Medicinal Mushroom Series: Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
If you haven't eaten Oyster mushrooms yet, what are you waiting for?! This mushroom is delicious. I don't even care that is has other benefits, all that is just a bonus. I could end this post here and be quite content with what I've written thus far... But I guess you're hear for more than just that so I shall proceed.
Found all over the world growing on decaying hardwood trees, this mushroom has been included in many different dishes. Some of the Pleurotus species have even been used to help clean up environments that have been contaminated by human waste. Mycoremediation is the process in which mushrooms are intentionally introduced onto things like oil spills, where they can eat up the toxic waste and turn it back into a safe byproduct. Pretty incredible stuff!
If you aren't sold on this mushroom yet, here are the top 4 benefits of the Oyster mushroom:
When added to your regular routine, consuming oyster mushroom in supplemental form can actually help lower your blood sugar. Great news from those who are afflicted with blood sugar levels that continue to creep upwards!
2) Fights Allergies
That's right, another mushroom that helps decrease allergies! Now I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with an anaphylactic allergy, but those of you who suffer from seasonal allergies or allergies to dust, animals or anything else that is not life threatening, but rather quite irritating, Oyster mushrooms may help you feel better! They accomplish this by decreasing blood eiosinophelia and stabilizing IgE (for those of you interested).
3) Strengthens the Immune System
This point is specific to athletes. When taken as a supplement in individuals undergoing heavy training regimens, Oyster mushrooms have been shown to decrease the chances of these athletes getting sick. This is quite useful to people undergoing rigorous training protocols, as sickness leads to days wasted on recovery when they could be spent honing skills!
This delicious fungi has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on blood lipids. It has a positive effect on cholesterol levels, increasing the good and decreasing the bad. All the more reason to incorporate this wonderful food into your regular daily life!
Dr. Rob Raponi ND, CISSN, B.Kine(Hons) www.msknaturopathic.com
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