Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms : Mushrooms have been a dietary staple around the world for centuries, but did you know that they can also provide some unexpected health benefits? Recent research has shown that mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrition, containing a variety of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that can help to boost your health.
From reducing inflammation and protecting your heart health, to improving your immune system and helping to manage weight, mushrooms offer a range of benefits that you may not have considered. In this article, we’ll delve into the top 10 unexpected health benefits of eating mushrooms and what you need to know to make the most of them.
1. They’re A Useful Source Of Fiber
Fiber is usually found in plant-based foods, and it has a variety of benefits for your health. Eating foods high in fiber can help you to maintain a healthy weight, as it keeps you feeling full longer and prevents overeating. It can also help to reduce your risk of bowel diseases, such as colorectal cancer, diverticular disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
In addition, it can lower your cholesterol levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. The most surprising health benefit of eating mushrooms is that they are a source of fiber. Mushrooms are the only edible fungi that contain fiber, which is particularly valuable for those who don’t eat meat. A one-cup serving of mushrooms contains around 2 grams of fiber, which is 10% of the recommended daily intake.
2. They Boost Your Immune System
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which are naturally occurring compounds that can help to protect your cells from damage. As these are a type of biological molecules that are found in various foods, you don’t need to take supplements to reap the health benefits. Eating antioxidant-rich foods can help to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
Research shows that a diet rich in mushrooms can help to boost your immune system, which can be useful if you’re prone to getting sick. Boosting your immune system can help to reduce the risk of developing infections, such as the common cold, flu, and other viral infections.
3. They Can Help To Manage Your Weight
If you’re looking to lose weight, mushrooms can provide useful nutrients that can support your diet. They contain a good amount of fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full for longer and reduce the amount of calories that you consume. In addition, mushrooms are low in calories and contain very little fat. A 100-gram serving (around 3 and a half ounces) of mushrooms contains around 20 calories.
This is great for those following a low-calorie diet as it means you can eat large amounts without going over your daily calorie limit. Eating mushrooms can also help to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which can be useful for those who are trying to lose weight.
4. Mushrooms Are A Great Alternative For Protein
Protein is essential for building and repairing the cells in your body, as well as helping to create new tissue. In addition, it can help to regulate your blood sugar levels, which can be particularly useful if you have diabetes. While meat is a common source of protein, it’s also high in fat and cholesterol. Mushrooms are a great alternative for protein as they contain higher amounts of protein than other vegetables and are a low-fat source.
A 100-gram serving of mushrooms contains around 4 grams of protein, which is 10% of the recommended daily intake for men and 14% for women. This can be particularly useful for vegetarians and vegans who don’t eat meat, as well as those who are following a low-fat diet.
5. They’re An Excellent Source Of Vitamins And Minerals
Mushrooms have been shown to contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, which can help to boost your health. They are a good source of a number of B vitamins that can help to improve your mood, as well as boost your energy levels. They are also a source of vitamin D, which can help to regulate your immune system and prevent diseases like cancer. Mushrooms are also a source of minerals, such as copper and selenium, which can help to reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
6. Their Vitamins Help You See More Clearly
As well as helping to boost your health, mushrooms may also be able to improve your eyesight! They are a source of lutein, which is an antioxidant found in the retina of your eyes. This can help to prevent degenerative diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts, which can cause blindness in some cases. In addition, the high vitamin C content in mushrooms can help to boost your iron absorption, which can help to prevent anemia in women who are prone to iron deficiency.
7. They May Help Fight Depression And Anxiety
As well as being a good source of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, mushrooms may also be able to help fight depression and anxiety. In one study, 36 people who followed a diet rich in mushrooms had a significant decrease in their levels of depression and anxiety, compared to the control group who didn’t eat mushrooms. This could be due to their high levels of tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, as well as their high vitamin B content, which has been linked to reduced anxiety levels.
8. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Can Help To Prevent Dementia And Alzheimers Or Reduce Symptoms
Alzheimer’s disease is a common degenerative brain disorder that affects over 5 million people in the USA. Research shows that Lion’s mane mushrooms may be able to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, mice who consumed Lion’s mane mushrooms for 12 weeks were able to reduce levels of amyloid beta, a substance that is associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Amyloid beta can be reduced by around 50% when mice were fed the mushrooms. This is promising research for humans, as the study also shows that Lion’s mane mushrooms can reduce amyloid beta levels in human blood cells too.
9. They Have Anti-inflammatory Properties
Mushrooms are known to be anti-inflammatory, which can be useful for managing chronic illnesses such as arthritis. They contain ursolic acid, which can help to reduce inflammation, particularly in people who have a high level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker. A 100-gram serving of mushrooms contains around 200-300 mg of ursolic acid, which is equivalent to around two servings of apples or pears. This is more than the amount found in oranges and carrots, making mushrooms a good source of anti-inflammatory compounds.
10. They May Help Fight Chronic Diseases Like Cancer And Heart Disease
As well as being anti-inflammatory, mushrooms can also help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, including certain cancers and heart disease. The high levels of selenium found in mushrooms can help to prevent certain types of cancer, such as lung and colon cancer. It can also help to prevent blood clots and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Selenium is also used in a prescription medication used to treat multiple sclerosis, as it can slow the progression of the disease.
Mushrooms are a flavorful and nutritious addition to any meal. Best of all, they have many health benefits that you may not have considered when deciding to make them a part of your diet! Mushrooms are a useful source of fiber, which can help to keep you feeling full for longer and prevent overeating. They are also a great alternative for protein, as they contain higher amounts of protein than other vegetables and are a low-fat source.
They are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, as well as being anti-inflammatory. Mushrooms can help to boost your immune system, manage your weight, prevent disease, and fight common health conditions. They are also rich in antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage. In addition, they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be useful for managing chronic diseases. This makes them a truly amazing food to include in your diet, as they have a wide range of health benefits!