Mushrooms are known to have some extraordinary range of health benefits for human beings. These are actually a form of fungi and they make a super-food and one of the best known health-promoting foods on our planet Earth.
An estimated 50% of the mushrooms which are quite edible are generally considered functional foods, which means that they have got a potentially positive effect on our health beyond just the basic nutrition. (1)
There are several scientific studies which have actually revealed that mushrooms can be used in varieties of ways to prevent as well as to treat various health conditions and also to improve the overall health of a human being.
In fact, some research have identified more than 200 health conditions that might benefit from consuming mushrooms and more than 100 different beneficial effects that mushrooms can produce for our body. (2)
Now, let us read below to know about some of the best ways mushroom keeps you healthy.
9 Amazing Health Benefits of Mushroom:
We already mentioned above that mushrooms are quite good and healthy for you. It must also be informed that some people use mushrooms as medicines to cure various diseased conditions. Almost every ancient civilization across the world has made use of mushrooms because of their healing properties for several years. Now, we will talk about how significantly powerful the edible mushrooms can actually be for healing people from various health conditions.
Mushroom Has Got A Fair Nutritional Value:
We must mention that mushrooms are known for their excellent nutritional value. All the edible mushrooms have varying degrees of fiber and protein in them. They even contain most potential antioxidant called Selenium, which aids in supporting your immune system and in preventing damage caused to tissues and cells.
It must be noted that, white button mushrooms in particular, are one of the few non-animal vitamin D sources. Thus, mushrooms have got a lot of medicinal properties and health benefits.
Mushrooms Keep You Healthy By Increasing Your Longevity:
Mushrooms can play a beneficial role in increasing your longevity. This is because of the presence of antioxidants in mushrooms that make you live a healthier life and for a longer period of time. A diet that is loaded with antioxidants is known to protect cells from free radicals, and thus helping our body copes with the general oxidative stress that are known to damage our healthy cells.
Though almost any type of edible mushroom offer you a boost in various nutrients, there are seven mushroom types which have proven their benefits in offering antioxidants and also in helping you live longer; and these mushrooms include Porcini, Pioppino, Golden oyster, oyster, Maitake, Lion’s Mane, and Shiitake.
They Keep You Healthy As They Help In Enhancing The Health Of Immune System:
Studies have found that edible mushrooms can provide you some really impressive levels of immune-boosting benefits.
As per one clinical study that was conducted at the University of Florida’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, it was found that consuming shiitake mushrooms of a daily basis improves immunity, in a way that is actually not found in any of the pharmaceutical drugs currently available. (3) Moreover, the common white button mushrooms, along with several other types of mushrooms, might even have anti-inflammatory abilities in them.
According to a study of 2012, published in Nutrition, it is explained that consuming edible mushrooms might even help you in preventing various respiratory infections.
Apart from this, as per a study which was published in the journal Nature, it has been mentioned that mushrooms might even be able to alter our gut bacteria for good, which could also help us in treating obesity. (4)
Digestive Health Benefits of Mushroom:
One of the best benefits of mushroom is that it keeps you healthy by improving your digestion. These are gut-friendly food or we can say, mushrooms are prebiotic and they nourish the gut’s good bacteria. They are also been known to balance the microniome’s beneficial bacteria, like Bifidobacterium and Acidophilus. (5)
Cancer-Fighting Benefits of Mushrooms:
Some varieties of edible mushrooms have been known for their cancer-fighting abilities and they protect against cancer by preventing the DNA damage of our cells and also by inhibiting formation of tumor. There are even some evidence which show that mushrooms might be beneficial in treating and managing neurodegenerative disease, like
Mushrooms have a class of proteins known as Lectins, which are able to bind your body’s abnormal cells and cancer cells and also label these cells for destruction of the body’s immune system. This was one study published in Molecules (6)
Various studies have shown that mushrooms could benefit you in fighting against breast cancer, uterine cervix cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer, and acute leukemia. Moreover, anti-tumor compounds are also identified in several species of mushrooms.
In American women, breast cancer is the 2nd most common cancer and thus, scientists have conducted numerous research about the activities mushrooms possess against this type of cancer.
According to a study of 2000 women which was done by researchers from the University of Australia in Perth, it was found that women who consumed at least 1/3rd of an ounce of fresh mushrooms daily, were 64% less likely to develop the condition of breast cancer. (7)
Weight Loss Benefits of Mushrooms:
If you are someone looking to lose some of your extra weights then mushrooms could actually help you in an excellent manner. Mushroom has several nutritional value, along with little fat and very few calories. In addition, they even contain two types of dietary fibers, chitin and beta-glucan, which help in increasing satiety and also reducing the appetite.
In one study, researchers provided participants less meat and more mushrooms in place of meat. After only a year, people reported feeling better, healthier, and they even lost a lot of their body weight, had less diabetes, and their cholesterol level and blood pressure went down. (8)
Mushroom Protects Your Brain Health:
One of the best ways mushroom keeps you healthy is its incredible way of protecting brain health. The antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione might be essential at preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. According to the Penn State researchers, it is recommended that consuming at least 5 button mushrooms every day can help in reducing the risk of neurological illness in the future.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore, has also found that consuming two, ¾ servings of cooked mushrooms every week might reduce your problem of mild cognitive decline. This was shown in a study of the year 2019.
Benefits of Mushrooms in Improving Your Bone Health:
One more way by which mushrooms are beneficial is that they help in improving the bone health. UVB-labeled mushrooms available in the supermarket have been exposed to sunlight while they are in their growth period, and thus have converted ergosterol compound directly into vitamin D. This means that by consuming just 3 ounces of these mushrooms, you have met your regular dose requirement of Vitamin D and it improves your bone health.
They Might Be Good For Your Heart:
Mushrooms have also got some therapeutic properties in them which can actually help in lowering the cholesterol level, especially in case of overweight adults, and also phytonutrients that can be beneficial in preventing cells from sticking on to the walls of your blood vessel and forming plaque build-up. (9) This ultimately helps in protecting your heart by maintaining a healthy blood circulation and blood pressure.
How To Add More Mushrooms To Your Daily Diet?
So, we are now known to the fact that adding mushrooms to our daily life can actually help in improving our health. There are various ways by which you can add mushrooms to your daily diet. You can either take them in form of soups, sautés, or as meat substitutes. However, you must cook them well as it helps in improving the nutrients present in mushrooms. Cooking; especially when cooked or grilled in a microwave, helps in improving the benefits of mushrooms. Microwaving or grilling the mushrooms has increased the antioxidant activity quite significantly, when compared to frying or boiling.
You can choose any variety of mushrooms; including white button mushroom, Portobello, cremini, shiitake, oyster, reishi, maitake, or any other type of edible mushroom.
A recent research conducted by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, looked at some types of mushrooms, such as shiitake, white button, king oyster mushroom, and oyster mushroom, along with various methods of cooking, showed that mild cooking retains more of their nutrients and vitamins. (10)
If you want to improve your overall health then do add mushrooms to your regular diet and get benefit out of its incredible nutritional value. You can try using the best possible ways to more mushrooms to your diet and enjoy its health benefits.