Mushrooms are a type of fungi and out of the 14,000 species of mushroom, only 3,000 are edible. 700 of these mushroom species are said to have medicinal properties. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in cooking food and also in medicines. Some people also tend to enjoy the action of plucking mushrooms from the woods. the most commonly consumed mushroom is the Agaricus bisporus or the white button mushroom. Agaricus bisporus has two forms; Crimini or the brown mushrooms that has a more earthy flavor and are firmer to touch and, the Potabella mushrooms that has the umbrella cap shape and has a meaty flavor. Mushrooms contain very useful nutrients that the body can not do without. Here are 10 benefits of eating mushrooms.
1. Weight Loss
Mushrooms aid in weight loss as they are low in carbohydrates and fat. In addition, mushrooms are loaded with fibre and proteins. B-Complex vitamins found in these foods aid in increasing the body’s metabolism and thus, burning the body fat to produce energy. Mushrooms are a great source of protein for vegetarians and also help to prevent obesity.
2. Get Your Vitamin D
The sun isn’t the only way that you can get your vitamin D. You can also get it from mushrooms. Vitamin D is essential for your well-being and it is most easily obtained through exposure to sunlight. It’s not possible to have sunlight throughout the year, so supplements of this vitamin is required. Mushrooms provide a major source of vitamin D, and some that are commercially produced are grown with ultraviolet light which exposes them to more vitamin D.
3. Helps Liver Problems
Studies conducted show that Cordyceps, a type of mushroom has beneficial effect on liver ailments- specifically Hepatitis B. 81% of the patients consuming Cordyceps had a significant reduction in liver enzyme levels and also had decreased liver inflammation. Futhermore, mushrooms are good for those who consume alcohol.
4. Boosts Riboflavin
Vitamin B2 (or riboflavin) is important for your body’s metabolism and regulating your energy. It helps produce the red blood cells that oxygenate your body. A 100 grams of simple white button mushrooms has 0.4 milligrams of riboflavin. This is about 25% of what you need daily. If you want to increase that B2 level even higher then try Crimini or Portobello mushrooms. They have a 30% of your recommended daily intake.
Selenium, a trace mineral is found in mushrooms. This important mineral aids proper thyroid function and is a powerful antioxidant. The selenium you will find in mushrooms can range from 2-20 micrograms per serving. This calculates 3-30% of your daily requirement. Portobello mushrooms contain 26.5 micrograms of Selenium which adds up to about half of what you need to intake daily. Shiitake mushrooms are also a very good source of Selenium.
6. Lowers Cholesterol
Mushrooms are low in fats and high in lean protein that makes it a perfect food for heart health. Selenium, a mineral present in these foods acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects the body cells from damage. They help in balancing the LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in the body thereby preventing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
7. Prevents Cancer
Mushroom comprises of linoleic acid which acts as an anti-carcinogenic compound that helps in prevention against breast cancer by suppressing the harmful effects caused due to excess estrogen levels in the body. Also, mushroom also contains beta-glucans which act as anti-tumor agents and help in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells in case of prostate cancer.
8. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Mushrooms contain enzymes and compounds that act as natural insulin and help in breakdown of dietary compounds into simple sugars. They also contain compounds that promote proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, thereby regulating the action of insulin in the body.
9. Decreases Inflammation
According to a study published in 2009 in BMC Immunology, research shows that mushrooms help to decrease inflammation in the body.
10. Boost Sexual Health
Mushrooms are packed with zinc that boost your sexual life by acting on the genital organs, especially in males. The regular consumption of zinc-rich mushrooms is found to improve the sperm count and fertility in men.
Mushrooms are not just tasty but nutritional too. Although, if you are eating mushrooms for the first time make sure you’re not allergic to them. If you face any symptoms like swelling of tongue or lips, itching of mouth, swelling of throat, nausea or vomiting etc. please ensure to check with your physician.