The Surprising Nutrition Of Oyster Mushrooms
By Jayton Miller
If you are by the coast or have been by the coast at any point in your life then you have most likely tried oysters. The delicacy in a shell from the sea is a delicious and extremely nutritious treat, but what do these have to do with mushrooms? Named for the way they look, oyster mushrooms can be another great addition to your diet if you are looking to experiment with some fungi in your cooking.
What Are Oyster Mushrooms:
When people talk about the health benefits of oyster mushrooms they are most likely talking about King Oyster mushrooms. King Oyster mushrooms are a type of mushroom in the Pleurotus family of mushrooms. They have a large stem that tastes good and has a 'meaty' or 'hearty' flavor.
The mushrooms look like regular Oyster mushrooms but they taste a bit different. They have been studied in less detail than other types of bioactive, medicinal mushrooms but they seem to have the same properties as those other kinds of medicinal, bioactive mushrooms because they interact with the immune system and have the potential to make it stronger against illnesses.
King Oysters seem to be more potent at suppressing fatty acid absorption relative to other types of edible mushroom according to one study, and this type of mushroom also appears to provide benefits for heart health including boosting levels up cholesterol production in the liver as well as lowering blood pressure.
Benefits Of Oyster Mushrooms:
Oyster mushrooms have a very limited amount of data when it comes to human clinical trials, but animal studies have shown the following:
Oyster Mushrooms Could Increase Testosterone Levels
A study conducted on elk (yes elk, probably one of the most difficult research animals available) showed that after eating a high dose of oyster mushrooms for a little over 7 weeks there was an increase in testosterone by about 500%.
This is a massive increase in testosterone levels, animal or human. There was no change in any other hormonal markers measured other than estrogen levels which increased slightly (most likely as a compensatory effect of the large increase in testosterone).
This study has not been replicated since it was conducted, and is not really feasible to achieve for humans as 15-20% of the elk’s diet was in the form of oyster mushrooms. Still a phenomenal increase to note though.
Oyster Mushrooms May Support A Healthy Heart
Oyster mushrooms could be good for your heart. They have the potential to make your blood pressure lower and keep cholesterol levels in check. Oyster mushrooms have twice the beta-glucans than white button mushrooms, making them more potent and potentially more beneficial than white button mushrooms.
These beta-glucans are digested by bacteria in the gut to produce short chain fatty acids that can help lead to some of the heart healthy benefits.
A study of 20 people in 2011 found that if subjects ate soup with 30 grams of dried oyster mushroom for 21 days, their triglycerides and cholesterol levels would be lower than those who did not eat this soup.
There was also a 2020 review that found that eight studies showed that P. ostreatus helped lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and insulin levels which could help decrease heart disease risk. There is a high risk of bias in all these studies so more well-designed studies are needed to better understand how good it is for you.
Oyster Mushrooms May Promote Gut health
A 2021 study on mice found that when obese mice supplemented their diet with oyster mushrooms it decreased the growth of harmful bacteria and increased the production of beneficial short-chain fatty acids in their guts.
This is one of the reasons it is good to supplement with a good probiotic supplement. Getting rid of bad bacteria and getting good bacteria into the intestine is a hard process, but can be made easier with a good probiotic supplement like Floracil50.
Read More: The Top 25 Testosterone Boosting Foods
Cooking With Oyster Mushrooms:
Oyster mushrooms are a great addition to any dish, or as a dish of their own. With a meaty texture and hearty flavor these mushrooms are hard to pass up at the dinner table.
It is important to note that you do not want to eat any variety of mushrooms raw as they have protective compounds in them that need to be broken down through the cooking process. Eating them raw can cause some slight digestive issues. Many of the members of The Thermo Diet Community like to slice up mushrooms into thin slices and sautee them in butter to get a nice savory side dish to their steak.
However, there are many other ways you can cook mushrooms such as in an organic wine, or even just boiled. Give them a try and let us know what you think!