Oyster, button, chanterelle and porcini, just to mention a few are all edible mushrooms that add flavour and texture to food and once you start enjoying them, you will realize that they are great. Now, they are regarded as vegetables but mushrooms are just fungi which is why so many of them can cause vomiting and other signs of food poisoning. Some mushrooms such as the death cap mushroom can actually kill you. However, once labelled as edible, mushrooms are great and pack many health benefits including medicinal properties you won’t find in other foods.
Mushrooms are used to cook many kinds of dishes, but its medicinal benefits are not so well-known. If used right, mushrooms can work wonders on a range of bodily functions, including the immune system and brain health. To raise awareness on its myriad health benefits and to advocate its use amongst the wider population, organizations such as the World Mushroom Society are striving to carry out more mushroom-related research. In this article, let us look at some of the benefits talked about.
They Help Improve Bone Health
Yes! Those white servings have Vitamin C which helps combat free radicals and strengthen your gums, teeth and other muscle tissue. Mushrooms are also rich in Vitamin D which is necessary for preventing osteoporosis especially for the elderly. You only need three ounces of mushrooms to get your daily need of Vitamin D. You have to go for UVB labelled mushrooms to get these benefits though because non-UVB mushrooms don’t have the required quantity of Vitamin D.
They Are Good For Weight Loss
To lose weight, you need to regulate your blood glucose level and that requires you to eat fewer calories and more fibre and protein. The fibre in mushrooms helps regulate the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream which is why it helps you lose your belly fat. Mushrooms are also a low-calorie food as long as they are not cooked using unhealthy recipes. They help you feel fuller throughout the day which means you eat fewer calories after eating them.
They Boost Your Immunity
Mushrooms can be a superfood depending on how they were grown. All mushrooms contain B Vitamins and selenium which is a powerful antioxidant that prevents inflammation and cell damage. The B Vitamins help your body create and maintain stronger cells including white blood cells. Mushrooms also contain soluble fibre including beta-glucan which helps activate your body’s immune response which helps prevent disease. You could also try Mushroom Oil to reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar.
They Are Good For Gut Health
Gut health is the overall gateway to your overall good health which is why you are encouraged to eat fibre and probiotic-rich foods as they help your gut health. The fibre in mushrooms feeds the probiotics in your gut helping maintain their balance which in turn improves digestion. Mushrooms are also easy on your stomach and won’t lag around taking too much energy to digest.
They Help Improve Your Mood
It is true that Vikings had certain mushrooms that could cause the same effects as certain modern narcotics on humans. The edible mushrooms in this context don’t go that far though. Research shows that people that eat mushrooms regularly have a reduced risk of suffering from depression. It is associated with the antioxidants in mushrooms including ergothioneine which reduce oxidative stress. Mushrooms also have potassium that is linked to a reduced risk of depression.
They Are Good For The Heart
Mushrooms are recommended for elderly people seeking to maintain weight because they have compounds that burn cholesterol. Mushrooms are also rich in anti-inflammatory agents including Vitamin C and selenium which prevent cell damage. Eating mushrooms regularly has also been associated with reduced occurrence of plaque in blood vessels which ensures that your heart doesn’t overwork.
May Help Prevent Certain Cancers
The beta-glucans in mushrooms have made them one of the most widely researched anti-cancer foods in the whole world. The highest recommendation goes to UVB labelled mushrooms because they pack more beta-glucans and Vitamin D. The polysaccharides are associated with reduced risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
They Can Help You Sleep Better
The ability of the anti-stress agents in mushrooms to reduce oxidative stress extends to your bed. A cup of mushrooms has been discovered to relax your nerves and reduce stress levels when taken after a stressful day. Mushrooms regulate your blood sugar and in turn, your heart rate which means you get to sleep more comfortably.
They Prevent Certain Neurodegenerative Diseases
2019 research in Singapore discovered that regular consumption of mushrooms at 3/4 cups a week generally reduce chances of cognitive decline. That is because mushrooms also contain magnesium and antioxidants that prevent inflammation of brain cells. They reduce the risk of catching neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and generally boost your memory, especially in your old age.
They Can Help Fight Diabetes
Doctors recommend mushrooms for people suffering from diabetes because they have the compounds that can help you reduce the effects by regulating your blood sugar. Mushrooms have beta-glucan fibre which regulates the absorption of sugar reducing insulin release which helps limit the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Mushrooms are also rich in polysaccharides which help with blood sugar control.
Do you know of any other health benefits of eating mushrooms? Why not tell us about them in the comments below.