Mushroom Health Benefits
King Bolete aka Porcini

Though known to many, most people are completely unaware of the amazing mushroom health benefits. Mushroom is a collection of potent nutrition that deserves an honorable space on your daily eating plate. They are predominantly consumed as vegetables but belong to their separate and distinct kingdom of fungi.

There are approximately more than 100, 000 mushroom species on the Earth. Unfortunately, less than 100 species make their presence felt in the food world, accounting for about 10%. Wonder how many species out there are highly nutritious and are not yet discovered?

If you love having healthy food, you won’t miss a delicious meal from mushrooms at your table. Several scientific studies have shown that mushrooms are active sources of active biological compounds that got tons of health benefit. If you haven’t been including mushrooms in your daily diet, check out the following health benefits and see what you have been denying.

| Cancer Fighter

Cancer-fighting power is perhaps the most incredible mushroom health benefit. This is one of the reasons why there has been a twist of interest in mushroom studies in the past years. Cancer is a global threat and we don’t realize that throwing in some delicious pieces of mushrooms into our daily diet could save us the trouble. The following antitumor compounds have been identified in various mushroom species:

  • Beta-glucans compound has proven to be an efficient anti-carcinogenic compound. It is the most common compound found in several mushroom species.
  • Ergothioneine is an amino acid, one of the most powerful antioxidants that reduce body inflammation. White button and brown mushrooms contain 42-147 mg of ergothioneine per serving (1 cup of slices).
  • Selenium is a rare antitumor mineral that detoxifies cancer-causing compounds. Every serving (1 cup of slices) contains 6-22 mcg of selenium making it a top-ranked dietary component. Selenium is very limited in vegetables and fruits.

In addition, crimini mushroom is known for their ability to block the production of pro-inflammatory molecules. They also remove excess estrogen from the body circulation reducing chances of breast cancer.

| Source of Fiber

Replace your fully-seared stake of meat with white button mushroom in order to have a fully functional digestive system. Mushroom contains beta-glucans and chitin dietary fibers that act as powerful prebiotic platforms. They increase the growth of probiotic organisms in the gut greatly enhancing digestive health. The American Dietary Guidelines recommends 21-25 g of mushroom for women and 30-38 g for men per day. There are a number of mushroom health benefits reaped from the fiber content:

  • Prevents constipation
  • Maintains lower cholesterol levels
  • Beta-glucans and chitin increase satiety.

| Boosts the Body Immunity

Selenium and beta-glucans are primarily responsible for immune-related health benefits. They improve the body immunity by stimulating the production of Killer T-cells and fighting cancerous cells. Several studies and experiments using mice have shown that alpha and beta-glucans molecules have immune stimulating effects. By supplying the body with essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, mushroom fights free radical body damage and combat many diseases. The following mushroom health benefits help boost the body immunity:

  •  Natural ability to fight bacteria and viruses
  • Strong antibacterial and antifungal compounds
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor powers.

| Aids in Weight Management

While you are working to cut down on weight by hitting the gym or trying out Yoga, consider packing your diet with mushroom for better results. Mushroom is one of the most nutritious yet low-calorie food. Several studies have shown great improvement in weight, reduced waist circumference and overall better body composition among high mushroom consumers.

Beta-glucans and chitin fibers are responsible for satiety effects associated with eating mushrooms. Fiber content also regulates cholesterol levels lowering body calories. Make the most out of mushroom health benefits by always including finely chopped umami-rich mushrooms in your diet rather than junk foods. You will love your new look.

| Source of Vitamin D

This is one of the most intrinsic mushroom health benefits that you may not find down the food produce aisle. Mushroom is the only source of vitamin D among the few non-fortified foods. It is rare to find vitamin D in vegetables or fruits. It facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Inadequate vitamin D has also been greatly been associated with cardiovascular problems and depression. Having an extra serving of mushroom means taking additional nutrients such as selenium, riboflavin, niacin and much more.

What you should never forget about mushroom

Despite the fact that mushroom health benefits are worth pursuing, not all mushroom species are edible. That is not the end of the story. The environment where mushroom grows determines whether it is suitable for consumption or not. The nature of the mushroom flesh makes them absorb soil contaminants easily. If you just walk in the wild and pick any mushroom, you could be digging your own grave.

Even though edible mushrooms boasts of several nutritional benefits, growing on decaying matter increases their contamination risk of pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful substances. It is highly advised to purchase certified organic mushrooms to be on the safe side. Additionally, there are several guides online that can help you distinguish edible and toxic mushroom species. Pick the right species, cook them right and enjoy your mushroom dishes.

White Raw Mushroom | Nutrition Facts

SS* DV**
Calories 15.4 1%
Protein 2.2g 4%
Total Carbohydrate  2.3g 0%
Sugars  1.2g 1%
Dietary Fiber  0.3g 3%
Total Fat 0.2g 0%
Omega-6 fatty acids 0.1g 0%
Vitamins SS* DV**
Vitamin C 1.5mg 2%
Vitamin D 12.6IU 3%
Thiamin 0.1mg 4%
Riboflavin 0.3mg 17%
Niacin 2.5mg 13%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg 4%
Folate 11.2mg 3%
Pantothenic Acid 1.0mg 10%
Choline 12.1mcg
Betaine 6.6mg
Minerals SS* DV**
Magnesium 6.3mg 2%
Phosphorus 60.2mg 6%
Potassium 223mg 6%
Calcium 2.1mg 0%
Sodium 3.5mg 0%
Zinc 0.4mg 2%
Copper 0.2mg 11%
Iron 0.3mg 2%
Selenium 6.5mcg 9%
1. Nutrition Facts U.S. Department of Agriculture
2. Robert Beelman. "Ergothioneine in Mushrooms-Nature's Best Source of a New Human Vitamin?" Published online. PSU
3. Mary Jo Feeney, et al. "Mushrooms and Health Summit Proceedings" J Nutr. 2014 Jul; 144(7): 1128S–1136S. Published online 2014 May 8. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.190728. Journal of Nutrition

*SS - Serving Size = 1 Cup of slices (70 g)
**DV - Daily Value %

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