What’s better than eating oysters near the ocean in sunny SoCal? Understanding, then absorbing all the health benefits oysters pack into their shells.
I don’t play when it comes to my meals. When the time arrives for me to try a new restaurant, I review and research everything about the joint. I use crowdsourcing sites like Yelp to help me make decisions. 5 stars and 89 reviews (a true rarity on Yelp) propelled me to my new favorite oyster joint.
The Jolly Oyster’s game is straight to the point; the oyster is the star of the show. Since it is a food truck in San Buenaventura State Park, you devour your oysters at wooden picnic tables looking out over sweeping dunes and an angry, dark blue ocean. It’s staffed by knowledgeable, friendly folks who bend over backward to make sure the customer walks away feeling satisfied by the vibe and the food.
Because us athletes are always looking for a way to acquire a natural boost in energy, I figured the peripheral effect of finding a vitamin filled pick-me-up along with lunch was a solid plan for a weekend afternoon. I sampled baked and raw oysters dusted in sea salt the last two Sundays, both of which were the freshest I’ve ever had.
Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food. Zinc is an essential trace element and is critical to healthy living. Particularly for anyone interested in building muscle, zinc is necessary for the production of testosterone. From whfoods.com:
Even a mild dietary deficiency of zinc can have far reaching health implications. Immunity, reproduction, skin health, and vision are just some of the areas that can be affected.
Oysters provide more than just a boost of zinc. According to sfgate.com:
The B vitamins are known as energy-releasing vitamins because they break down carbohydrates for energy. Oysters are very high in B-12
Vitamin B-12 is used by the brain and nervous system and is heavily involved in metabolism. If B-12 levels are even slightly lower than normal, symptoms such as fatigue, weakness and depression begin to appear.
Oysters are also a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, selenium and iron, while still being very low in calories.
I researched and found that the Jolly Oyster’s featured ingredient is farmed from Baja, CA, not wild. At first glance, this raises a red flag. Haven’t we been taught that farm raised seafood is bad for the environment and us? In most cases, the answer is unequivocally yes. But with oysters, farmed is actually the preferred option.
Unlike some fish-farming operations, which can allow nonnative species to escape into surrounding ecosystems and spread disease, oyster farms can actually improve the quality of oceans and bays. That’s because the oysters in offshore farms will feed on particulate matter and nutrients that might otherwise pollute waterways. So favor farmed oysters when shopping; you’ll also avoid depleting wild populations at risk from by those invasive crabs and snails.
I understand fully that the flavor and the consistency of my favorite sea delicacies isn’t for everyone. If, however, you fancy the experience like I do, enjoy the health benefits and the few grams of protein that come with it.