consume 700mg of Calcium per day.
Are Oysters High in Protein and Calories?
So what about the protein and calorie content of oysters?
Oysters are pretty nutrient dense and low in calories. A 100g serving of raw wild eastern oysters contains around 51 calories.
The same serving of 100g of raw wild eastern oysters contains around 5.71 grams of protein, 1.71 grams of fat and 2.72 grams of carbohydrates.
How Are Oysters Served?
Oysters are often served raw, with various garnishes.
It is important to note that eating oysters raw increases the risk of bacterial and viral infection (see below).
Oysters are also often served cooked. This is considered to be safer because the cooking process kills harmful bacteria.
Risks of Eating Oysters
As we mentioned above, oysters are a type of shellfish that are sometimes eaten raw.
If you are worried about the potential risks of eating oysters raw, then cooking them thoroughly can reduce the risk of bacterial infection.
Eating oysters and shellfish raw can increase your risk of exposure to Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
Oysters can also carry Norwalk-type viruses and enteroviruses that can pose health risks.
It is recommended that you only choose oysters with closed shells. Oysters with open shells should be discarded. The FDA also recommend that you discard any oysters whose shells do not open during cooking.
If you want to play it safe, it is probably a good idea to cook your oysters throughly before eating them and not eat them raw.
Anything Else To Consider?
Foods such as oysters should be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
As with all things in life, you shouldn’t have too much of one thing, and instead look for variety and balance in your diet and nutrition.
Please note that the information contained within this article is for entertainment purposes only, and does not constitute professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used as such.
We always recommend that you speak to certified medical professional about any concerns to do with your diet, and before making any changes to your nutrition plan.
It’s also always worth remembering that getting enough good quality sleep and exercising regularly are good starting points for good health.
Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
So, that brings us to the end of our detailed look at everything you need to know about oyster and their nutrition facts.
We’ve walked you through exactly how much of important vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Iron and Vitamin B12 oysters contain.
Oysters do contain a lot of important nutrients, and they are also fairly low in calories. They are also a source of Omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA.
If you are going to eat oysters, then having them thoroughly cooked can help to reduce the risk of bacterial or viral infection.