The oyster mushroom is a common type of edible mushroom. There are approximately 40 species of these mushrooms, such as Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus eryngii. Often consumed as a food, it’s also available in dietary supplement form
The 5 great things that these mushrooms can do for you
- Slow or block Cancer growth
Some preliminary research indicates that oyster mushrooms may possess cancer-fighting properties. This research includes a study published in International Journal of Oncology in 2008, in which tests on human cells demonstrated that an oyster mushroom extract may suppress the growth and spread of breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Increase Brain Health
Oyster mushrooms are rich in many of the nutrients believed to enhance brain function. Niacin, for instance, has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline in older adults in clinical research.
- Alleviate Inflammation
Oyster mushrooms have been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. According to a test-tube study published in Nutrition Journal, oyster mushrooms were able to reduce the secretion of multiple markers of inflammation in the body. This could have far-reaching benefits, as decreasing inflammation may help provide relief from many inflammatory conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease
- Packed with Antioxidants
Oyster mushrooms and other types of fungi are the only sources of ergothioneine, which functions as an antioxidant and lowers systemic inflammation. Oyster mushrooms are one of the best mushroom sources, according to the University of Pennsylvania. Research published in the November 2010 issue of the “Journal of Medicinal Food” concluded that ergothioneine may prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to cardiovascular disease.
- Lower Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found throughout your body and is essential for health. Cholesterol is an important component of your cell membranes and is required for the synthesis of cholesterol, bile acids, and certain vitamins and hormones. Excess cholesterol, however, can build up in your blood, forming fatty deposits in the arteries and increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Oyster mushrooms contain a number of substances thought to influence health. These substances include dietary fiber, beta-glucan, and several other polysaccharides (a class of carbohydrates found to affect immune function).
The combination of great taste and health benefits explains why top chefs such as Raymond Blanc and Antonio Carluccio are huge mushroom fans.
It might also go some way to explaining why in the UK mushrooms are now more popular than carrots, onions, broccoli and peppers!