Oyster mushroom nutrition facts
Oyster mushrooms are large, oyster-shell shaped edible fungi species. Their chewy, flavorful, fruiting bodies are widely popular in the Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisine. It is native to the dense forests of North America, Northern Europe, and Siberian Asia.
Botanically, they belong to the family: Pleurotaceae, and the genus: Pleurotus.
Scientific name: P. ostreatus. They are also known by names as abalone mushroom, pearl oyster mushroom, hiratake, etc.
Apart from the common oyster, some of highly valued, edible Pleurotus species that grown for their delicate fruiting bodies are:
- P. eryngii (king oyster mushroom)-is the largest species among Pleurotus family mushrooms and has rich flavor. Its club shaped, thick stalk is firmly attached to the cap.
- P. pulmonarius is also known as phoenix or Indian oyster mushroom. It is smaller and paler than pearl oyster mushroom and prefers warm weather.
- P. populinus is native to North America and fruits in summer months.
- P. djamor (The pink oyster mushroom) grows in tropical warm regions.
- P. australis (brown oyster mushroom) has large brown caps and commonly found in Australia and New Zealand forests.
- P. cystidiosus (abalone mushroom or akuratake).
Oyster mushrooms can be easily identified by their grey-white, oyster-shell shaped cap which is attached to thick, firm stalk (stem). Their undersurface is featured by highly defined gills which run right from the edge of cap up to the middle of the stalk. Cap measures about 5-15 cm in diameter. The stem has 2-4 inches in length.
Health benefits of oyster mushrooms
- P. ostreatus is one of very low-caloried mushrooms. 100 gram of fresh fungus carries just 33 calories. Nonetheless, this flavorful fungi is loaded natural bioactive compounds, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that promote health.
- Oyster mushroom contains a HMG-CoA reductase enzyme inhibitor substance called statin(lovastatin or Mevinolin-2.8% dry weight).
- They compose β-glucan which has anti-viral and anti-allergic properties.
- Certain protein polysaccharides in the oyster mushroom has been found to have anti-hyperglycemic, anti-soft tissue tumor, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive effects in the experimental animal studies.
- In the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), oyster fungus is known to dispel cold wind, relax tendons and bones and strengthen yang. It is indicated to treat impotence, weakness of joints and limbs, and backache problems.
- Oyster mushrooms carries reatively high amounts of good quality protien than other cultivated mushrooms.
- Fresh mushroom is an excellent source of folic acid (38 μg 9.5% per 100 g).
- Further, they contain ample concentrations of other B-complex group of vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, etc.
- Minerals such as copper, iron, phosphorus present in moderate levels in this mushroom.
- Oyster mushrooms are modest sources of vitamin-D (ergo-calciferol) at 29 μg per 100 g (7% of DA). Vitamin-D plays a vital role in the calcium and phosphate metabolism.