I always come across an unfamiliar fruit or veggie in the produce aisle that piques my interest. When I first saw oyster mushrooms, their fan-shaped appearance immediately caught my attention. But after doing some research, I found out there’s more to this type of mushroom than meets the eye.
It turns out oyster mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, which helps keep your bones strong and healthy.
Do these mushrooms increase your body’s vitamin D levels?
Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt usually come to mind when we think of vitamin D-rich foods. However, this key vitamin can be found in the most unlikely fruits and veggies, including oyster mushrooms.
According to the USDA, a one cup serving of raw oyster mushrooms contains 28 calories and nearly 25 IU of vitamin D. A 2021 study published in Food & Nutrition Research found that adding these mushrooms to one’s daily diet increased vitamin D levels up to 11 percent.
This vitamin is responsible for helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, the nutrients responsible for strong bones and teeth. Faculty of Pharmacy students at the Universitas Gadjah Mada conducted research in 2016 on this mushroom’s bone health benefits.
What they discovered is that consuming oyster mushrooms protects against osteoclastogenesis, a process in which osteoclastic cells form in bone marrow. Making sure your body gets sufficient vitamin D reduces your risk of osteoporosis, a disease that causes brittle bones and decreased bone mass.
“This study is the first step to explore oyster mushrooms as [a] prospective, cheap, and safe anti-osteo [food],” researcher Yana Bintoro Priambodo said. (‘Anti-osteo’ refers to the mushroom’s potential ability to ward off bone diseases that are typically prefixed with ‘osteo’.)
Given this information, oyster mushrooms are a clear winner if you’re looking to protect your bones for years to come! Not sure how to prepare them? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
How do you eat oyster mushrooms?
This mushroom comes in six varieties, including golden, blue, and king oyster mushrooms. Despite their differing appearances, they all have a similar earthy, “seafood-like” flavor.
This makes them perfect to sauté with olive oil and herbs, add to soups and sauces, or use as a pizza topping. Just be sure to gently wipe the mushrooms with a slightly damp paper towel before cooking to remove any dirt.
Adding these mushrooms to your diet allows some variety when it comes to your daily vitamin D intake. The long-term health benefits — reducing your osteoporosis risk and improving overall bone health — only make this vegetable more appealing!