Fungal foods fascinate nutritionists. Mushrooms provide few calories. According to Katherine Brooking, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City and co-creator of the syndicated weekly news series Appetite for Health, they also offer a variety of macro and micronutrients, including B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and copper. She says that B vitamins are crucial for the production of energy in cells. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, selenium is a potent antioxidant while zinc and copper are necessary for a healthy immune system.
We’re concentrating on entire mushrooms in this tale rather than processed mushrooms because it’s obvious that eating whole mushrooms raw or cooking them for recipes is good for your health. Other forms, like supplements, nutraceuticals, and mouthwashes, may offer additional advantages, but further research is required.
According to Kim Bedwell of the Mushroom Council, the white button mushroom is the most widely consumed mushroom in the country. Other varieties, such cremini, often known as baby bella, and portobellos, are becoming more and more well-liked, according to her. Additionally, she claims that speciality mushrooms (such shiitakes, oysters, and maitakes) are more likely to be found there.Depending on your taste preferences, you have a wide range of options for how to enjoy the following seven health advantages of mushrooms.
1. Mushrooms Support Immunity and Bone Health
According to a review article in the October 2018 Nutrients, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to UV light. (According to the NIH, a half cup of raw, white, UV-exposed mushrooms provides 46% of your daily requirement for D.) And for a veggie, that is a fantastic nutritional benefit (er, fungi). There aren’t too many food sources of vitamin D, particularly plant sources, claims Brooking. The vitamin is absolutely essential for immunological and bone health. The recommended intake of vitamin D enhances muscle function, lowers the incidence of falls, and may have anticancer, antidiabetic, and heart-protective effects, as noted in the Nutrients evaluation of research.
Your body produces vitamin D through sun exposure, but there are a number of things that might increase or decrease your chance of having a vitamin D deficit. According to MedlinePlus, you may be deficient if you don’t get enough sunlight, don’t consume enough calories in your diet, or have certain medical problems that interfere with absorption, like Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, or chronic renal or liver disease.
According to Bedwell, you can find this information on the front or bottom of the packaging when buying mushrooms that are high in vitamin D. If your mushrooms provide at least 20% of the recommended value, or DV, per serving, it is another indication that they are high in vitamin D. This information can be found on the nutrition facts label. The Nutrients study recommends that you also pay attention to the “best by” date and consume the mushrooms before that period to guarantee that you’re still getting a sufficient level of vitamin D.
2. Mushrooms can help your heart health.
Because mushrooms contain glutamate ribonucleotides, they enhance the flavour of food when used in recipes in place of salt. These substances add a delicious, umami flavour without affecting your blood pressure or risk of heart disease. The salt content of a cup of mushrooms is merely 5 mg. Additionally, mushrooms are a great, tasty substitute for red meat in any recipe, taking calories, fat, and cholesterol out of the picture.
Both long-term and short-term studies have revealed that mushrooms, when combined with physical activity and other lifestyle modifications, can significantly affect weight loss. For instance, research participants demonstrated improvements in their BMI and belly circumference after being asked to replace 20% of their beef consumption with mushrooms.
Additionally, it is believed that the antioxidants in mushrooms lower the incidence of hypertension and other metabolic diseases.
4.Mushrooms can lift your mood.
Further research by Penn State scientists in 2021 revealed a link between regular use of mushrooms and a lower risk of developing depression in a group of nearly 25,000 individuals. Once more, the authors speculate that this is because ergothioneine may lessen the danger of oxidative stress, which in turn lessens depressive symptoms. They advise eating button mushrooms since they have potassium, which may help with anxiety reduction.
Are mushrooms safe for everyone?
As long as you don’t have a mould allergy or a mushroom allergy, most people can safely consume store-bought mushrooms.
The popularity of foraging for wild foods does, however, increase risk. You should exercise caution before rushing out to your nearby woodland because so many mushroom kinds are unsafe for human eating. The easiest way to find edible mushrooms is to forage with an expert, who can also snap photos of the common species for you. Make sure the mushrooms are cooked before you taste them because very few are safe to eat raw.