Turns out the South's favorite seafood is chock full of goodness.
Saltine Oyster Bar in Jackson, Mississippi
Credit: Photo: W. Rush Jagoe

They say whoever first ate an oyster was a very brave individual. We agree, but we're also eternally grateful as the oyster is one of the South's signature foods whether broiled, fried, blackened, or just straight-up. It also turns out no matter how you serve them, oysters also have a bevy of health benefits inside their shells. Here are five pearls of health wisdom before you get started on our best recipes using oysters.

  1. Oysters are high in protein, but also low in fat. In fact, six ounces of oysters has 16 grams of protein helping with tissue repair, immune system functioning, and hormone production.
  2. Oysters have high amounts of zinc, around 28 milligrams in 6 ounces. We only need 8, but that means even a small deficiency can throw you off your game. More zinc means more energy, less colds, proper digestion, even fully functioning taste reception. It also helps with focus and even how your eyes adjust to darkness. Essentially, oysters are the secret to life. But don't go crazy either, you don't want to have too much zinc in your system either.
  3. Oysters also have high levels of selenium, a mineral that's been said to decrease coronary heart disease and plays a key role in metabolism.
  4. Oysters also produce special amino acids that you can't find in the pharmacy section. While they help regulate stress and improve your mood, people are more interested in their aphrodisiac-like properties.
  5. The other minerals in oysters like B12 vitamins may also help with hair loss and help in the never-ending battle against dark under-eye bags.