Mushrooms have been a part of our diets for a long time. They are neither a vegetable nor are they a fruit; instead, they are a type of fungus. It is found in many varieties, some are extremely toxic and poisonous. It has taken the world some time to get used to this fungi, many mushroom hunters have suffered severe fatal effects of the toxic kinds to deliver the mushroom that we so easily get at stores. There are stories revealing that eating certain types of mushrooms can cause hallucinations, temporary paralysis and sudden death. Hence it is best to buy the ones that are available at grocery stores.
This delicious fungus has a unique flavor and depth that cannot be replicated otherwise. Mushrooms were first introduced to the culinary world by the French haute cuisine. These delicious packets of flavor can be added to sautéed vegetables, stews and turned into sauces. They have a distinct umami flavor that is often considered as the fifth flavor following bitter, sour, sweet and salty.
Fun fact: A French philosopher once wrote,”A mushroom dish changed the destiny of Europe”. He was referring to the death of the Holy Roman Emperor, King Charles VI. He was presumed to have died from eating the poisonous Amanita mushroom.
Edible mushrooms are found in a number of varieties such as Chanterelles, Cremini, Morels, Portobello, Enoki, Shiitake, and Oyster.
13 Amazing Health Benefits of Mushrooms
1. Source of Vitamins
Mushrooms are a powerful source of vitamins and minerals. They can help fulfill many deficiencies in our bodies with regular consumption. Mushrooms are rich in niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. These have multiple benefits, for example, they help enhance your body’s natural process to produce hormones, they maintain a healthy red blood cell count, and help boost cell regeneration.
2. Sources of Minerals
This delicious fungus not only adds depth of flavor to our food, but is also a vital source of obtaining the required minerals for our body. There are minerals such as potassium, copper, ergothioneine, and selenium. There is also a detectable presence of Beta-glucans.
Potassium helps the body balance fluids, minerals, and blood pressure. It also promotes healthy muscles and keeps your nervous system well-tuned. Selenium is an antioxidant that protects the cells from oxidative damage, which is the foundation of many chronic diseases. Copper aids in the generation of red blood cells and maintains healthy bone density.
Beta-glucans helps strengthen immunity and as per research, it was determined that edible mushrooms contain traces of this incredible enzyme.
3. Anemia Prevention
Low hemoglobin levels in the body can lead many health issues and lethargy. You often feel fatigued and low due to this. Mushrooms can be a sound addition to your diet as they contain copper, which primarily builds blood cells. There are multiple other benefits of copper. They are also an excellent source of dietary iron and contain 8.1mg of iron per cup.
4. Stronger Bones
To live life to the fullest it is necessary to have healthy bones. Mushrooms are a good source of calcium and copper. These minerals help the body maintain a healthy bone density and structure. Healthy bones and adequate calcium help prevent joint complications and osteoporosis.
To keep the calcium intake in check, it is necessary to add the right types of foods to your diet. There are many options in both plants and meat that provide the required intake.
5. Healthy Immune System
Free radicals cause a lot of damage to the body and propose a serious threat of contracting chronic and terminal illnesses. The presence of Ergothioneine and selenium as powerful antioxidants in mushrooms protects the body from experiencing oxidative damage.
Mushrooms also contain naturally occurring antibiotics like penicillin, which further protects the body and helps maintain a strong immune system.
6. Healthy Skin and Hair
Eating healthy can be seen in the form of healthy and lustrous skin and hair. Mushrooms have many beneficial elements for hair and nails. The Selenium in the mushroom helps improves skin elasticity, which is a major part of anti-aging. Polysaccharide present in mushrooms helps maintain a hydrated and supple skin. There are also observations that show mushrooms beneficial for acne, rosacea and other such diseases.
7. Weight Loss
Obesity can lead to many other incurable diseases. It is good to maintain a healthy weight and lose the extra pounds. Mushrooms provide lean protein, which is effective for weight loss purposes; they are rich in fiber and contain no cholesterol or fat.
8. Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has a strong effect on all the vital organs and regulates nutrients in the body. It is necessary that you keep it in check and eat the right kind of diet. Mushrooms are a very healthy food that has no fats or cholesterol. It also contains potassium, which relaxes and calms the nerves and maintains a healthy level of blood flow.
9. Healthy Hair
Mushrooms are a good source of protein and promote healthy hair. There can be many reasons your hair is losing its density. Mushrooms contain copper, potassium, selenium and other beneficial minerals that help produce melanin.
10. Manage Diabetes
Mushrooms are fat-free and do not contain cholesterol, which is the best news that a diabetes sufferer can hear. It also is low in carbohydrates that generally increase your blood sugar. Eating mushrooms daily will help regulate the blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy body. There are also studies that show the enzymes in mushrooms help break down the sugars and starch in food.
11. Prevent Breast Cancer
There are many awareness programs to get a diagnosis for breast cancer. Many women are diagnosed at its last stages and it is extremely difficult to stop its life-threatening effects. Eating antioxidant-rich foods will also help negate the effects of free radicals that lead to the development of breast cancer.
Apart from being high in anti-oxidants, mushrooms also contain linoleic acid, which targets the estrogen levels in the body and reduces the risk of breast cancer.
12. Cholesterol Management
Eating healthy begins, with one step in the right direction. Mushrooms are high in fiber with no cholesterol or fat. They are also high in fiber, which helps clear the arteries of LDL cholesterol. It is necessary to eat the right foods and avoid the clogging the arteries and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
13. Vitamin D
There are not many plant-based sources of vitamin D. Mushrooms are an excellent way of getting your vitamin D, especially for vegetarians. This vitamin is essential for healthy bones and a healthy nervous system. It also aids in the metabolism process.
The above-mentioned benefits ensure that adding mushrooms to your diet is a smart choice and helps in maintaining an overall healthy body.