Oyster Mushroom Health Benefits
The characteristic fan-shaped cap of an oyster mushroom comes in shades of white, gray, blue, pink and yellow, adding visual interest to accompany its delicate flavor. In soups, sauteed or stir-fried, you’ll gain fiber, vitamin D, niacin and iron from a serving of these earthy delicacies.
One cup of sliced oyster mushrooms has 28 calories and less than 1 gram of fat, yet delivers 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Per serving, men gain 5 percent of their recommended daily intake of both fiber and protein, while women get 6 percent of their daily protein and 8 percent of dietary fiber. The same portion also provides 8 percent of the daily value of potassium, vitamin B-6 and folate.
Proteins that contain iron are responsible for moving oxygen through blood and into tissues. Iron-dependent enzymes initiate biochemical processes that produce energy and help the liver remove toxins from the bloodstream. In the immune system, iron is essential for the growth of T lymphocytes, which are special cells that destroy viruses and tumor cells. Men should consume 8 milligrams of iron daily, while women need 18 milligrams. One cup of oyster mushrooms provides 12 percent of the daily intake for men and 6 percent for women.
Almost 200 enzymes depend on niacin to perform their jobs activating biochemical reactions. In this role, niacin helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Processes that repair damaged DNA, the carrier of genetic information, also depend on niacin. It contributes to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Men need slightly more niacin than women, so they get 25 percent of their recommended daily intake, while women gain 29 percent.
Mushrooms are one of the few plant sources of vitamin D. They contain a substance -- ergosterol -- that turns into vitamin D as it’s exposed to ultraviolet light. Your body can't absorb calcium without vitamin D. It also regulates genes that influence cell growth and enzymes in the immune system. Vitamin D helps protect your heart by lowering blood pressure, according to research published in the April 2012 issue of the "Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics." The amount of vitamin D varies depending on the length of exposure to ultraviolet light. Oyster mushrooms may have as much as 103 international units in 100 grams, which is a little less than 1 cup. But the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory reports 25 international units in 1 cup, which is 4 percent of the recommended daily intake.
Oyster mushrooms and other types of fungi are the only sources of ergothioneine, which functions as an antioxidant and lowers systemic inflammation. Oyster mushrooms are one of the best mushroom sources, according to the University of Pennsylvania. Research published in the November 2010 issue of the "Journal of Medicinal Food" concluded that ergothioneine may prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries that leads to cardiovascular disease.
Article from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/oyster-mushroom-health-benefits-4908.html
Published : 17-Dec-2014