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How to Eat Oysters—So You Can Look Super Fancy

Oysters may be known for being a ~fancy~ food (I mean, pearls come from them, so they're automatically pretty high-class ), but if your way of eating them is struggling to crack one open for 10 minutes only to send the slippery thing shooting out of its shell, well, then they quickly go from impressive to just plain embarrassing.

That's why we asked Eden Grinshpan (of Eden Eats and The Cooking Channel) and her sister Renny Grinshpan to show us exactly how to eat oysters—because there's nothing less fancy than stabbing yourself with a knife on accident. (Speaking of cracking open hard-to-eat foods, how about the trusty pomegranate?)

The key to shucking oysters: finding the back of the oyster, wedging the knife in and carefully pivoting it back and forth to pop off the flat side of the shell. Then, scrape the top to make sure you're not losing any precious meat, be careful not to tip out any of the flavorful brine, and slurp!

And in case you didn't know, oysters not only taste good (and look good on your IG feed. Bonus points if you're on a boat)—they're good for you too! Roughly 6 oz of oysters has about 16g of protein, making them a great lean source of the macro, says Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. They're also loaded with key immune-system boosting vitamins and minerals like iron (which helps boost energy and prevent anemia), zinc, selenium, vitamin C (which is great for your skin), and vitamin B12 (which prevents fatigue), she adds.

If you've heard that oysters are a natural aphrodisiac, you heard right: Zinc is key to healthy sexual arousal in men and selenium helps improve fertility in both men and women, says Alpert. (More: Top 10 Summer Aphrodisiacs, comin' right up.) Other good news: when it comes to mercury poisoning, you're in the clear! Oysters have very low mercury content (unlike some other raw fish).

But there is one thing you have to watch out for: too much zinc can cause severe headaches, cramping, vomiting, and (if sustained for long periods) can even result in kidney disease. "To prevent this, make sure you stay under 40 mg of zinc daily," says Alpert. Since about 6 oz of oysters provides 28mg of zinc, she recommends limiting oysters to once a week—so even though you want to have them every night at happy hour, maybe save them for a night when you have a hot date. *Wink wink.*

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