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- Nutrivore Score for Pacific Oysters – 2255
- Pacific Oyster Nutrition Facts
- Pacific Oyster Nutrition Varies With Cooking
- Oyster Nutrition Varies With Type
- Pacific Oysters Provide 767% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Pacific Oysters Provide 316% DV EPA+DHA
- Pacific Oysters Provide 201% DV Copper
- Pacific Oysters Provide 174% DV Zinc
- Pacific Oysters Provide 161% DV Selenium
- Pacific Oysters Provide 157% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
- Pacific Oysters Provide 456.2 mg of Taurine
- Pacific Oysters Provide 48% DV Iodine
- Pacific Oysters Provide 33% DV Iron
- Pacific Oysters Provide 32% DV Manganese
- Pacific Oysters Provide 10.9 g of Protein
- Pacific Oysters Provide 21% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- How Much Pacific Oysters Should We Eat Per Day?
Granted they make not look appetizing, given their slimy appearance, still, oysters are consumed all around the world and are thought of as a delicacy (even though in the 19th century they were considered a working-class food). Whether you slurp them down on the half shell at a raw oyster bar or enjoy them smoked or baked, it’s worth the effort to find a way to overlook their “ickiness” and intentionally incorporate this nutritious shellfish into your diet.
Shellfish is a general term used to describe aquatic invertebrates with exoskeletons consumed as food, which basically means animals without backbones that live in the water and have some type of shell (even though they are not actually fish!). Bivalves are shellfish with a hinged two-part shell (called valves) found both in saltwater and freshwater environments and living everywhere from the tropics to the freezing Arctic. They’re incredibly ancient creatures, first appearing in the fossil record more than 500 million years ago! There are currently over 9,000 known living species of bivalves throughout the world, though humans only cultivate and routinely eat a small portion of those, including popular foods such as clams, mussels and oysters.
Oyster is a common name given to a number of different families of salt-water bivalve molluscs, usually irregular in shape and highly calcified. There are edible oysters which include the popular Atlantic oysters, European flats, Olympia oysters, Pacific oysters (the most widely grown bivalve in the world) and Sydney rock oysters, while some oysters belong to a different family altogether and are harvested for the pearls they produce (both cultured and natural) in response to an irritant within their shell. Oysters are ancient creatures and evolved in the Early Triassic period (~250 million years ago) and have been consumed by humans since prehistoric times as evidenced by middens (piles of ancient shell remains) found worldwide. They have been cultivated in Japan since 2000 BC and in Europe since Roman times. Today, they are farmed in many parts of the world including Australia, China, France, Japan, and numerous places within the USA, most famously Chesapeake Bay. While it’s true this means we have access to this shellfish, the only problem is accessing this shellfish. Oyster shucking (aka opening) requires skill and has even become a competitive sport where professional “shuckers” are capable of opening shells in under three seconds! While it might take us “commoners” longer, it’s worth the effort to get to the prize inside!
Not only are oysters tasty, they are great for the environment too! These creatures are filter feeders with studies showing individual oysters are capable of filtering up to 50 gallons (189 litres) of water per day! This is why oyster reefs are gaining popularity as a means to restore ecosystems – by improving water quality, eliminating pollutants and providing habitats for hundreds of animals (oyster reefs increase the surface area of the bottom by up to fifty-fold). Jonathon Swift said it best when he remarked “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.” True, but it’s a good thing he or she did – now that we know all the benefits this seafood has to offer, it’s easy to follow suit.
Nutrivore Score for Pacific Oysters – 2255
Pacific oysters have a Nutrivore Score of 2255, making them a super nutrient-dense food! Plus, they are a low-carb food; Pacific oysters have 5.7 grams of net carbs per 115 gram serving.
Per serving, Pacific oysters are a best source (>50% daily value) of copper, EPA+DHA, selenium, taurine, vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and zinc; an excellent source (20-50% daily value) of iodine, iron, manganese, protein, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin); and a good source (10-20% daily value) of phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and vitamin C.
Pacific Oyster Nutrition Facts
One serving of Pacific oysters is standardized to 115 grams (4 ounces). The average weight of a medium-sized oyster is 50 grams, which means: a 115-gram serving of Pacific oysters roughly equates to between 2 and 3 medium-sized oysters. When you cook Pacific oysters, they reduce in volume by approximately 50%: 100 grams raw Pacific oysters is equivalent to 50 grams cooked Pacific oysters.
