Many years ago, my dad — a small-town North Carolina boy studying English at Tulane — had a little too much fun on his first Lundi Gras and awoke on Mardi Gras Day feeling decidedly subpar. He was wandering through the crowds on St. Charles Avenue when a kindly older woman noticed he looked green around the gills, pulled him into a party of strangers and nursed him back to health with her miracle hangover cure: a dozen raw oysters. These days, my dad rarely finds himself hurting from a rough night out, but he still touts raw oysters to anyone who does. Despite my father’s endorsement, oysters aren’t widely accepted as a hangover remedy; popular culture lauds them more as the start of a fun night. In reality, there isn’t much basis in fact for either of these claims, but that doesn’t mean that oysters aren’t good for you; they’re low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. And even if oysters don’t come through for you on Ash Wednesday or Valentine’s Day, they’re a healthy, Lent-friendly alternative to red meat and poultry.