What are Enoki Mushrooms?
Enoki mushroom is one of the healthiest vegetables that is known for its various health benefits. It is a versatile fungus having a crisp texture and mild flavor. Enoki mushroom is commonly cultivated in North America, Europe, and Asia and is a part of many types of cuisines.(1)
Enoki mushroom have long slender stems, with ultra-small caps, and are creamy-white in color. It has a unique taste and aroma and is known for its numerous health benefits.
Health Benefits of Enoki Mushrooms
Just like other mushroom varieties, enokis are a low-calorie source of proteins and carbohydrates and are also rich in fiber and B vitamins.
One cup of enoki mushrooms contains 24 calories, 2 grams protein, 0.2 grams fat, 5 grams carb, 2 grams fiber, 29% niacin, 18% pantothenic acid, 12% thiamine, 10% riboflavin, and 8% copper.(2)
Enoki mushroom has a high content of niacin, a micronutrient that is used to regulate cholesterol and promote brain health.(3) It also contains pantothenic acid that the body used to synthesize fatty acid.(4)
Being rich in thiamine, it helps in the regulation of nerve function.
Supports Heart Health
There are numerous studies supporting the aspect of enoki mushroom playing a role in improving heart health.
A study done on hamsters found that those given enoki mushroom extract or powder had lower levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL compared to the control group.(5)
Enoki mushrooms contain dietary fibers and mycosterol, which play a role in accelerating the decomposition of cholesterol.
It has Antioxidant Properties
The antioxidant compounds present in mushrooms are gallic acid, quercetin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, ellagic acid, and pyrogallol.(1) The amount and type of antioxidant may vary depending upon where the mushroom is grown and its subspecies.
Play Role in Cancer Prevention
Enoki mushrooms have powerful cancer-fighting properties.
A test-tube study showed the role of enoki mushroom in blocking the growth of liver cancer cells.(8) Another study done to test the effects of eight extracts of medicinal mushroom including enoki mushroom found that Enoki mushroom helped in decreasing the spread of breast and cervical cancer cells.(9)
These studies were done in test tubes and further research is required to determine the role of enoki mushroom on cancer growth in humans.
Improves Brain Function
There are a few promising research on the role of enoki mushroom in improving memory and brain function.
In an animal study compounds from enoki mushroom were extracted and they were found to be effective in protecting against impairment in learning and memory caused by specific medication.(10)
Another study found combining enoki mushroom extract with ginsenosides helps in improving brain function in rats with Alzheimer’s disease.(11) More studies are needed to see whether consuming enoki mushrooms in diet would provide similar benefits.
Being rich in antioxidants and compounds that promote health, enoki mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties.
Despite the promising result more human studies are needed to look for the role of enoki mushroom in adding to the defense against infection.
Helps with Weight Loss
The beta-glucan and fatty acid complex of enoki mushroom inhibits digestion and fat absorption in the digestive tract. It also reduces the reabsorption of bile by breaking down fats.(14)
Enoki mushrooms are extremely nutritious and contain a good amount of fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins. They are associated with numerous health benefits. And above all this, they are easy to prepare and can add unique flavor to many dishes.
Go ahead and give it a try, surely you will like it.
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