The oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus, oyster fungus or hiratake) are another type of edible mushrooms. They are often consumed as a food but at the same time are used also in many supplements. Because of their health benefits these mushrooms are commonly used in many systems of medicine, for example traditional Chinese medicine, to treat different health conditions.
Oyster mushrooms got their name because of their resemblance to oysters. They have firm texture and very delicate taste (often defined as mild, sweet and woodsy) and these fungi can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes.
There are about 40 species of oyster mushrooms (most commonly used are blue oyster, Phoenix oyster, golden oyster, pink oyster, etc.)
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture one cup (about 86g) of raw Oyster mushrooms contains:
• Calories: 28
• Fat: 0.3g
• Sodium: 15.5mg
• Sugars: 0.95
• Protein: 2.9g
• Carbohydrates: 5.2g
• Fiber: 2g
Overall oyster mushroom provides beta-glucan, dietary fiber and other ingredients that might boost health.
Vitamins and Minerals
The fungi are an amazing source of a variety of vitamins (such as riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, thiamin and folate) and minerals (such as zinc, manganese, magnesium, selenium, iron, phosphorus, copper and potassium).
Oyster mushroom contains many ingredients (including beta-glucan, dietary fiber and several other polysaccharides) that can boost human health. Although there are many evidences that prove the mushroom’s benefits, the number of researches and scientific studies is still emerging.
Oyster mushrooms and heart health
It is widely known that fibers contained in food are very important to human well-being and that in general mushrooms are great fiber source. What’s more is that it’s believed that higher fiber intake provides better heart health.
In “Dietary Fiber, Atherosclerosis, and Cardiovascular Disease”- an article written by Ghada Soliman is said that the fiber in some food “makes them attractive targets for disease prevention and reduction of risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.”
Oyster mushrooms and Cholesterol
It is believed that because of the dietary fiber in mushrooms, they can be useful in reducing triglyceride accumulation in the liver.
Oyster mushrooms for better immune function
In another article – “Enhancement of the Th1-phenotype immune system by the intake of Oyster mushroom (Tamogitake) extract in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study” written by Aiko Tanaka, Mie Nishimura, Yuji Sato, Hiroki Sato and Jun Nishihira and published in 2016 is said that oyster mushrooms can enhance immune function.
Other health benefits
It is believed that oyster mushrooms might help in fighting cancer.
Again, because of the fiber in mushrooms, health professionals recommend them for maintain a healthy weight.
There are not many reports of allergic reactions to this type of mushrooms. But it’s important to contact a healthcare provider if you not feeling well after consuming oyster mushrooms. There are some cases in which edible mushrooms can induce stomach problems like flatulence, diarrhea, nausea or stomach rumbling, especially if their eaten in large quantities.
How to Prepare oyster mushrooms
The fungi can be found fresh, dry or frozen and are perfect addition to soups, savory casseroles, stews, egg dishes, pizzas, stir-fries, ets.
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