Oysters have always been on my list of go-to foods while growing up and that's why I am sharing with you that today is National Oyster Day! While growing up, I always considered oysters “rich people” food because it was too expensive. Then when I moved to NYC, I found $1 oysters happy hour everywhere (God must work in mysterious ways). This is probably the reason why an estimated 2 billion oysters are consumed in the U.S.

Types of Oysters      
Oysters come in different sizes and species, and each one has a distinct taste. Different oysters are often named by the body of water in which they are cultivated.

Pacific Oyster: The most commonly cultivated oyster is the Pacific oyster, also known as Japanese oyster or Miyagi oyster. Originating from Japan, the Pacific oysters are small and have an elongated rough shell. It has a sweet taste that makes it the most popular type in the West Coast and Europe.

Kumamoto Oyster: When the Kumamoto oyster was discovered, it was mistakenly labeled as a Pacific oyster. Then it was determined it was its own species. Like the Pacific oyster, Kumamoto oyster is small in size. It is sweet but also has a nutty flavor.

Atlantic Oyster: Also known as the Easter oyster. The Atlantic oyster has a teardrop shape with a salty taste. It is found in the Atlantic coast from Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico.

European Flats: European flats are oysters with a smooth, flat shell and a meaty texture. Most people refer European flats as Belons, which are only found in the Brittany region, near the Belon River in France. Even though all the Belons are European flats, not all European flats are Belons.

Olympia Oysters: Despite being only 1.5 inches in diameter, Olympia oysters offer a sweet, coppery, metallic taste. Olympia oysters are only found in the West Coast and are strictly protected due to its popularity during the Gold Rush era, which was being consumed so much it was almost wiped out. When you go to an oyster bar, try the different types of oysters that they offer as each kind has its own specific taste.


Nutrition Information

Oysters are packed with many nutrients. One ounce (28 grams) of oysters contain about 19 calories, 1 gram carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 0.7 total fat, and 15 mg cholesterol. Oysters are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and a part of the recommendation to have two 4-ounce servings of seafood per week. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease and related deaths, help with managing inflammation, and needed for brain development in infants. In one ounce serving of oysters, there is 188 mg. Not only are oysters rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they also contain 25 mg in one ounce. In fact, oysters contain more zinc than any other food. Zinc is an essential mineral that is involved in immune function, protein, and DNA synthesis, wound healing, and growth and development. So next time you order that 12 dozen $1 oysters, know that you’re doing the body good on a budget.

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research has found that omega-3 fatty acids offer plenty of health benefits. The most well know is its ability to protect the heart. EPA and DHA help lower triglyceride levels. Additionally, some studies have shown that EPA and DHA may help increase infant weight gain at birth. It also aids in increasing the length of time the baby is inside the womb which helps prevent prematurity. Omega-3 fatty acids also help with cancer prevention. It helps lower the risk of breast and colorectal cancer. In addition, there have been studies that show omega-3 fatty acids promote cognitive health. It helps lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and alleviate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The foodie that I am, oysters, especially $1 oysters, have been added to my long list of favorite foods. Not only are there plenty of varieties that offer different flavors, oysters are also packed with nutrients. Today is National Oyster Day. Go to the nearest oyster bar and take advantage of the great deals on this glorious day. Add that Tabasco sauce, a splash of lemon, vinegar, and horseradish. I know I did!


Omega-3 Fatty Acids. National Institutes of Health. June 6, 2018. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/. Accessed August 4, 2018.

The 5 Oyster Species. Chef’s Resources. http://www.chefs-resources.com/seafood/oysters/the-5-oyster-species/. Accessed August 4, 2018.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids. National Institutes of Health. June 6, 2018. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/. Accessed August 4, 2018.

Watson, M. Guide to Oysters. The Spruce Eats. June 6, 2018. https://www.thespruceeats.com/guide-to-oysters-2217274. Accessed August 4, 2018.

Zinc. National Institutes of Health. March 2, 2018. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/. Accessed August 4, 2018.