13 Wonderful Health Benefits of Mushrooms
By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 29 June 2015 - 4:30 pm IST
Different kinds of Mushrooms are available in the marketplace for us to savor on! They range from the delectable Crimini, Enoki, Oyster, and Portobello to Shiitake and white button! Whatever your favorite is all mushrooms are known to be loaded with all the essential nutrients which can benefit you in so many different ways!
Many varieties of Mushrooms are known to contain Selenium, which is good for your bladder health. Mushrooms also contain a great amount of Iron They are, surprisingly, low in the calorie content which makes them one of the favorite choices of diet conscious people all over the world. Among the many well known benefits of Mushrooms include relief from high levels of cholesterol, breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes. It also helps to aid along in the process of weight loss and increases the strength of the immune system as well. Mushrooms are also well known to protect your against various diseases and infections such as a proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotics and antioxidants.
Many varieties of Mushrooms are known to be great for your gall bladder as they are a rich source of Selenium. Oyster Mushrooms are also a rich source of Iron. Mushrooms are also quite low when it comes to their calorific value. There are close to 14000 different species of mushrooms. However, we are familiar with only 10% of these along with their potential health benefits and medicinal applications.
So, here are some of the most well known health benefits of Mushrooms:
1) Source of Vitamin D:
Mushrooms are the only plant source which is known to be an amazing source of Vitamin D. Like other plants, Mushrooms too produce Vitamin D as they are exposed to the UV Radiations of the sun. This makes the plant to convert more of the sterol ergosterol into Vitamin D. An 85 gram serving of Mushrooms contain about 400 IU of Vitamin D.
2) Boosts your immune system:
A study has recently shown that white button mushrooms are one of the best sources to boost your immune system. They work towards the production of the antiviral and other proteins which help the immune system to repair as well as protect the body tissues. Mushrooms also result in the maturation of the immune system cells, thereby helping in strengthening the immune system of the body against microbes.
3) Rich in Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are the substances which are needed by the body to fight against the formation of the free radicals due to oxidation in our body. It has been proved that Mushrooms are a rich source of Antioxidants is very helpful to fight against free radicals and their production.
4) Boosts Your Metabolic Power:
Mushrooms are known to kick up your Metabolism by turning the food you eat into carbohydrates. They help the body to metabolize the fats and the proteins. Mushrooms are a rich source of Vitamin B2 and B3. They make up for almost 44% of the total daily recommended amount of Vitamins needed by the body.
5) Great for your Bladder:
An analysis has proved that Mushrooms are great source of Selenium, which is extremely good for your bladder. People who consume Mushrooms are at a lower risk of contracting Bladder Cancer as compared to their counterparts.
6) Lowers the levels of Cholesterol:
Mushrooms are one of the best source of Lean proteins as they contain zero cholesterol, fats and very low amount of cholesterols. The fiber and the enzymes present in Mushrooms are known to help lower the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. The high content of lean protein in Mushrooms also helps to burn down the cholesterol once it has been digested. Mushrooms are essential foods when it comes to balancing the amount of HDL and LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and therefore, prevents major cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
7) Prevents Anemia:
People suffering from Anemia often lend to have a low amount of Iron in their bloodstream; which often leads to fatigue, headaches, reduced neural functions and digestive problems. A mushroom is a fantastic source of Iron and therefore, promotes the formation of the red blood cells in the body, preventing and curing anemia.
8) Decreases the rate of Breast and Prostate Cancer:
Mushrooms are an effective food when it comes to preventing diseases such as Breast and Prostate Cancer due to the presence of Polysaccharides in them such as Beta Glucans and Conjugated Linoleic Acid – which are known for their anti carcinogenic properties. Linoleic Acid is well known to help suppress the harmful effects of excessive estrogen in the bloodstream. An increase in the amount of Estrogen is one of the major causes behind Breast Cancer in women after menopause.
9) Great for Diabetics:
Mushrooms are an ideal low energy diet food for people suffering from Diabetes. They contain no fats, cholesterol and contain a very low amount of carbohydrates. Their high protein content, coupled with a large amount of Vitamins and Minerals make them a powerhouse! They also contain natural insulin and enzymes which help to break down the sugar and the starch present in the food. Mushrooms also contain certain compounds which help in the proper working and functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands in the body. The natural antibiotics present in Mushrooms also help in protecting people suffering from Diabetes from life threatening conditions.
10) Promotes Bone Health:
Mushrooms are a rich source of Calcium which helps in the formation and maintaining the strength of the bones. With a steady supply of Calcium in the diet, the chances of diseases such as Osteoporosis and Arthritis are cut down to a great extent. Mushrooms are also known to reduce joint pain and diseases associated with the degradation of the bones.
