In the food word, mushrooms are normally classified as vegetables, but they are actually not plants but actually a fungus. Consuming vegetables has long been proven to be beneficial to us, like reducing risks of many lifestyle-related health conditions. So, what about those delicious mushrooms? Are they healthy for us? No rush, we will reveal all answers to you here.
Are Mushrooms Healthy?
Long story short: They are. With over 100 species of mushrooms beneficial to us, there’s simply no denying the sheer power that these tiny little umbrella shaped growths hold for us. With various studies being conducted on them time and again, science has declared that among the many benefits of eating mushrooms, a better immune system, better health, increased vitamin D levels and weight control are some of its highlights. Next, we will get to all details. Just scroll down below to see everything that mushrooms do for us.
How Do Mushrooms Benefit You?
If you eat red meat, then ditch it! Instead, eat one cup of white button mushrooms daily to get a far better way of losing weight. Speaking of which, a study was done wherein two groups of participants were given specific diets. One group ate what they normally did, while the other ate one cup of white button mushrooms in addition, daily. The latter ended up losing an average of 7 pounds each within a time period of one year.
Improve your immune system
What part of mushrooms improves your immune system? Medically speaking, they are the alpha and beta glucan molecules from the long chain polysaccharides that do this for you. All you need to do to boost your immunity is to eat 2 servings of dried shiitake mushrooms… And that’s it!
Provide you with natural antibiotics
You’ve heard of penicillin, right? The antibiotics in mushrooms are similar to those present in penicillin, both of which are exceptionally well at curbing fungal and bacterial growth. The beta glucan molecules mentioned above also help in healing your wounds quickly and preventing them from catching infections. The presence of vitamin C, A and B-complex further helps these antibiotics to improve your overall health. And if this isn’t reason enough for you to believe that the answer to "Are mushrooms healthy?" is positive, then I don’t know what is!
Keep your diabetes in control
The thing about mushrooms is that they have everything good in them, including minerals, protein, vitamins, antibiotics, etc. without having the bad stuff like cholesterol, fat, high carbs, etc. Not to mention the fact that most species of mushrooms naturally contain insulin, which, diabetics know very well, is important to break down sugar in your food and eventually in the blood stream.
Strengthen your bones
Calcium is necessary for the growth of your bones, and with a steady supply of the mineral, you can say goodbye to joint aches, bone degradation and even osteoporosis. Sure, you can pop pills, but they aren’t the healthiest alternative for you. And that’s exactly where mushrooms score, because if you haven’t guessed already, they’re a great source of calcium.
Maintain normal blood pressure
High BP is dangerous and can lead to serious medical issues like strokes and heart attacks. Mushrooms like maitake and shiitake have high levels of potassium. And for those who didn’t know, this mineral is responsible for relaxing the tension in your blood vessels, which in turn lowers your BP. Not only this, potassium also increases the oxygen and blood flow to your brain, which in turn improves your cognitive functioning, knowledge retention and memory. Are mushrooms healthy? Well, the answer’s right in front of you!
Improve your vitamin D levels
If you’re dependent on vitamin D3 or D2 supplements, ditch them in favor of dried white button mushroom extracts, because they are not only as effective as these pills, but also are 100% natural and organic.
Anemia is a result of lacking iron in your body, as a result of which you can face issues ranging from digestion problems to reduced neural functions. Mushrooms are rich in iron. And did you know that more than 90 of the iron contents present in mushroom are easily absorbed by your body? Now this iron furthers the formation of RBCs or red blood cells, which, we all studied at school, are very important in keeping our body functioning normally.
Keep your cholesterol in check
As mentioned above, mushrooms are a great source of protein, with little to no carbs, fat and cholesterol. Now, not only does this protein burn down cholesterol absorbed from food, but also helps maintain a healthy balance between your good and bad cholesterol levels.
Are mushrooms healthy? Well, if you’ve read this far, then you already know that the answer is a resounding yes. Even so, there are certain things you should keep in mind before consuming them.
The most important species of mushroom to add to your diet include Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), Shiitake (Lentinula edodes), Himematsutake (Agaricus blazei) and Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). Always opt for fresh, taut mushrooms. Never go for the ones that are old and/or squishy. Never eat raw mushrooms because they are difficult to digest. The heat from cooking them breaks down any toxins, if at all, in them.
Eat only those mushrooms that have been organically grown. Mushrooms not grown organically tend to absorb a lot of unnecessary things like water pollutants and heavy metals, which can prove to be harmful to your health in the long run. If possible grow your own mushrooms.