Oyster Mushrooms: 6 Potential Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts

Written by Sindhu Koganti , BTech (Biotechnology), Diploma In Nutrition

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are a group of gilled mushrooms and look similar to oysters. They have been used in traditional medicine for centuries and contain antioxidants, nutrients, and other compounds with medicinal value. These mushrooms can improve heart health, lower blood sugar levels, support immune function, and reduce cancer risk. Keep reading to learn more about the types, nutritional facts, other health benefits, recipes, and possible side effects of oyster mushrooms.

What Is Oyster Mushroom?

Oyster mushrooms are a type of edible fungi. They feed on dead and decaying material like wood, and their cap can grow between two to 10 inches. They are available in different colors, ranging from white to dark brown, and have a mild taste and odor similar to anise. You can add them to soups, stir-fry recipes, egg dishes, and as a topping for pasta.

Oyster mushrooms are available in different varieties. Let’s take a look.

Types Of Oyster Mushrooms

  1. King Oyster Mushrooms: They are also known as king trumpet mushrooms. These mushrooms have a meaty, umami flavor and are often used as a vegan-friendly option.
  2. Pearl Oyster Mushrooms: These are the most common type of oyster mushrooms. They have a milder and more tender flavor than shiitake mushrooms.
  3. Blue Oyster Mushrooms: They appear dark blue when they bloom but gradually turn gray as they mature. It has a chewy texture and is often preferred as a meat replacement.
  4. Golden Oyster Mushrooms: They have a bright gold color, a vibrant flavor with delicate flesh, and a distinct fragrance. Golden oyster mushrooms have a short shelf-life.
  5. Pink Oyster Mushrooms: These mushrooms have a bright pink color that fades when exposed to heat. They have a pungent flavor and tastes like bacon.
  6. Phoenix Oyster Mushrooms: They look and taste like pearl oyster mushrooms. The only difference is that their caps are smaller, they have a pale lilac color and longer stem.

Oyster mushrooms are loaded with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. Here is the nutritional breakdown of oyster mushrooms.

Nutritional Breakdown Of Oyster Mushrooms

According to the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, a hundred grams of oyster mushrooms contains (1):

  • Calories: 33 kcal
  • Protein: 3.31 g
  • Fat: 0.41 g
  • Carbohydrate: 6.09 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.3 g
  • Calcium: 3 mg
  • Iron: 1.33 mg
  • Magnesium: 18 mg
  • Phosphorus: 120 mg
  • Potassium: 420 mg
  • Sodium: 18 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.125 mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 1.29 mg
  • Niacin: 4.96 mg
  • Folate: 38 µg

All these nutrients make oyster mushrooms a healthy and nutritious dietary option with immense health benefits. Check out their health benefits below.

Health Benefits Of Oyster Mushrooms

1. Loaded With Antioxidants

Oyster mushrooms are great sources of antioxidant phenolic compounds like variegatic, ergothioneine, and gallic acids (2), (3), (4), (5). These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, inhibit oxidative damage, and may help reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) (6), (7).

2. Improve Heart Health

Consuming oyster mushrooms may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They contain beta-glucans, which have antihypertensive effects and can lower LDL-cholesterol levels (8). Moreover, the dietary fiber in oyster mushrooms may prevent hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol level) (9).

A review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences suggests that polysaccharides in mushrooms reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consuming oyster mushrooms can reduce the total cholesterol and triglyceride levels (10), (11). However, more studies are needed to understand this benefit on humans.

3. Lower Blood Sugar Levels

The dietary fiber in P. ostreatus prevents insulin resistance (12). A study conducted by the University of Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, found that freeze-dried and powdered forms of P. ostreatus at a dose of 50 mg/kg/body weight reduced blood glucose concentrations (13).

Another study showed that oyster mushrooms significantly reduced blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. The mushrooms can increase glycemic status and help manage type 2 diabetes (14), (15).

4. Support Immune Function

Golden oyster mushrooms may contain other immune regulative compounds like vitamin D2 and support immune health (16). A study observed that consuming oyster mushrooms for eight weeks could enhance natural killer (NK) cells (a part of the immune system) and protect against several diseases (17).

