Oyster Mushrooms stand apart as exceptional allies for improving not only human health, but also environmental health. These mushrooms have a stellar reputation as being easy to cultivate, medicinally supportive and nutrient dense. They are also renowned for their ability to help degrade environmental toxins, specifically hydrocarbon-based contaminants. Research has found that their complex biochemistry proves their potential to combat hunger (easily grown), improve immunity (nutrient rich) and clean up polluted lands (environmental protector). We will be exploring the more human body based benefits of these mushrooms.
Oyster Mushrooms nutrient benefits include the ability to help us naturally reduce joint pain and muscles aches due to their anti-inflammatory properties and effects. They are shown to reduce tightness in our tendons. Oyster Mushrooms also have the ability to strengthen blood vessel walls and lower the risk of stroke or heart attack. Due to their Iron rich nutrient breakdown they are an excellent source to address a diet that is iron deficient (meat free) or for those suffering from an iron deficiency (anemia).
Vitamin B1-Thiamine is an important vitamin since it helps the body to break down sugar and use it as fuel within the body. It is also supportive of both heart and nerve health.
Vitamin B2- Vital for the production of red blood cells and steroid hormone synthesis. It helps to transport oxygen in the body and also mobilizes iron.
Vitamin B3-In the form of niacinamide helps to clear acne when applied topically to the skin. Niacin also reduces the numbers of flare ups, skin inflammation, redness and irritation. It also helps to improve cardiovascular and heart health.
Vitamin B6- Helps the immune system to function optimally. It aides in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and amino acids while maintaining healthy lymph node function. Vitamin B6 also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Vitamin B9- Folate helps to strengthen and maintain healthy liver function. Folate is also essential for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.
Vitamin B12- Folic Acid helps to preserve our neurological function and DNA synthesis. It plays a key role in the health of red blood cells and helps our nervous system work optimally as well.
Vitamin D, Phosphorus and Calcium- Is a trifecta for overall oral health. It helps to prevent tooth decay and gum disease by assisting the jaw-bone density, holding the teeth and enamel. Calcium and phosphorus rich foods help children to develop and form a hard structure for adult teeth. Vitamin D requires phosphorous to balance the calcium and enhance absorption in this formation of the tooth. Vitamin D is also a great anti-inflammatory and can help with gum inflammation.
Dietary Fiber- Helps to stimulate digestion, relives indigestion, and constipation issues.
Potassium- An essential mineral for the body to help with fluid regulation, cardiovascular health and protein absorption. High levels of potassium have been associated with reduced risk for stroke, improved blood pressure, as well as improved bone health.
Zinc-Helps to promote proper immune function, controls blood sugar, energy metabolism, and aides in digestion.
Copper- Another essential mineral to help promote healthy connective tissue growth, proper heart rhythm, enzymatic reactions and proper growth overall.
Iron- Neurotransmitter function rely heavily on the adequate amount of iron to maintain a positive mood. Therefore the lack of iron leads to poor sleep, energy, mood and could ultimately lead to anemia.
Where to find them
Luckily, Oyster Mushrooms are available in markets (including Whole Foods) or food markets, typically in dried mushroom packages. They are also very easy to grow on your own, but be sure to properly source them. They are an easy add-in or substitute for portobello and button mushrooms in a stir fry or sauteed in olive oil and garlic. You can also find Oyster Mushroom in supplement form (capsule specifically). It provides the same affect on cholesterol and enhances immunity. Take supplementation with meals or a full glass of water to help absorption.