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5 health benefits of oyster mushrooms

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lbobvalla
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Discover the 5 health benefits of oyster mushrooms.

Mushrooms, such as the lion’s mane mushroom and cordyceps,  have been used as natural remedies in many countries for thousands of years and have become a staple in many different cultures and cuisines.

The oyster mushrooms, on the other hand, are one of the newest fungi which have recently appeared but still have become a favorite of many fungi because of their distinctive taste and extensive health benefits.

Formally known by its scientific name Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom is named for its shell-like appearance and resemblance to oysters.

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It is highly versatile, with a mild taste and licorice aroma, and has quickly become an integral part of many Asian dishes, from soups to sauces and much more.

This unique mushroom has been cultivated for less than 100 years, and scientists are beginning to scratch the surface of the many potential benefits it has to offer.

So far, however, the results have been promising, showing that it can benefit everything from inflammation to heart health.

The main health benefits of oyster mushrooms

1.- It can lower cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found throughout the body and is essential for health.

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Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and is required for the synthesis of cholesterol, bile acids, and certain vitamins and hormones.

However, excess cholesterol can build up in the blood, forming fatty deposits in the arteries and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Oyster mushrooms have been shown to help lower cholesterol naturally and quickly in some animal studies.

A study published in the journal   Mycobiology, for example, showed that supplementation with oyster mushrooms helped reduce total cholesterol levels by 37 percent and reduce triglycerides by 45 percent in rats.

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Still, more studies are needed to determine how oyster mushrooms can affect cholesterol levels in humans.

These mushrooms have gained ground in recent years, thanks to the benefits they can bring to health care

2.- Relieve inflammation

Inflammation is a normal immune response designed to protect the body against infection and disease.

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On the other hand, chronic inflammation is believed to be associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Oyster mushrooms have been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

According to one study, oyster mushrooms were able to reduce the secretion of multiple inflammation markers in the body.

This could have far-reaching benefits, as decreasing inflammation can help alleviate many inflammatory conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease.

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3.- Packed with antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help fight free radicals and prevent damage to cells.

Research suggests that antioxidants may play a central role in health and disease and can help fight oxidative stress to reduce the risk of certain chronic conditions.

Some studies have found that oyster mushrooms are loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, which may explain their many health benefits.

Both test-tube and animal studies have shown that oyster mushrooms are effective in increasing antioxidant levels in the body and neutralizing harmful free radicals.

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4.- It can block the growth of cancer

One of the most impressive benefits of oyster mushrooms is their powerful effect on cancer cells.

Thanks to their high antioxidant content as well as their anti-inflammatory properties, oyster mushrooms can help inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer, making oyster mushrooms possible cancer-fighting foods.

One study found that oyster mushrooms were able to inhibit the growth and spread of breast and colon cancer cells.

Similarly, another study showed that oyster mushroom extract had therapeutic effects against colorectal tumor cells and leukemia.

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5.- Improve brain health

Believe it or not, what you eat can have a huge impact on your brain health and can even influence your risk for neurodegenerative diseases and dementia.

Certain vitamins and minerals, in particular, are especially important when it comes to brain health.

Oyster mushrooms are rich in many of the nutrients that are believed to improve brain function. 

Niacin, for example, has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in older adults in clinical research.

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Meanwhile, a review suggested that riboflavin supplementation might have therapeutic effects against Brown syndrome, a type of motor neuron disorder.

Nutrition of oyster mushrooms

Take a look at the nutrition profile of oyster mushrooms, and it’s easy to see why they are so good for you.

They are extremely low in calories but contain a good amount of protein, fiber, niacin, and riboflavin.

One cup of sliced oyster mushrooms (approximately 86 grams) contains approximately:

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• 37 calories

• 5.6 grams of carbohydrates

• 2.8 grams of protein

• 0.4 grams of fat

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• 2 grams of dietary fiber

• 4.3 milligrams niacin (21 percent DV)

• 0.3 milligrams   riboflavin  (18 percent DV)

• 1.1 milligrams pantothenic acid (11 percent DV)

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• 103 milligrams phosphorus (10 percent DV)

• 361 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)

• 0.2-milligram   copper  (10 percent DV)

• 0.1-milligram thiamine (7 percent DV)

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• 23.2 micrograms folate (6 percent DV)

• 1.1 milligrams iron (6 percent DV)

• 0.1-milligram manganese (5 percent DV)

• 0.1-milligram vitamin B6 (5 percent DV)

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In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, oyster mushrooms also contain a small amount of magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

Types of oyster mushrooms

If you are looking to add oyster mushrooms to your diet, there are a few different options to choose from.

Oyster mushrooms are considered the most common type of mushroom and are used for cooking throughout the world.

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The blue oyster mushroom is another widely available variety, which starts dark blue and gradually lightens as it matures.

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Note that several types of mushrooms have “oysters” in the name but are different from common mushrooms.

For example, king oyster mushrooms, also known as king trumpet mushrooms, are closely related to the oyster mushroom but belong to a different species of mushroom.

These mushrooms have a meaty umami flavor and are often used as a vegan-friendly meat substitute in some recipes.

Golden oysters, pink oysters, and phoenix oysters are other examples that belong to the same genus as oyster mushrooms but have minor differences in taste, texture, and appearance.

