Oyster Mushrooms: Delicious and Nutritious

Mushrooms are one of the best health foods available. Each year in the early spring time mushroom hunters take to the woods and swampy areas in many states to search for their treasured treats. When found they are carefully harvested, cleaned and cooked. Or, if they are lucky enough to hit the mother load, they can even sell their extra bounty to local restaurants for a good profit.

But what if you are not able to go into the woods to seek your food fortune? Is there a way to grow your own mushrooms? The answer is yes and it really isn’t difficult to do. Mushrooms don’t grow well in chemically enhanced soil. That is a good thing Shroom chocolate. Health conscious people don’t want to eat chemicals and even if you are not particularly health conscious you really should concentrate on eating foods that are naturally grown as opposed to modified and enhanced foods.

Mushrooms fit this health requirement perfectly. Kits are now available that allow you to grow your own. People that go into the woods to find mushrooms each year only have a limited opportunity to do so as the growing season is very short. You on the other hand can grow your crop all year around. And best of all you don’t get just one harvest per year. You can repeatedly grow a new crop of tasty delights anytime you chose. The time from planting to picking can be a short as one week and the kits are totally chemical free, organic and produce such a fine result that you’ll never go into the woods to search for mushrooms again. Of course if you enjoy mushroom hunting you could make your annual trip to the woods as a way to enhance your supply but you really won’t need to.

One of the very best tasting mushrooms I’ve found is the blue oyster mushroom (pleurotus ostreatus). It is used in gourmet kitchens worldwide as it has a taste and texture that is more solid and flavorful than most any other mushroom. They taste sweet, shrink very little and hold their shape and springiness when briefly cooked.

Edible pieces of oyster mushroom are delicious and nutritious. The oyster mushroom is rich in vitamin C, B complex and protein. The texture of oyster mushroom is wonderful, velvety and the flavor is mild in nature. Oyster mushroom contains most of the mineral salts that is required by the human body. Calcium, phosphorous and the iron content in oyster mushrooms is double the amount available in beef, pork and chicken meat. Vitamin B3 in oyster mushrooms is 5-10 times higher as compared to any other vegetable. They are a nutritious daily diet for people of all ages. If you suffer from hypertension, obesity and diabetes, oyster mushroom can form part of diet for it is low in sodium, potassium, starch, fat and calorific value. For those who suffer from hyperacidity and constipation, the alkaline ash and high fiber content oyster mushroom is the favored food. Oyster mushrooms can even help reduce cholesterol levels in some people. Mushrooms that have health benefits in human use are called medicinal mushrooms. There are quite many different species of them. Most used and researched ones are Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom), Lentinula edodes (Shiitake mushroom) and Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi mushroom).

These have been used for thousands of years by people all over the world but especially by people in Asia. In fact some of them were thought to be very valuable. It is no wonder that there is a lot of ongoing study and research about medicinal mushrooms and their extracts.

Fungi as mushrooms are also know, can live on soil, a dead matter or in symbiotic mode with plants. These conditions require fungi to develop strong anti-pathogenic properties. It’s these same properties that make mushrooms so valuable as a medicine. The main health benefit in most medicinal mushrooms is immune system boosting ability. This is quite useful even if you are totally healthy but especially when you are sick. Strong immune system can fight infections and viruses. Other health benefits include effects to blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. Some mushrooms can even be used to lose weight.

The most interesting health benefit of medicinal mushrooms is they anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. Studies have shown that some mushroom can prevent and kill cancer cells. In some parts of Asia mushroom extracts are being used with chemotherapy treatments. In addition many mushrooms are rich in vitamins, fiber and amino acid and don’t have much fat or cholesterol.

The miracle compound in mushrooms is inside bioactive polysaccharides. It is called beta-glucan and some researchers consider it to be one of the strongest immunity booster substances. Over 40 years of study and 1, 600 published research papers make this compound very well documented. Beta-glucan is external immunomodulator that changes immune systems reaction to threats.

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