Tidewater Times June 2020

Page 87

Health on a Half Shell by A.M. Foley

Hibernating from the coronavirus has introduced many of us to unfamiliar feelings of anxiety. Luckily for residents around Chesapeake Bay, relief lies readily at hand. Scientists have discovered nutrients in oysters that are helpful in easing mild symptoms of depression and anxiety. Oysters’ water-filtering benefits to the marine environment have been well publicized. Their ability to remove excess nutrients from the Bay is legendary. Less attention is paid to the oysters’ effect on

the physical and mental well-being of humans, though they are prominent on menus around Valentine’s Day. (Giacomo Casanova and a partner reputedly started the day with fifty raw oysters.) In recent days, as cabin fever and claustrophobia have crept across Bay country, we might remember the old nutritionists’ adage, “You are what you eat.” While we chafe at being advised to stay home, oysters anchor themselves to the nearest rock and remain contentedly in the same place for