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Oyster Mushrooms vs. Maitake Mushrooms

Like oyster mushrooms, maitake mushrooms are abundant in many types of Asian cuisine, including Japanese and Chinese cuisines. They can be served as a garnish, in a savory sauce, or added to soups.

One of the most notable differences between maitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms is their appearance.

Maitake mushrooms have distinctive feathers, like leaves, while the caps of oyster mushrooms resemble a shell.

There are also some differences in taste, as maitake provides a richer, earthier flavor than oyster mushrooms, which tend to be softer and more delicate.

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However, there are many similarities when it comes to nutrition. Both are low in calories and contain a generous dose of B vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin.

However, oyster mushrooms contain twice the protein per ounce and are also slightly higher in certain micronutrients like phosphorus and potassium.

Aside from their nutrient profile, maitake mushrooms are also revered for their medicinal properties.

They offer a slightly different set of benefits than oyster mushrooms and have been shown to boost immunity, help treat cancer, improve blood pressure, and reduce symptoms of diabetes in both animal and test-tube studies.

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Both types of mushrooms can be nutritious additions to the diet and can be enjoyed in many different recipes.

Try increasing your intake of both to take advantage of the unique nutrient and health benefits each has to offer.

Oyster Mushroom Uses and Where to Find It

Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor with a delicate flavor and a licorice aroma that is often compared to anise seed.

They are popular for their tender and smooth texture and are versatile enough to swap in almost any recipe.

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Also, like other types of mushrooms, such as cremini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms can be enjoyed raw or cooked.

These mushrooms are frequently found in many types of Asian cuisine, including a variety of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese dishes.

They have also made their way into the kitchens of other countries around the world, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where oyster mushrooms are sometimes used to provide a meaty texture and flavor to traditional stews.

Oyster mushrooms can be seasoned and served alone for a tasty side dish or added to soups and stir-fries.

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They can also increase the taste and nutritional value of recipes such as hamburgers, pasta, or omelets.

If you don’t have the means to start hunting or growing oyster mushrooms in your backyard, you’re in luck.

Thanks to their growing popularity, oyster mushrooms are now available in many grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

They are typically available fresh, dried, or even canned for a quick and convenient addition to your favorite recipes.

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The price of oyster mushrooms can vary widely, but it tends to be comparable to other types of mushrooms such as shiitake mushrooms. In general, you can expect to pay between $ 10 and $ 12 for a pound of fresh oyster mushrooms.

Story

Oyster mushrooms were originally grown in Germany during World War I as a livelihood when food was scarce.

Today, these nutritious mushrooms can be found wild in North America, Europe, and Asia, and are also grown for commercial use around the world.

With their white, shell-like appearance, oyster mushrooms got their name due to their similarities in appearance to the oyster.

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Not only do they look alike, but oyster mushrooms also share a similar flavor to this popular type of bivalve.

These fungi are considered saprotrophic, which means that they feed on dead and decaying material, such as wood.

The cap can grow between two to 10 inches in size and can range in color from white to dark brown.

Interestingly, the oyster mushroom is one of the few types of mushrooms that are considered carnivorous.

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These fungi release an attractive-smelling chemical to draw microscopic nematodes, then use their mycelia to paralyze, kill, and digest the creatures as a way to obtain nitrogen.

Even more surprisingly, scientists didn’t realize that oyster mushrooms were consuming meat until the 1970s, and the discovery was made by accident.

Scientist George Barron had been collecting and studying different types of carnivorous fungi from the soil and began growing them in Petri dishes in his laboratory.

However, a Petri dish was forgotten for more than six months and was eventually found by a laboratory technician.

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In that period, the mushroom produced a mushroom, which was identified as the oyster mushroom, leading scientists to realize that oyster mushrooms can consume meat and wood.

Precautions

Some people may be allergic to fungi and other types of fungi. If you experience any food allergy symptoms like hives, bloating, nausea, vomiting, or cramps after eating oyster mushrooms, stop using them and talk to your doctor.

Also, oyster mushrooms contain a very small amount of arabitol, a type of sugar alcohol that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms in some people.

If you find that you are sensitive to sugar alcohols or are following a low-FODMAP diet plan, it may be best to limit your intake of oyster mushrooms.

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Mushrooms also contain a good amount of purines, a compound that breaks down into uric acid in the body.

High uric acid levels can aggravate gout symptoms, such as joint pain, swelling, and redness.

It may be helpful to limit your intake of purine foods if you have a history of gout or are experiencing a flare-up of symptoms.

Finally, if you are collecting wild mushrooms, take care to properly identify them.

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There are many fungi with a similar appearance, some of which can even be toxic.

Pay particular attention to the physical characteristics and aroma of the mushroom to ensure proper identification of the oyster mushroom.

Final thoughts

• Oyster mushrooms are low in calories but contain a good amount of protein, fiber, niacin, and riboflavin, along with a variety of other micronutrients.

• Test-tube and animal studies have shown that oyster mushrooms are high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol while improving brain health and inhibiting cancer growth.

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• They have a mild flavor and can be added to side dishes, soups, and sauces. There are many other oyster mushroom recipe ideas available for creative ways to use this mushroom as well.

• Oyster mushrooms can be found in most grocery stores and farmers’ markets in fresh, dried, or even canned form.

• Combine them with other foods rich in nutrients in your diet to maximize the potential health benefits of these delicious mushrooms.

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