Oyster Mushrooms: 6 Potential Health Benefits And Nutrition Facts

Boost your immune system and improve your heart health with these gilled mushrooms

Medically reviewed by Dr. Archna AgrawalDr. Archna Agrawal, MSc (Dietetics), Naturopathy
By Sindhu KogantiSindhu Koganti, Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

With an appearance similar to that of oysters, the benefits of oyster mushrooms are many. These mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) reduce the risk of cancer, support the immune system, lower blood sugar levels, and improve heart health. These gilled mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and other therapeutic compounds. They have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Keep reading to learn more about the nutritional facts, types, health benefits, and associated 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.

The oyster mushroom, also known as oyster fungus or hiratake, was first cultivated in Germany as a sustenance strategy during World War I.

Types Of Oyster Mushrooms

Different types of oyster mushrooms

Image: IStock

  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.
Among the few carnivorous mushrooms known is the oyster mushroom. Its mycelia have the capability to kill and consume nematodes (roundworms), which is believed to be the way the mushroom acquires nitrogen.

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

Close up of the underside of oyster mushrooms

Image: Shutterstock

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

Oyster mushrooms improve your heart health

Image: Shutterstock

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

Oyster mushroom tagliatelle pasta

Image: Shutterstock

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


  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


  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 Rissotto

Oyster Mushroom And Barley Rissotto

Image: Shutterstock

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


  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.

Oyster mushrooms are rich in zinc. If consumed in large quantities for a long time, they may cause copper deficiency, which might reduce the WBC count and affect the immune system.

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 gilled mushrooms with many therapeutic values. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help treat many ailments. The benefits of oyster mushrooms are many. They may help improve heart health, lower blood sugar levels, support immune function, and reduce cancer risk. They are available in different types, and you can easily prepare many delicious recipes at home. However, they may also cause respiratory issues and inflammation in the airways and increase arterial blood pressure in some. Hence, limit their consumption and consult your doctor in case of emergencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are oyster mushrooms considered a superfood?

Yes, oyster mushrooms are superfood. They are loaded with many nutrients like calcium, iron, and folate that promote overall health.

Can you eat oyster mushrooms raw?

Although oyster mushrooms can be eaten raw, they have an unpleasant metallic taste. Hence, it is better to consume cooked oyster mushrooms.

Key Takeaways

  • Oyster mushrooms are available in different varieties loaded with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
  • These mushrooms may lower the risk of cancer, boost the immune system, reduce blood sugar, and promote heart health.
  • They can be used in soups, stir-fries, egg dishes, and pasta toppings.
  • Excessive consumption of oyster mushrooms may result in respiratory issues, fever, joint pain, and chills.


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
  2. Effect of the Intake of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) on Cardiometabolic Parameters—A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
  3. Antioxidant and antifungal potential of Pleurotus ostreatus and Agrocybe cylindracea basidiocarps and mycelia
  4. Antioxidant Activities and Tyrosinase Inhibitory Effects of Different Extracts from Pleurotus ostreatus Fruiting Bodies
  5. Is ergothioneine a ‘longevity vitamin’ limited in the American diet?
  6. Protective effect of an extract of the oyster mushroom ‘Pleurotus ostreatus’on antioxidants of major organs of aged rats
  7. Protective Effect of Antioxidant Extracts from ‘Grey Oyster Mushroom’ ‘Pleurotus pulmonarius (Agaricomycetes)’ Against Human Low-Density Lipoprotein Oxidation and Aortic Endothelial Cell Damage
  8. Effect of the Intake of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) on Cardiometabolic Parameters—A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
  9. Modulation of Cholesterol-Related Gene Expression by Dietary Fiber Fractions from Edible Mushrooms
  10. Clinical and Physiological Perspectives of β-Glucans: ‘The Past’ ‘Present’ and Future
  11. Lipid lowering effects of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) in humans
  12. Role of edible mushroom as a potent therapeutics for the diabetes and obesity
  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
  14. Oyster mushroom reduced blood glucose and cholesterol in diabetic subjects
  15. Effects of Pleurotus ostreatus on Blood Pressure and Glycemic Status of Hypertensive Diabetic Male Volunteers
  16. A Proinflammatory Effect of the β-Glucan from Pleurotus cornucopiae Mushroom on Macrophage Action
  17. Enhancement of the Th1-phenotype immune system by the intake of Oyster mushroom (Tamogitake) extract in a double-blind placebo-controlled study
  18. Immunomodulatory effect of pleuran (β-glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus) in children with recurrent respiratory tract infections
  19. Antiviral Bioactive Compounds of Mushrooms and Their Antiviral Mechanisms: A Review
  20. Anti-Cancer Effects of Protein Extracts from ‘Calvatia lilacina’ Pleurotus ostreatus and Volvariella volvacea
  21. Antitumor effect of culinary-medicinal oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.: Fr.) P. Kumm. derived protein fraction on tumor-bearing mice models
  22. Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway
  23. Anti-inflammatory activity of edible oyster mushroom is mediated through the inhibition of NF-κB and AP-1 signaling
  24. Anti-Inflammatory Activity of ‘Pleurotus ostreatus’ a ‘Culinary Medicinal Mushroom’ in Wistar Rats
  25. Influence of a Biotechnologically Produced Oyster Mushroom ( Pleurotus sajor-caju) on the Gut Microbiota and Microbial Metabolites in Obese Zucker Rats
  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
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.