Mushrooms can be eaten in various ways — you can saute, grill, bake, stir-fry or make it into a curry. They are not just delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits.
Why you should eat mushrooms
Edible mushrooms are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidant elements include selenium, vitamin C and choline, which eliminate free radicals or toxic byproducts of metabolism and other body processes, mentions Medical News Today. The vitamin B in mushrooms boosts energy and helps form red blood cells. Choline, on the other hand, helps in muscle movement, maintaining structure of cellular membranes and memory. Minerals in mushroom include potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus.
Mushrooms are exposed to sunlight, making them a natural source of vitamin D2 that is turned into an active form of vitamin D in the body, which it needs to absorb calcium for healthy bones.
While there are different kinds of mushrooms, the one most commonly eaten in our country are white or button mushrooms. And this superfood can help in tackling specific health conditions, as research has shown. Here are some of them:
A 2018 study in the journal Oncotarget talked about using medicinal mushrooms for future cancer therapy owing to its anti-cancer properties. The antiodixant compounds such as polyphenols, polysaccharides, ergothioneine, glutathione, and selenium are known to be behind the mushrooms’ cancer-fighting ability, mentions Healthline. Another study in the journal 3 Biotech explains that “mushrooms are known to complement chemotherapy and radiation therapy by countering the side-effects of cancer, such as nausea, bone marrow suppression, anemia, and lowered resistance.”
Research has shown that mushrooms are low in carbs and sugar and are a source of natural bioactive coompounds which are anti-diabetic, and help prevent gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes. The dietary fibre in mushrooms can help reduce blood sugar level, according to Medical News Today.
Improves heart health
Mushrooms contain ergothioneine (a naturally occuring amino acid) and beta glucan (a soluble fibre) that can reduce the risk of heart diseases. They reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels which are linked to such diseases. Ergothioneine also inhibits arterial plaque (made up of fat, cholesterol, waste products from cells and clotting agent called fibrin) development, which could otherwise lead to high blood pressure and stroke.
Studies have shown that a variety of mushroom called shiitake, when eaten in the cooked form, could boost immunity as it is rich in vitamins and essential amino acids.
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