The imunoglucan in oyster mushrooms can prevent recurrent respiratory tract infections (RRTIs) (18). Oyster mushrooms are also effective against Herpes Simplex Virus type-1 (HSV-1) (19).

5. May Reduce Cancer Risk

The protein extracts of oyster mushrooms have anti-cancer effects and may inhibit the proliferation of breast and colon cancer cells (20), (21). A study conducted by the Methodist Research Institute, USA, found an inverse relationship between oyster mushroom intake and cancer risk (22).

Water extracts of edible mushrooms like oysters have the potential to suppress cancer cell proliferation, especially breast cancer cells (23). However, more studies are needed to understand the anti-cancer effect of oyster mushrooms in humans.

6. Have Anti-inflammatory Properties

Animal studies showed that oyster mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory properties and helped reduce inflammatory conditions (24), (25).

Another study concluded that biotechnologically produced oyster mushroom supplementation improved gut health in obese Zucker rats (26). However, limited studies are available to prove this claim.

If you have never tried oyster mushrooms before, here are a few ways to incorporate them into your diet.

How To Eat Oyster Mushrooms

  • Use them as pizza toppings.
  • Add them to sauces, soups, pasta, and gravy.
  • Enjoy sautéed oyster mushrooms as a side dish.
  • Use them in frittatas, omelets, and quiches.

You can also try these delicious oyster mushroom recipes at home.

3 Easy And Delicious Recipes With Oyster Mushrooms

1. Oyster Mushrooms Soup

What You Need

  • 1 stalk of oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 stalks of chopped green onions
  • 3-4 ginger slices
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Sesame oil, as needed
  • White pepper powder, as per taste

Process

  1. Boil ginger and oyster mushroom on medium-high heat.
  2. Add salt and boil for 2 minutes.
  3. Heat a separate pan and break the egg into it. Wait until it starts to cook.
  4. Add the green onion to the pan and stir.
  5. Pour the soup into a container. Add the eggs. Drizzle sesame oil, sprinkle white pepper powder, and serve.

2. King Oyster Mushroom Fry

What You Need

  • 1 pound king oyster mushrooms
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 6 ginger slices
  • 5 long hot peppers
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

Process

  1. Slice oyster mushrooms in half lengthwise. Do not cut completely.
  2. Heat oil in a wok and fry the mushrooms (both sides) until they are golden brown and tender. Keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in the pan and cook the ginger for a minute. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds.
  4. Stir in the spicy bean sauce and cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the mushrooms, light soy sauce, and sugar.
  6. Add the peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

3. Oyster Mushroom And Barley Rossotto

What You Need

  • 1 lb thinly sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2/3 cups of brown or white basmati rice
  • ½ cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • ⅔ cup of pearl barley
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper

Process

  1. Boil water in a large saucepan and add rice and barley to it.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large frypan.
  4. Sauté the mushrooms on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until they are tender.
  5. Add cooked barley rice mix to the mushrooms and stir.
  6. Add broth, cheese, and pepper.
  7. Stir until cheese melts, and the mixture is creamy.

Nutritionist Maryam Azhar says, “Oyster mushrooms must be sautéed or steamed for just 5-6 minutes to get maximum benefits. If mushrooms are cooked on high heat or fried, they can lose their nutritional content.”

Ensure you do not overcook the mushrooms and always eat fresh ones. However, you can store them for a few days before eating. Here are a few tips for storing them properly.

How To Store Oyster Mushrooms

Place the mushrooms in a loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for 5 to 7 days. Freeze them for 1 to 3 minutes and drain thoroughly. Seal in airtight bags and place in the freezer. You can store dry oyster mushrooms in the oven at 150°F for an hour and store them for longer periods. However, make sure you do not consume excess oyster mushrooms as it may cause adverse effects.

Possible Side Effects Of Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushroom contains ostreolysin, a toxic protein. Animal studies found that this protein may cause respiratory issues and increase arterial blood pressure (27). However, its effects on humans are not known.

Oyster mushrooms may also trigger symtpoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an inflammation of small airways in the lungs and cause fever, joint pain, and chills.

Also, in rare cases, mushrooms may be contaminated with heavy metals. Hence, always get the mushrooms from a trusted source and farms that follow proper agricultural practices.

