Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushroom: The mushrooms of flower heaven

Mushrooms are edible fungi and their demand is increasing day by day because of their medicinal and nutritional importance. The medicinal properties of mushrooms are active against hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, cancer, and viral and bacterial infections (1). Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus species) are first cultivated in Germany during the world war, now these mushrooms are cultivated commercially all around the world (2). Oyster mushrooms have many different varieties with great taste and texture. In Japanese and Chinese culture dishes of oyster mushrooms are frequently used as a delicacy.

Nutritional value of Oyster mushrooms (2)

Compound Per 100 gram of Oyster mushroom
Calories 38
Protein 15-25 g
carbohydrate 6.5 g
Fat 2.2 g
Fiber 2.8 g
Thiamine 0.56 mg
Riboflavin 0.55 mg
Niacin 12.2 mg
Phosphorus 140 mg
Calcium 28 mg
Iron 1.7 mg

Health benefits of Oyster mushrooms

1. High in protein

Oyster mushrooms have high protein content with quality and are almost similar to that of animal proteins. High protein combined with low fat and high vitamins and minerals makes oyster mushroom an ideal food for developing countries where malnutrition is a common problem (2).

2. Antioxidant

Oyster mushrooms have higher antioxidants than other commercial mushrooms like shiitake and winter mushrooms (3). A study done on the animal model with precancerous lesions shows that oyster mushrooms because of their antioxidant namely $- glucan shows positive effects by increasing the antioxidant activity (4). Oyster mushrooms also help in reducing oxidative damage in human cells.

3. Anti-diabetic

High fiber and high protein combined with low fat make oyster mushrooms an ideal food for diabetic patients. Studies were done on the animal models also suggest that consuming oyster mushrooms produced a major hypoglycemic effect (5). This hypoglycemic effect is mainly because of a compound named guanide which is structurally similar to the biguanide class of oral antidiabetic drugs (6).

4. Lowers blood pressure

Oyster mushrooms help in the prevention of hypertension (6). The hot extract of mushrooms helps in relaxing the blood vessels thus prevents from high BP. Oyster mushrooms also help in lowering blood cholesterol and thus are good for persons who have blood pressure-related problems.

5. Prevents atherosclerosis

Oxidative stress, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia are becoming more common among people. These three lifestyle-related problems are the root cause of cardiovascular-related diseases. Oyster mushrooms have the potential of lowering the effect of all the three above problems thus helps in preventing atherosclerosis (7).

6. Immune booster

Oyster mushrooms have a beta-glucan compound that helps in strengthening the immune system of the body. Along with enhancing the immune system, beta-glucan also fights abnormal cells and reduces the damaging effects of chemo and radiation therapies. Purified beta-glucan extract from these mushrooms is also available in the market for strengthening immunity (8).

7. Weight loss

Oyster mushrooms due to high in protein and low fat and carbohydrates help in losing weight. Therefore if you are planning for shedding some kilos of body weight then definitely include oyster mushrooms in the diet.

8. Healthy kidney

On the basis of studies done on an animal model, it was observed that the water extract of oyster mushrooms for 28 days helps in reducing renal problems by lowering the serum urea level and blood glucose level. Thus oyster mushrooms have a renoprotective effect combines with their edible and nutritious value (9).

Side effects of Oyster mushrooms

  1. There is almost no side effect of eating oyster mushrooms. But if consumed in excess may cause an upset stomach.
  2. Before buying oyster mushrooms should check thoroughly its date of expiry and check the material inside the packet.
  3. Some people have an allergy to mushrooms, therefore, they should avoid eating mushrooms.