If you are a woman, you may have heard of oysters from where you get pearls, but have you ever heard of oyster mushrooms? They are a rare delicacy that is almost too cute to eat.
What Are Oyster Mushrooms?
Oysters or button mushrooms get their name due to their striking resemblance with freshly drained oysters. These mushrooms grow on trees but can also be grown at home on a small scale. They are available throughout the year, but their peak season is Winter or autumn, to be specific. Many species of these mushrooms belong to the genus Pleurotus. In The wild, they can be found growing on decaying wood.
What Are The Uses Of Oyster Mushrooms?
There are around 40 types of oyster mushrooms in this genus, and all of these mushrooms are edible. They can be enjoyed with pasta and other dishes. Oyster mushrooms are a delicacy due to their savory flavor and mild and delicate texture. Oyster mushrooms are rare but less rare than mushrooms like morels.
What Are The Health Benefits of Oyster Mushrooms?
In addition to serving as a delicacy, oyster mushrooms also have several impressive health benefits due to the presence of potent compounds. In fact, they were used in traditional medicine in the old days. Here are some of the health benefits of oyster mushrooms:
Loaded With Nutrients
These mushrooms are rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many more. Another good thing about them is that they are low in carbohydrates and suit people following low-carb diets. One cup of oyster mushrooms contains 3 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 27% niacin, 80% Choline, 8% potassium, 6% iron, and 6% zinc. Vitamin D and Selenium are also present in small amounts.
Good For Heart Health
Oyster mushrooms improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure. A fiber called beta-glucan present in oysters is amazing for the heart. Gut bacteria ferment this beta-glucan and convert it into shorts in fatty acids that reduce cholesterol levels. A study concluded that 20 participants who drank oyster soup for 21 days had lower triglyceride, cholesterol, and LDL levels than the opposing group.
Another review of 20 human studies stated that oyster mushrooms also lower blood glucose and insulin levels, which could increase the risk of heart disease. Despite these studies, more studies are still needed to confirm the benefit of oyster mushrooms for the heart.
Strengthens Immune System
Due to the presence of another fiber called pleuran. This fiber has antibacterial and anti-viral properties.
One study conducted on 90 people for over 130 days showed that pleuran, in addition to zinc and Vitamin C supplements, improved symptoms of herpes simplex virus Type 1 and reduced the severity of the disease.
This fiber also improved the symptoms of respiratory disease in children and athletes.
Improves Gut Health
We already know fiber is good for digestive health, and oyster mushrooms contain fiber. So, they are excellent for improving gut health. In 2021, a study conducted on rodents concluded that supplementing the diet of obese rodents with oyster mushrooms decreased bacterial growth and increased beneficial short-chain fatty acids.
Rich In Antioxidants
Oyster mushrooms also contain several essential antioxidants- seven phenolic compounds were identified in extracts of oyster mushrooms, all of which had powerful antioxidant properties. In addition to these, they also contain an amino acid called ergothioneine with powerful antioxidant properties.
In 2007 a study showed that oyster mushroom extract reduced inflammatory markers in older rats. Similarly, in 2020 another rodent study showed that oyster mushrooms improved antioxidant levels and reduced liver damage.
What Makes Oyster Mushrooms an anticancer food?
In addition to the health mentioned above benefits, oyster mushrooms also have anti-tumor and anticancer properties. Test tube and animal studies have confirmed their anti-tumor properties, but human studies are still needed.
Their anti-tumor effect may be due to the presence of antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties may be due to anti-inflammatory compounds. Beta-glucan also gives them great and see anticancer properties. One study found that oyster mushrooms are amazing for certain types of cancers.