Oysters aren’t something one generally feels neutral about. Whether they’re served up fresh on the half shell with a bit of lemon and hot sauce or spooned out of a can, people either love them or hate them. However, those who are on the pro-oyster side may be onto something. Sure, these delicacies from the sea are rumored to give your libido a boost, but even more important, they’re packed with essential nutrients. Canned oysters in particular offer women a very easy way to boost their iron, copper, and selenium intake.
The Health Benefits of Canned Oysters
Canned oysters are cheap and, as it turns out, a great source of various micronutrients. Those nutrients include vitamins and minerals necessary to the function of our organs and immune system. For instance, one cup of drained, canned oysters is rich in vitamin B12, containing over 1,000 percent of our daily recommended intake. It also has about 158 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A, or about 18 percent of the recommended daily allowance, a decent amount of vitamin B1 (22 percent), B2 (22 percent), B3 (14 percent), and B6 (13 percent).
Canned oysters have an impressive amount of copper, iron, and selenium as well, with one cup holding 873 percent of our daily copper, 66 percent of our daily iron, and 115 percent of our daily selenium.
Why are foods rich in iron, copper, and selenium essential for women?
Iron, copper, and selenium are extremely important for boosting immunity and brain function — selenium may help slow down cognitive aging, for instance, while iron and copper are essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. And while men only need about eight milligrams (mg) of iron daily, women need 18. (Women need more iron than men because of the amount of blood they lose during menstruation.)
In addition, maintaining sufficient iron levels is crucial for women because iron helps provide oxygen to the muscles and aids in hormone production. If you’ve ever been anemic, you know what it feels like: low energy levels and constant fatigue. In 2019, a WHO report revealed that over half a billion women of reproductive age worldwide are afflicted with iron-deficient anemia. If untreated, iron-deficiency anemia can lead to heart problems and other serious issues.
What do canned oysters taste like?
Canned oysters are a health-boosting addition to any woman’s diet. But how do they taste? Canned oysters come smoked or boiled, packed in oil or water. These variables affect the taste, but canned oysters are generally salty and only slightly fishy, easy to bite into, and not slimy at all — unlike their raw counterparts. They are delicious as dip or casserole bases or straight out of the can!
The great thing is that you can prepare canned oysters in the same way you would raw ones. Throw them in a cream-based stew, mush them into a savory dip, toss them into a casserole with some Ritz crackers, or saute them with butter and fresh herbs.
I have never liked raw oysters, but it might be time to put my prejudice aside. Now that I know the canned version is so healthy, I just might try some!