Well said in Ayurveda, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
In today’s health-conscious era, many individuals are seeking nutrient-rich foods to optimize their well-being. In the pursuit of maximum health, it is essential to select foods that provide both nourishment and flavor. Oyster mushrooms, scientifically known as Pleurotus and Dhingri in hindi, are not only delicious but also valuable to one’s well-being. These distinct mushrooms have increased in popularity in recent years due to their remarkable nutritional profile, making them a nutritional powerhouse for supporting optimal health. These are often overlooked in favour of more traditional sources of nutrition, but they have a number of amazing properties that make them a standout option. Oyster has many coloured species and these Pleurotus spp. are high in critical nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a well-rounded food option. These nutrients are essential for energy metabolism, neuronal function, immunological support, and antioxidant defence. Packed with essential nutrients and unique health benefits, oyster mushrooms offer a valuable alternative to traditional protein sources like milk, eggs, meat, etc.
There is a need to develop the knowledge of oyster mushrooms so that we can move forward for our own well-being.
Oyster mushrooms are high in vitamins including niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), and pantothenic acid (B5), all of which are necessary for energy production, brain function, and skin health. These mushrooms are one of the few plant-based vitamin D sources. The conversion of ergosterol, a substance present in oyster mushrooms, into vitamin D is stimulated by exposure to sunlight or UV light. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immunological function, and mood modulation. They contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and zinc, which are essential for a variety of body activities. Potassium promotes heart health, phosphorus promotes bone health, copper assists iron absorption, and selenium functions as an antioxidant, preventing cell damage. They are an incredible source of fiber which is essential for a healthy digestive system, blood sugar regulation, and promoting a feeling of fullness. Consuming fiber-rich foods such as oyster mushrooms can aid with weight management and prevent constipation. On the other hand, dietary fiber is typically insignificantly low in milk, eggs, and meat. Oyster mushrooms have been recognized for their potential immune-boosting properties. They include beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber related to improved immunological function. Beta-glucans increase the activity of immune cells, including macrophages and natural killer cells, which aid in the body’s defense against infections and illnesses. These mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which help fight oxidative stress and lower the risk of chronic diseases. They are an excellent source of ergothioneine (sometimes used as medicine), a unique antioxidant with neuroprotective characteristics. This is an amino acid only produced by bacteria and fungi so we need external source for its supply. It’s level decreases with age. Oyster mushroom supplies the highest amount of ergothioneine as per a Japanese study in 2013.
They are naturally low in cholesterol and fat, making them an ideal choice for anyone attempting to reduce their consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. For people who are lactose intolerant or live a dairy-free lifestyle, oyster mushrooms offer a lactose-free option. While milk is a wonderful source of calcium and upto vitamin D, oyster mushrooms are also high in these minerals. In addition, unlike dairy milk, they do not contain cholesterol. They can also be used as a plant-based protein alternative for eggs. They have a comparable protein level but are lower in calories and fat. Additionally, oyster mushrooms lack the cholesterol present in egg yolks instead lovastatin present in oyster mushroom helps control cholesterol. These mushrooms have a meaty texture and umami flavor, making them a tasty meat replacement, particularly red meat, which can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat and has been linked to a variety of health problems when ingested in excess. While meat is a good source of protein and minerals like iron and zinc, oyster mushrooms can provide equivalent levels of these nutrients while being lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. That’s why oyster mushroom is known as “Delight of Diabetics” with many published field studies of diabetes control.
Oyster mushrooms are a wonderful complement to any diet due to their exceptional nutritional profile, versatility in cooking, and health-promoting properties. Whether you are a vegetarian, vegan, or simply looking to diversify your food sources, oyster mushrooms provide a number of benefits that make them deserving of a prominent role in your diet. Making informed dietary choices and selecting nutrient-rich options like oyster mushrooms can assist us in prioritizing food as a source of nourishment and wellness over relying entirely on medicine.
Furthermore, growing oyster mushrooms have extra benefits. Agriwaste used as substrate or growing medium, very less water requirement, capacity to grow without soil, and cost-effectiveness make them an appealing option for environmentally responsible and economic super-food production. We can contribute to a more environmentally friendly and resilient food system by adopting oyster mushroom cultivation.
The best part is that Oyster mushrooms can be dehydrated and powdered which becomes even more high in nutrition and can be added to any food or drink of your choice.
So, why not give BETi oyster mushrooms a try and uncover their potential for maximum health and well-being?
For more such information keep on reading the BETi Blogs.
Written by- Ms. Paridhi Soni
Pursuing M.Sc. Applied Microbiology Student Intern, Team BETi
Edited by- Dr. Pooja Dubey Pandey
M.Sc., Ph.D. Biotechnology , Founder Director , BETi Innovative Pvt. Ltd.
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