|Pacific oyster, raw||Nutrivore Score: 2255||Nutrient Density: Super!|
|Serving Size: 4 ounces (115 grams)||Protein: 10.9 grams||Net Carbohydrates: 5.7 grams|
|Calories: 93||Total Fat: 2.6 grams||Dietary Fiber: 0.0 grams|
|Vitamin A||93.2 μg RAE||10% DV|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||77.1 μg||6% DV|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||268.0 μg||21% DV|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||2.3 mg||14% DV|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||0.6 mg||12% DV|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||57.5 μg||3% DV|
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin)||47.2 μg||157% DV|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||11.5 μg||3% DV|
|Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)||18.4 μg||767% DV|
|Vitamin C||9.2 mg||10% DV|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||1.2 μg||6% DV|
|Vitamin E||1.0 mg||7% DV|
|Vitamin K||1.0 μg||1% DV|
|Calcium||9.2 mg||1% DV|
|Copper||1812.4 μg||201% DV|
|Iodine||72.6 μg||48% DV|
|Iron||5.9 mg||33% DV|
|Magnesium||25.3 mg||6% DV|
|Manganese||739.5 μg||32% DV|
|Phosphorus||186.3 mg||15% DV|
|Potassium||193.2 mg||4% DV|
|Selenium||88.6 μg||161% DV|
|Sodium||121.9 mg||5% DV|
|Zinc||19.1 mg||174% DV|
|AMINO ACIDS & PEPTIDES|
Pacific Oyster Nutrition Varies With Cooking
The Nutrivore Score of Pacific oysters varies depending on the method of preparation (they don’t have to be eaten raw!).
|Pacific oyster, cooked, moist heat||2106|
|Pacific oyster, raw||2255|
Oyster Nutrition Varies With Type
There are many types of oysters, each with their own unique taste and nutrient profile, which means their Nutrivore Scores also vary. Their Nutrivore Score also depends on the way in which they were raised (farmed or wild-caught). Typically wild-caught shellfish will have higher levels of nutrients which results in higher Nutrivore Scores, but including any type of shellfish in our diet, farmed or wild-caught, will result in plenty of health benefits! Maximize all the nutrition that oysters have to offer by incorporating different types into your diet.
|Eastern oyster, farmed, raw||2974|
|Eastern oyster, wild, raw||3049|
|Pacific oyster, raw||2255|
Health Benefits of Pacific Oyster Nutrients
Let’s take a closer look at all of the best and excellent source of nutrients found in a 4-ounce serving of Pacific oysters and see how they benefit our health.
Pacific Oysters Provide 767% DV Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Pacific oysters are a phenomenal source of vitamin B12 (cobalamin), providing an astounding 767% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor for enzymes involved in energy metabolism, red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter production, nervous system health, and folate metabolism. As a result of these roles, vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining brain and nervous system health, and may have a protective effect against dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. There’s also some evidence vitamin B12 may be cancer-protective, possibly through supporting folate metabolism (which then assists in repairing DNA damage). Learn more about vitamin B12 here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 316% DV EPA+DHA
Pacific oysters are an outstanding source of EPA+DHA, providing an impressive 316% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long-chain omega-3 fats that play important roles in neurological health, immune function, eye health and vision, inflammation, pain signaling, gut health, fetal development, and some aspects of cardiovascular health (like triglyceride levels and blood clotting). They exert many of their effects by helping form chemical messengers called prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes. EPA and DHA also serve as a structural component of the cell membrane, influencing important properties such as membrane fluidity and permeability. Small amounts of them can be synthesized from a shorter-chain omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Learn more about EPA and DHA here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 201% DV Copper
Pacific oysters are a fantastic source of copper, providing a whopping 201% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Copper is a trace mineral that’s essential for all living organisms. Copper serves as a component of numerous enzymes and proteins in the body, giving it diverse roles in the growth, development, and maintenance of various organs (including the heart and brain), bone, and connective tissue. Copper is also involved in glucose and cholesterol metabolism, helps regulate gene expression, can scavenge free radicals, and is needed for the production of red blood cells. Learn more about copper here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 174% DV Zinc
Pacific oysters are an awesome source of zinc, providing 174% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that serves as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes and 1000 transcription factors, giving it important roles in immune function, sensory organ function, reproduction, gene regulation, DNA synthesis, wound healing, and the metabolism and activity of multiple other nutrients. Research shows it can reduce the duration of the common cold when taken shortly after the onset of illness, and can also benefit immune health in the elderly and among HIV/AIDS patients. Some studies also suggest a protective role of zinc in neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and depression. Learn more about zinc here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 161% DV Selenium
Pacific oysters are very high in selenium, providing 161% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Selenium is a trace mineral needed by all mammals to sustain life. It serves as a component of the non-proteinogenic amino acids selenocysteine and selenomethionine, and also helps form over two dozen selenoproteins involved in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense, DNA synthesis, and immunity. Observational research suggests selenium could play a protective role against cancer, heart disease, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease, although human trials have generally been lacking or contradictory. There’s also evidence that selenium can play a preventative role in asthma and inflammatory bowel disease, while also reducing mortality in patients with sepsis. Learn more about selenium here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 157% DV Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Pacific oysters are an amazing source of vitamin B7 (biotin), providing 157% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. Like other B vitamins, it plays an important role in energy metabolism (serving as a coenzyme for five carboxylase enzymes), neurotransmitter production, cellular function, and the function of various organs. Getting enough biotin can help support healthy nail and hair growth. It’s also particularly important during pregnancy, with low intakes increasing the risk of premature delivery and birth defects. There’s even some evidence biotin can benefit diabetics and reduce functional disabilities in people with multiple sclerosis. Learn more about biotin here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 456.2 mg of Taurine
Pacific oysters are a fantastic source of taurine, providing 456.2 mg of taurine per 4-ounce serving!
