For years, mushrooms have been used in cooking and as medicine. If you are looking for a delicious and healthy food to improve your health and your diet as well, then adding mushrooms just might be the answer.
It does not matter what your favourite type of mushroom is, whether it is enoki, crimini, portobello, oyster, shiitake or white button, all mushrooms are loaded with essential nutrients.
Below are 10 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Mushrooms:
Mushrooms contain as many antioxidants as other vegetables. Antioxidants help in the prevention of damage to bodily cells which are caused by dangerous oxygen molecules, called as “free radicals”. These molecules are known to be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of iron. Over 90% of the nutritive iron value can be absorbed by your body. This keeps people healthy, promotes the formation of red blood cells and keeps them functioning at their full potential.
3. Bone Health
Mushrooms are rich in calcium, which is an important nutrient in the strength and formation of bones. A regular supply of calcium in your diet, can reduce your chances of developing conditions such as osteoporosis. It can also reduce joint pain and general lack of mobility, most often associated with bone degradation.
4. Breast and Prostate Cancer
Mushrooms are effective in preventing prostate and breast cancer. This is due to presence of Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid, both of which have anti-carcinogenic effects.
Linoleic acid is beneficial in suppressing the harmful effects of excess estrogen. An increase in estrogen is one of the common cause of breast cancer in women after menopause.
Beta-Glucans, on the other hand, help inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in prostate cancer.
5. Cholesterol Levels
Mushrooms provide lean proteins since they have no fat or cholesterol and have very low carbohydrates. The fiber and enzymes in mushrooms, also help in lowering cholesterol levels.
Moreover, the high lean protein content of mushrooms help burn cholesterol upon digestion. Balancing levels of cholesterol between HDL or good cholesterol and LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol, is important in the prevention of various cardiovascular diseases, such as artherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack.
6. Diabetes Management
Mushrooms are considered to be a good food for dietary management. This is because it contains natural enzymes, which help the body break down starch and sugar in other foods.
7. Improve Your Immune System
Mushroom contains long chain polysaccharides, in particular alpha and beta glucan molecules, which are responsible for the mushrooms’ beneficial effect on the immune system. In a study, adding 1-2 servings of dried shiitake mushrooms were found to have a beneficial and modulating effect on immune system function.
8. Improved Nutrition
One dietary analysis concluded that mushroom consumption was linked with improved nutrition and better diet quality.
9. Increase Your Vitamin D
Mushrooms are known to be the only vegetable source of this critical vitamin. Like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when expose in sunlight. Exposing mushrooms to high levels of ultraviolet B prior going to market, converts more of the plant sterol, known as ergosterol into the so-called sunshine vitamin.
10. Weight Management
Studies have proven that substituting red meat with white button mushrooms can help promote weight loss. In one study, obese participants with a mean age of just over 48 years, consumed approximately 1 cup of mushrooms daily, in place of meat.
The control group, on the other hand, consumed a standard diet without mushrooms. At the end of the 1 year trial, the intervention group had lost an average of 3.6% of their starting weight or about 7 pounds. They also showed improvements in body composition, including reduced waist circumference and the ability to maintain their weight loss, as compared to the control group.