Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

 Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits: Mushrooms are probably the most underrated nutritive items on anyone’s diet list. These innocuous-looking fungi are one of the most potent nutritional additives that you can include in your diet to ensure good health, better immunity and weight loss. Surprisingly, mushrooms are a storehouse of several health benefits that people are rarely aware of. If you are someone who has always crinkled his nose when offered mushrooms, here is some food for thought.

The Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are edible fungi which are capable of providing various nutritional benefits. The different varieties of mushrooms vary in composition and nutritional profile. From puffball to truffle, mushrooms can go from everyday food to expensive delight. They can also be bought in bottled or dried form for public consumption. The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center reports the average American consumes three pounds per day of mushroom products. Other than diet mushrooms are used in many forms of traditional health care. Discover the nutritional benefits of mushroom consumption. It also outlines how they should be prepared and served and details the dangers involved.

Health benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms offer a host of vitamins and essential nutrients such as polysaccharides that are vital for the healthy functioning of the body system. Furthermore, they are rich in antioxidants which play an important role in protecting the body from deadly diseases. Mushrooms have been a part of Chinese cuisine for ages because of their medicinal value. Reishi mushrooms are renowned for their anti-inflammatory properties, Shitake mushrooms are known to be instrumental in boosting the immune system, and Oyster mushrooms relax tendons and impart strength to the veins.

Here are a few other health benefits that you can derive by including mushrooms in your diet:

Rich Source of Vitamin B

Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin. B vitamins play an important role in breaking down fats, carbohydrates and proteins to provide energy to the body. Furthermore, niacin keeps the skin healthy and ensures the proper functioning of the nervous and digestive systems. Pantothenic acid plays a vital role in the functioning of the nervous system and promotes the production of hormones. Mushrooms also boost the body with a good dose of riboflavin which ensures the health of the red blood cells.

Rich Source of Minerals

Mushrooms are also a rich source of minerals such as selenium, potassium, copper and ergothioneine. As compared to non-vegetarian foods that are rich in selenium, mushrooms are the richest source of minerals. Selenium has antioxidant properties which protect the body from free radicals that can cause heart diseases, certain kinds of cancers and other degenerative diseases. Potassium is an essential mineral that keeps blood pressure in control and ensures proper muscular, neural and cardiac functioning. Usually, regular diets do not provide enough potassium. Mushrooms are rich in potassium and hence can provide as much as 3 to 11 per cent of the required daily dosage.

Effective in Preventing Cancer

Researchers have found that regular intake of mushrooms can inhibit the growth of certain tumours in the body, especially in women. However, this is yet to be proved and intensive research is going on in this area to study the effect of mushrooms on cancerous growths and its role in preventing the deadly disease. Due to the high concentration of antioxidants in mushrooms, they are believed to be effective in protecting the body cells from damage and the body from serious diseases like cancer.

Also Read: Cancer Prevention: Tips To Reduce The Cancer Risk

Helps in Weight Loss – Slim down with Mushrooms

Mushrooms can come in handy if you are planning a weight loss programme for yourself. Mushrooms are low-energy-density food items that release lesser calories per volume. They are an ideal substitute for food items such as lean ground beef which release more calories per volume. Furthermore, they keep the stomach full, increasing the level of satiety and hence preventing you from overeating. Apart from all these benefits, mushrooms are free of cholesterol and fat. Due to this fact, mushrooms are ideal for those who intend to reduce their weight or maintain their fitness level.

How do I cook mushrooms?

Furthermore, mushrooms are low in sodium and are naturally gluten-free. They can be cooked in different sauces for sandwich fillings, made as side dishes or enjoyed in a nice tossed salad. For those of you who are reluctant in consuming mushrooms as they are, you can find mushroom concentrates and extracts in your nearest supermarket which allow you to derive all benefits of mushrooms without having to chew through them.

Also Read: Herbal Remedy: Aloe Vera A Natural Elixir

Priya Singh

Priya writes about women's health and yoga & meditation and loves exploring different places and clicking on natural landscapes when she is not working. She has been in the industry for over five years and has worked with different insurance companies and health startups.

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