Top 10 Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are edible fungi belonging to the family “Agaricus”. It is a well-established fact that mushroom is a powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients – which can be proven by its selection as a vitamin source in the “super MARIO” video game (just like spinach in Popeye)! Mushrooms also contain lean proteins and is an amalgam of low carbohydrates and fiber which provide multiple interlinked health benefits. But mushroom has one trump card up its sleeve – that’s the element called selenium – a very rare element in one’s diet which can fight against high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure levels, diabetes, cancer etc. In spite of the above beneficial factors, mushrooms should be taken with caution as all breeds of mushrooms are not trustworthy and some can even lead to coma or serious health conditions. So one must only have mushrooms produced by a reputable company or a trustworthy source. Some of the benefits of mushroom are as follows:
Mushrooms Reduce Cholesterol
Mushrooms are full of lean protein as they are devoid of cholesterol or fat and also contain very low carbohydrate. They also contain fiber and certain enzymes which help reduce cholesterol levels. Lean protein is essential for burning cholesterol during digestion. There are two types of cholesterol in our body LDL and HDL. If the right balance is not maintained between them, it can lead to serious fatal cardiovascular diseases leading to even heart attack and stroke. The mushroom can play an essential role in maintaining the proper balance.
Increases Iron Level In Blood
When an individual suffers from acute shortage of iron in blood he or she develops anemia. Anemia has several side-effects like fatigue, headaches and digestive issues. People suffering from anemia are in requirement of diet which can provide them with a good source of iron, mushroom with sufficient iron content can be the answer to their woes. Iron can help promote the formation of red blood cells which in turn helps the body to perform to its desired potential.
Beta-Glucans and Conjugated Linoleic Acid are present in mushroom which is anti-carcinogenic in nature. The excess estrogen is really harmful to the body and can be effectively neutralized by linoleic acid. The primary reason for breast cancer is the excess estrogen secretion in women thus linoleic acid is greatly effective in the prevention of breast cancer. In-case of prostate cancer, the beta-glucans suppress the growth of cancer cells. The anti-tumor characteristics of mushroom have been proven when applied medicinally. Mushroom also contains selenium which helps in inhibiting cancer cells.
Mushrooms Help Prevent Diabetes
When a person is suffering from diabetes, he has to be very careful with his diet selection. He cannot keep his stomach empty and has to fill it with a diet which has no fats, no cholesterol, very low levels of carbohydrate and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Mushroom is one such food which has the following above characteristics. They also contain insulin which helps in the breakage of sugar in food and is the main factor in keeping diabetes in check. People suffering from diabetes suffer from infections which extend over a very long time-frame. These life-threatening conditions can be fought-off with the antibiotic properties of mushroom.
Makes Bones Stronger
One of the main components of mushroom is calcium. It is a well-known fact that as we grow in age, the calcium content in our bone decreases as a result of which our bones grow weaker. If we do not take food with adequate amounts of calcium it can gradually lead to a weakening of the bones and ultimately leading to osteoporosis. Mushroom contains calcium in right amounts which if taken regularly can protect the degradation of our bones and can make them stronger with time. Moreover, the lack of mobility in bones also decreases with age which can be tackled by intake of mushrooms.
Mushrooms Boost the Immune System
Ergothioneine is an anti-oxidant which is present in mushrooms. As we live our lives the biological wastes of the body known as free-radicals bring about our aging and also affects the overall functioning of the body. Due to the body attaining an age the immune system of the body also faces severe vulnerability. With the immune system becoming vulnerable our body gets prone to diseases and several health conditions. The anti-oxidant Ergothioneine present in mushroom helps in prevention of deposition of free-radicals on the body organs and in turn, keeps the body resistant to all kinds of diseases. Mushrooms also contain a combination of vitamin A, vitamin B –complex and vitamin C which further ensures strengthening of the immune system.
Helps in Reducing Blood Pressure
The potassium content in various mushroom types particularly the ‘shiitake’ and ‘maitake’ mushrooms is found to be very high. The tension in blood-vessels can be greatly reduced by potassium thereby keeping the blood pressure levels in check. The continued rise of blood-pressure levels will ultimately lead to heart-attack or stroke. Moreover, potassium also enhances the cognitive functions of the body. The neural activity receives a boost as it increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. It has been scientifically proven that memory power and knowledge retention ability further increases with optimum potassium present in the blood.
Mushrooms as a Bodyweight Maintainer
Tired of the excess fatty layers in your body? Believe or not – mushroom is the answer to this kind of a problem. When we look bulky and fat we even do not feel like standing in front of the mirror and become a skeptic about the food we take as the calorie part plays at the back of our minds. Mushroom contains lean protein and is an ideal amalgam of low carbohydrate, very low fats and a good amount of fiber. When we eat mushroom most of the fats of the body are put to work in helping in the digestion of these proteins which helps in reduction of the body weight. The density of nutrients in mushroom is so optimum that according to some experts, they are much more preferable food even compared to many fruits and vegetables. In spite of all these advantages, one should eat mushrooms with caution as all types of mushrooms are not eatable and they have a habit of absorption of the qualities of the material where they grow. For instance, a mushroom whose breed and place of growth have not been identified can even lead to coma.
Absorption of Nutrients
Vitamin D is an essential component present in mushroom which is quite unique and hard to find in edible forms. The absorption and metabolism of nutrients are mighty essential for the body to keep functioning properly. Vitamin D can serve the purpose as it is effective in ensuring the absorption of nutrients particularly calcium and phosphorous. The presence of calcium and phosphorous in mushrooms also makes it an attractable proposition to have in one’s diet.
Mushrooms as a Selenium Ninja
Selenium is a very important element present in mushrooms. Selenium is generally present in plant and animal proteins and mushrooms are the only source of selenium for vegetarians. Selenium has a plethora of benefits which can aid the body significantly. It aids bones making them stronger and also increases their mobility thus preventing rear and tear. It also strengthens teeth, hair, and nails making a person look beautiful and confident. Selenium boosts the immune system by preventing the deposition of free-radicals which in turn results in the human body become resistant to aging. The selenium content in mushroom varies greatly so we must be cautious in selecting the right variety or else we might choose the wrong one and get ourselves in trouble!!