Mushrooms are good addition to food especially when it comes to taste and texture. They come in different varieties, which include white button, shitaki, oyster, crimini, and portobello. Regardless of types, mushrooms are generally low in calories. They are also low in sodium and have no fat or cholesterol. Mushrooms are also filled with essential nutrients that are good for the health.
Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals in terms of composition, however it is categorized as a vegetable only for diet purposes.
They are excellent source of vitamin D, which are produced by exposure through the sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and reduction of risk of heart and diseases and even cancer. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that mushroom is the exception to the fact that plants do not naturally come with vitamin D.
Apart from vitamin D, mushrooms contain adequate supply of vitamin B complex. B vitamins are important for metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Among the B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid have the biggest contribution. The said vitamin B complex components have also their own functions.
Riboflavin, for instance, is vital in the production of red blood cells. Niacin, meanwhile, assists in the maintenance of the nervous and digestive system. Pantothenic acid, moreover, is important for the production of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Mushrooms are also popular in the field of culinary, because of its distinct “umami” taste. This taste is born from the natural glutamate found in mushrooms. Glutamate enriches the taste of food in place of salt. Since lesser amount of salt in food means a healthier blood pressure, mushrooms are recommended to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Mushrooms are indeed low in sodium and high in potassium, the latter enjoying primordial importance to balance the fluid in the body.
It is loaded with huge quantity of antioxidants, particularly ergothioneine, which protects the blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen across the body. Antioxidants are needed to protect the body from harmful free radicals.
Other minerals found in mushrooms include selenium, copper, and phosphorus. Selenium protects the immune system and as an antioxidant, it is found to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Copper is necessary to form red blood cells and to make produce energy. Phosphorus is important in muscle contraction and in building strong and healthy teeth and bones.
The Important Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Mushrooms are popularly known to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. This vegetable is one of the healthiest of all kinds because of the fact that they contain very low to zero amounts of cholesterol, fats, and carbohydrates. Aside from that fact that they have zero cholesterol, it is concentrated with lean protein that is able to shred away body’s cholesterol levels. It is essential to achieve the right ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol for the heart’s stability and proper functioning. Too much LDL or bad cholesterol and too low HDL or good cholesterol heightens the possibility of heart malfunction that can lead to various types of cardiovascular ailments. If you want to be generally healthy, make sure to regulate your body’s cholesterol levels and regular consumption of mushrooms will be of great help.
Prevents and Treats Anemia
Anemia is caused by improper distribution of oxygen in the body. Oxygen is transported all-throughout the system through blood circulation. Oxygen is carried in the blood, specifically by hemoglobin, and distributed to body parts and organs. One good thing with consuming mushrooms regularly is that it encourages hemoglobin synthesis. It assures that hemoglobin level in the body is sufficient so that oxygen is properly carried by it and transported to every single parts and organs of the body. To prevent anemia, make sure to eat a lot of mushrooms. And if you are suffering from such, mushroom intake can help your condition.
Reduces Risks of Prostate and Breast Cancer
Studies proved that regular mushroom consumption can alleviate risks of cancer particularly in the breast and in the prostate. Because of its richness in powerful and unique polysaccharides, its consumption effectively decreases chances of growing tumors in the breast, prostate and possibly in all other parts of the body. This vegetable contains Beta-Glucans and Linoleic Acid that fight the harsh effects of carcinogens in the body. Its linoleic acid particularly prevents breast cancer especially on the menopausal stage among women. During the women’s menopausal stage, the body stimulates excess estrogen production that is said to be one of the primary causes of breast cancer. On the other hand, its Beta-Glucans reduces the potential of cancer cell development especially in the prostate. On top of that, mushrooms also contain selenium that most vegetables and fruits lack. This compound inhibits inflammation in the body. Inflammation is also a stepping stone to tumor growth and cancer cell replication. If you are highly exposed to cancer risks, adding mushroom to your daily meal is of significant contribution to your health.
Thwarts Off Diabetes
As mentioned above, this vegetable has very low levels of fats, cholesterol, and carbohydrates and at the same time rich in protein. In addition, mushrooms are also abundant in fiber and water content which makes it a very ideal food to prevent as well as treat diabetes. Plus, they also have enzymes that regulates break down and metabolism of sugar and starch from food intake. This way, blood sugar level is normalized. Mushroom also has insulin formation effects to help prevent diabetes and even better the condition of those who are diabetics.
Promotes Bone Health
Another good thing with mushroom is that they are rich in calcium. Calcium is a vital nutrient that the body needs for the quality, strength, and proper development of the bones. Constant intake of foods rich in calcium will ascertain that the bones are remained healthy and strong through time. Adding mushrooms to your diet will also fight bone disorders like osteoporosis, bone loss, and related issues in the joint as well as the body’s lack of mobility. If you don’t want your age to limit your potential, eating a lot of mushrooms will be of great help.
Boosts the Immune System
Mushrooms contain a very rare compound called ergothioneine that effectively boosts the immune system. Ergothioneine is a sulfur concentrated amino acid that eliminates free radicals causing irregularities in the body. Mushrooms also possess antibiotics paving away infection-related sickness. Regular consumption of mushroom inhibits accumulation of bacteria and fungi that causes infections. This vegetable is abundant in various vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, B-complex, and C that all work together in strengthening the body’s defense against diseases.
Promotes Weight Loss
Because mushrooms have high protein content, this vegetable is very helpful in losing weight. This is on top of all its other weight loss promoting ability supported by the fact that it is low in calorie, fats, and carbohydrates at the same time high in fiber, water and protein. Adding mushroom to your weight loss program is a very wise step to make because aside from those mentioned above, this vegetable is incredibly rich in vitamins and minerals that will not only promote weight loss but overall optimal health as well.
Books on Mushroom
- Health Benefits of Bananas
- Health Benefits of Lotus Root
- Health Benefits White Tea
- Health Benefits of Raspberries
- Health Benefits of Cucumber