To Conclude

Oyster mushrooms are the most commonly available edible mushrooms. They are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and have several health benefits. You can add them to your favorite dishes like stir-fries, soups, and pasta. However, excess intake of oyster mushrooms may cause some undesirable side effects and allergic reactions. Hence, limit their intake and consult your doctor in case of any emergency.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Mushroom oyster
    https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1750345/nutrients
  2. Effect of the Intake of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) on Cardiometabolic Parameters—A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230384/
  3. Antioxidant and antifungal potential of Pleurotus ostreatus and Agrocybe cylindracea basidiocarps and mycelia
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25483715/
  4. Antioxidant Activities and Tyrosinase Inhibitory Effects of Different Extracts from Pleurotus ostreatus Fruiting Bodies
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3741522/
  5. Is ergothioneine a ‘longevity vitamin’ limited in the American diet?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7681161/
  6. Protective effect of an extract of the oyster mushroom ‘Pleurotus ostreatus’on antioxidants of major organs of aged rats
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17126515/
  7. Protective Effect of Antioxidant Extracts from ‘Grey Oyster Mushroom’ ‘Pleurotus pulmonarius (Agaricomycetes)’ Against Human Low-Density Lipoprotein Oxidation and Aortic Endothelial Cell Damage
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27279533/
  8. Effect of the Intake of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) on Cardiometabolic Parameters—A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230384/
  9. Modulation of Cholesterol-Related Gene Expression by Dietary Fiber Fractions from Edible Mushrooms
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26284928/
  10. Clinical and Physiological Perspectives of β-Glucans: ‘The Past’ ‘Present’ and Future
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618555/
  11. Lipid lowering effects of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in humans
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464610000630
  12. Role of edible mushroom as a potent therapeutics for the diabetes and obesity
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6856246/
  13. Hypoglycaemic activity of culinary Pleurotus ostreatus and P. cystidiosus mushrooms in healthy volunteers and type 2 diabetic patients on diet control and the possible mechanisms of action
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25382404/
  14. Oyster mushroom reduced blood glucose and cholesterol in diabetic subjects
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17344789/
  15. Effects of Pleurotus ostreatus on Blood Pressure and Glycemic Status of Hypertensive Diabetic Male Volunteers
    https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Effects-of-Pleurotus-ostreatus-on-Blood-Pressure-of-Choudhury-Rahman/bb7fc5cf9c6247af0e41cc4fddeee10f034478ab
  16. A Proinflammatory Effect of the β-Glucan from Pleurotus cornucopiae Mushroom on Macrophage Action
    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2017/8402405/
  17. Enhancement of the Th1-phenotype immune system by the intake of Oyster mushroom (Tamogitake) extract in a double-blind placebo-controlled study
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411015001169?via%3Dihub
  18. Immunomodulatory effect of pleuran (β-glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus) in children with recurrent respiratory tract infections
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23261366/
  19. Antiviral Bioactive Compounds of Mushrooms and Their Antiviral Mechanisms: A Review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7926341/
  20. Anti-Cancer Effects of Protein Extracts from ‘Calvatia lilacina’ Pleurotus ostreatus and Volvariella volvacea
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139501/
  21. Antitumor effect of culinary-medicinal oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.: Fr.) P. Kumm. derived protein fraction on tumor-bearing mice models
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22324408/
  22. Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19020765/
  23. Anti-inflammatory activity of edible oyster mushroom is mediated through the inhibition of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21575254/
  24. Anti-Inflammatory Activity of ‘Pleurotus ostreatus’ a ‘Culinary Medicinal Mushroom’ in Wistar Rats
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7077046/
  25. Influence of a Biotechnologically Produced Oyster Mushroom ( Pleurotus sajor-caju) on the Gut Microbiota and Microbial Metabolites in Obese Zucker Rats
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33497213/
  26. Toxic and lethal effects of ostreolysin
    a cytolytic protein from edible oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in rodents
  27. Oyster mushrooms (pleurotus ostreatus) caused hypersensitivity pneumonitis: Mushroom worker\’s lung
    https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/44/Suppl_58/P4023

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.