The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is a delicious edible mushroom that resembles an oyster in shape and is commonly sought after by mushroom hunters.
Oyster mushrooms grow in forests around the world.
These mushrooms grow on dead or dying hardwood trees like beech and oak trees. They can sometimes be found growing on fallen branches and dead stumps.
Oyster mushrooms decompose decaying wood and release nutrients into the soil, recycling nutrients to be used by other plants and organisms in forest ecosystems.
Oyster mushrooms have thick, white, mild-tasting flesh that contains a variety of nutrients. They are particularly high in B vitamins, including niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2), as well as the minerals potassium, copper, iron, and zinc.
They also contain powerful anti-inflammatory plant compounds, including triterpenoids, glycoproteins, and lectins, which may offer some protection against chronic diseases.
For example, test-tube research shows that oyster mushrooms have properties that help fight prostate, colon, and breast cancer cells. However, human studies are lacking.
Oyster mushrooms are excellent sautéed with onions and garlic as a side dish.