11) Rich source of Copper:
Copper provides a wealth of health benefits to the body and is found richly in Mushrooms. It helps to regulate and stimulate the absorption of the iron from the food and works to prevent diseases such as Anemia.
12) Rich Source of Selenium:
The Selenium Content found in Mushrooms is known to be great for the overall health of the bones by adding more strength and promotes the durability of the bones. It also helps to strengthen the teeth, hair and nails. Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant as it helps the body to get rid of the free radicals and strengthens the immune system of the body.
13) Aids in the Weight Loss:
Lean Protein is one of the ideal foods to be consumed in order to lose fat and to build the muscle mass! Since Mushrooms contain no fat and cholesterol, and come loaded with fiber and proteins, it is exactly the combination which you would be needing for your weight loss regime. Due to their nutrient density, some researchers are of the opinion that Mushrooms are one of the rarest foods which can be consumed without any possible side effects!
Nutritional Profile of Mushrooms:
Mushrooms are nature’s favorite food which is low in sodium, fats, cholesterol and calories. It has been refereed more than often as a basic functional food for humans. Apart from providing us with the basic nutrition, it is also known to prevent chronic diseases as it comes loaded with antioxidants and beneficial dietary fibers such as Chitin and Beta Glucans.
Consuming a cup of chopped or sliced raw mushrooms provides you with around 15 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2.2 grams of proteins, 2.3 grams of carbohydrates. Despite the different kinds of mushrooms available in the market, all the varieties provide you with the similar amount of nutrients.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of Vitamin B such as Riboflavin, Folate, Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid and Niacin. They are also the only natural and vegan source of Vitamin D. Mushrooms are known to provide you with several minerals which can be otherwise difficult to obtain from your everyday diet. Mushrooms are also known to be rich in minerals such as Selenium, Potassium, Copper, Iron and Phosphorus.
Beta Glucans are a category of fiber which is found in the cell walls of the mushrooms. With extensive study, it has been found out that Beta Glucans are helpful in improving the insulin resistance of the body and helps to regulate the amount of the blood cholesterol levels in the body. It helps to cut down the risk of obesity and provides a much needed immunity boost to the body.
Mushrooms are known to be a great source of Choline – which is an important nutrient which helps to induce sleep, improves the muscle movement, learning and memory. It helps in maintaining the structure of the cell membranes, helps in the transmission of the nerve impulses as well as helps to aid in the fat absorption, cutting down the risk of chronic inflammation.
Adding Mushrooms to Your Diet:
When you are buying Mushrooms from the market, make sure to choose the ones which are firm, dry and are unbruised. Do not choose the mushrooms which appear slimy and appear withered. After purchasing them, make sure to store them in the refrigerator and do not wash or trim them until you are ready to use them.
Here are some quick ways in which you can add more Mushrooms to your diet:
- Sauté the mushrooms along with the onions in order to make a quick and tasty side dish.
- Add some raw mushrooms to top any salad.
- Portabella mushrooms can be stuffed in order to make a fine filling to accompany your dishes.
- Sliced mushrooms can be added to omelets, breakfast portions and quiches.
- Portabella mushrooms can be grilled and can be easily used to make sandwiches and wraps.
Health Risks of Consuming Mushrooms:
Though Wild Mushrooms have been consumed by people all over the world for a long time now, however, these may pose a risk to the health of the concerned person. Therefore, it is recommended to be able to distinguish between the safe and the dangerous kind of mushrooms before consuming them. Consuming wild mushrooms which are toxic to humans can be the cause behind severe illnesses and can even prove to be fatal in some cases. Studies have also indicated that some varieties of wild mushrooms also contain high levels of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals which can be quite harmful for humans.
In order to cut down the risk of these dangers, it is recommended to consume only the Mushrooms which have been cultivated under proper conditions and which are approved.
Though consuming Beta Glucans is deemed safe for most people, they can also lead to stimulation of the immune system function in some cases. This is a risk for people who are suffering from auto immune disease such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and multiple sclerosis.
Words of Caution:
Mushrooms can be equally dangerous too! Most varieties of Mushrooms are not edible, can be highly poisonous and can look quite similar to the ones which are edible. It is advised to not pick up Mushrooms from the wild for their consumption, unless you have been trained to do so. Mushrooms are also known to have this unique capability to absorb the material over which they have been grown, which can be either good or bad. Therefore, most wild mushrooms can contain heavy metals, which are quite toxic.
It is also not recommended to trust any unknown vendor while buying Mushrooms. It is advised to buy only sealed varieties which are being sold by trustworthy companies. Make sure to avoid eating Mushrooms which are discolored or which come in a different color than of their varieties.