If you eat animal-based and/or carnivore, you’ve probably heard the term nutrient density.
If you understand nutrient density, you’ve probably also heard of organ supplements – supplements made of desiccated beef organs – as beef organs are among the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
Something you probably don’t hear about as much? Desiccated oyster supplements.
Oysters – along with beef organs – are also nutrient-dense. Desiccated oysters are a convenient way to consume these nutrients without having to partake in the (sometimes) intimidating feat of properly cooking oysters yourself.
Should everyone take desiccated oysters? Not necessarily. But they could be of benefit to you depending on your situation.
Below are several situations where taking desiccated oyster supplements may be helpful.
If you’re coming from a nutrient-poor diet
I remember the days where I used to think food was either “healthy” or “unhealthy.” I usually based this information off of Yahoo! News articles like “Kale is the World’s Healthiest Superfood” or “Studies Show Meat Causes Cancer”…to which I would distill those titles down to “kale is healthy” and “meat is unhealthy.” I didn’t think about it much more than that.
When I started learning about nutrient density, my world flipped upside down.
The body needs a certain amount of nutrients to maintain optimal health, and in terms of nutrient density, not all foods are created equal. Not even close.
Unless you’re consciously prioritizing nutrient-dense foods in your diet, your diet is probably nutrient-poor.
Desiccated oysters is up there with beef liver as one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
So if you’re coming from the standard American diet, a vegan diet, or any lifestyle where your diet was nutrient-poor, taking desiccated oyster supplements may help build your nutrient reserves.
Desiccated oysters are high in zinc, copper, selenium, iodine, and B12. Taken alongside other nutrient-dense foods like raw dairy, beef, eggs, organ meats, and sweet fruits, you’ll aid your body in healing and replenish your nutrient stores quickly.
During pregnancy or while breastfeeding
I took desiccated oyster supplements (alongside other real food supplements) while I was pregnant in place of a prenatal vitamin.
Why no prenatal vitamin? All standard prenatal vitamins are synthetic, and synthetic supplements can do more harm than good in the body. If you’re eating nutrient-dense foods in plentiful amounts, there is often no need for a prenatal vitamin.
When you’re pregnant and nursing, your body is working hard and your nutritional needs go up. Keeping your nutrient levels high is important, and given the circumstances (less room in your abdomen, more stress, less time), you’ll want to load your body up with nutrients in the most efficient way possible (i.e. with nutrient-dense food and supplements).
I took desiccated oysters while pregnant to maintain my intake of zinc – an important nutrient during pregnancy – but was pleased to discover I was also getting plentiful amounts of other nutrients like copper, selenium, iodine, and B12 from the oysters. I still take them today as I am nursing.
(For a full breakdown of what I ate and a list of the supplements I took during pregnancy, check out this post.)
If you want to raise your zinc, iodine, B12, copper, or selenium levels naturally
Here is a snapshot of the nutrient breakdown for desiccated oysters.
As you can see and as I’ve mentioned above, desiccated oysters are high in B12, iodine, zinc, selenium, and copper.
If you’re in a situation where you would like to increase your levels of any of these nutrients, desiccated oysters may help.
For example, a blogger I follow recently shared that she is trying to raise her levels of selenium. A postpartum blood test showed that her selenium levels were low, so she is trying to target that nutrient specifically.
If you need to raise your levels of B12, iodine, zinc, selenium, or copper, consider taking desiccated oysters.
To manage or reverse certain health conditions
In cases of anemia, doctors often recommend more iron. What they don’t always mention is iron also needs copper.
Iron absorption, hemoglobin transport, and red blood cell maturation are all copper-dependent, so when anemic people just focus on increasing their iron, it doesn’t always work.
What food is high in copper? You guessed it. Oysters!
Copper is an important nutrient. It helps maintain your immune system, your nervous system, and create connective tissue, blood vessels, and energy.
This brings me back to nutrient density.
The anemic body just doesn’t need iron, for example. It needs iron and copper. And many other nutrients – all working together – to make the systems work and bring the body back to balance.
If you have a health condition (like anemia) and are treating it with one piece of the puzzle (i.e. iron), looking outside of the box may be worth considering. Ensuring your diet is well-rounded with nutrient-dense foods and supplements could be a good start.
If you want the benefits of eating oysters without having to cook them yourself
Properly cooking oysters has always felt like an intimidating feat for me.
There is a risk of illness if you don’t do it right, and the process in and of itself is daunting.
I was talking about desiccated oysters on my Instagram page once. A follower responded and mentioned she had recently eaten oysters at a restaurant and got so violently ill that she vowed to never eat oysters ever again.
So if you’re like me and don’t know how to properly cook oysters/don’t care to learn how to cook them, yet want the nutritional benefits (and don’t want to have to worry about getting sick!), desiccated oyster supplements is the way to go.
As a maintenance supplement and for all around good health
Even when I am done breastfeeding, I will likely keep desiccated oysters in my real food supplement routine.
I love the idea of eating nutrient-dense foods. The more the better, if you ask me.
In this modern world, we have so many forces working against us. These forces – things like stress, coffee, unhealthy guts, toxic food, unfulfilling jobs, environmental stressors – steal our nutrients. You name it, it’s probably taking from us. So, why not load up with as many nutrients as you can?
Marine Health Foods – the company who makes the desiccated oysters I take – discusses the benefits of oysters here. The nutrients found in oysters help with combatting fatigue, boosting immunity, supporting healthy skin, aging, and sexual function, and more. I was quite impressed with the laundry list of benefits generated by a little sea creature that we often forget about!
How to take desiccated oyster supplements
If you decide you want to take desiccated oyster supplements, where do you start?
When I was looking for a natural way to supplement with zinc while pregnant, OysterMax by Marine Health Foods was recommended to me.
I was so impressed with their quality and service that I never felt the need to look elsewhere. The company is owned by a marine biologist who is on top of the latest research in the field, plus their products are processed locally which minimizes the degradation of nutrients. Each batch is tested for heavy metals.
My husband and I have been taking their desiccated oysters for over a year and we have had zero issues.
If you end up giving them a try, ASHLEYR will get you 10% off. I recommend buying at least 3 bottles at a time to save the most money (if you have the means).
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you like deals: I created one giant hub that lists out the products I (and my family) use and/or recommend with explanations about each. I am also partnered with the majority of these companies and have plenty of discount codes available for use. To take advantage of the deals (or if you’re curious to learn more about what I and my family use to optimize our health), check out my Discounts Hub here.