Taurine is a non-proteinogenic amino sulfonic acid that supports neurological development, serves as a major component of bile (which helps to digest fats), and plays a role in water and mineral regulation within the blood (including through membrane stabilization and calcium signaling). Taurine also regulates the immune system and serves as an important antioxidant, and it plays a role in cardiovascular function and the development of skeletal muscle.
Pacific Oysters Provide 48% DV Iodine
Pacific oysters are an excellent source of iodine, providing 48% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Iodine is a trace mineral that serves as a structural component of thyroid hormones, giving it a major role in thyroid health and function. As a result, it’s involved in regulating metabolism, reproductive function, fatty acid release, carbohydrate absorption, growth, and development. Consuming adequate amounts is particularly important during pregnancy (for preventing complications like preeclampsia, preterm delivery, miscarriage, and stillbirth) and during childhood (where it supports central nervous system development). Untreated iodine deficiency can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism. Learn more about iodine here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 33% DV Iron
Pacific oysters are also an excellent source of iron, providing 33% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Iron is a mineral required for the metabolism of all living organisms. It’s needed for the function of numerous iron-dependent proteins involved in electron transport, energy metabolism, oxygen transport and storage, DNA replication and repair, free radical scavenging, and oxidative processes. It plays an important role in reproductive health, gestation, immunity, and central nervous system development. Learn more about iron here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 32% DV Manganese
Pacific oysters are a great source of manganese, providing 32% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Manganese is an essential mineral that serves as a cofactor and component of numerous enzymes. Through these roles, it’s involved in carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid synthesis, gluconeogenesis, detoxification, lipid processing, free radical defense, bone and collagen formation, and wound healing. Although the research so far is limited, some evidence suggests that manganese can protect against osteoporosis and diabetes, and may even be involved in seizure disorders. Learn more about manganese here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 10.9 g of Protein
Pacific oysters are a great source of protein, providing 10.9 g of protein per 4-ounce serving!
Proteins are the molecules that actually perform most of the various functions of life. In addition to being major structural components of cells and tissues, they have incredibly diverse roles from driving chemical reactions (e.g., enzymes) to signaling (e.g., some types of hormones) to transporting and storing nutrients. Dietary protein is necessary to supply the amino acid building blocks for all of the proteins in our bodies. The recommended daily allowance of protein is 0.36 grams per pound body weight (0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight). That amounts to 56 grams for a 150-pound person. However, it’s important to emphasize that this number is considered a minimum daily allotment, and there is no established upper limit. In fact, many studies have evaluated diets containing three to four times more protein than this minimum and proven benefits to weight management, body composition, hormone regulation, and cardiovascular health. These studies suggest that an optimal protein intake for most people is probably in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram bodyweight (82 to 122 grams for that same 150-pound person), and that people who are very active may see the best results at even higher intake. Learn more about protein and amino acids here.
Pacific Oysters Provide 21% DV Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Pacific oysters are also an excellent source of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), providing 21% of the daily value per 4-ounce serving!
Riboflavin (or vitamin B2) is a vitamin that helps form two important coenzymes involved in oxidation-reduction reactions: flavin mononucleotide (FMN), and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Collectively, these coenzymes are involved in antibody production, energy production, growth and development, skin and hair health, and the metabolism of several other nutrients (vitamin B6, niacin, folate, and iron). Research suggests a role for riboflavin in preventing or treating migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and preeclampsia during pregnancy. It also possesses some anti-cancer properties due to its involvement in folate metabolism and MTHFR activity. Learn more about vitamin B2 here.
How Much Pacific Oysters Should We Eat Per Day?
Shellfish, especially bivalves, are nutrient dynamos which can even rival liver in terms of nutrient density!
Fish and shellfish are not only nutrient-dense sources of highly-digestible gut-friendly complete protein and the best food sources of the very important long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, but they’re outstanding sources of important nutrients in which we are commonly deficient. Eating seafood reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some forms of cancer.
Shellfish are extremely rich sources of vitamin B12, zinc, copper and selenium while also providing impressive amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iodine and selenium. Shellfish also contain smaller but still notable amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9, while also providing dozens of trace minerals.
In fact, every 100 grams per day of seafood decreases all-cause mortality by 7%. And, every 20 grams per day of fish decreases cardiovascular disease mortality by 4%. Aim to eat three or more servings of seafood weekly (and up to every meal!). Learn more about seafood here.
Oysters are great for supporting skeletal health, producing red blood cells, maintaining nerve cell and immune health, supporting thyroid function, and protecting the body against damage from free radicals. It’s always best to mix up the foods you eat day to day (aiming for a wide variety of different fish and shellfish throughout the week), and oysters definitely have a place at the table.
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