The humble mushroom is having something of resurgence at the moment with professional chefs and budding amateurs alike making the most of this lowly fungus in a variety of dishes. From mushroom soup to a twist on a beef wellington, mushrooms are gaining popularity in kitchens around the nation. This is good news for your health. Mushrooms are a smart addition to a balanced diet, offering a variety of health benefits and perks. Here are some of the top reasons why you should include mushrooms in your diet, and how they can seriously boost your health.
High Nutritional Value
One of the top selling points of mushrooms is their high nutritional value. They provide essential nutrients, including Vitamins D, selenium, potassium, and copper. They also offer the same variety of essential antioxidants as more colorful fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes. As a bonus, they are low in calories, and also provide fiber and protein. Mushrooms deserve their place as a superfood!
They Boost Your Immune System
As well as offering vitamins and minerals, eating mushrooms can also help to boost your immune system preventing the chances of getting sick and helping your body to fight off infections more effectively. A recent study shows that a daily dose of shiitake mushrooms can improve overall immunity in a way which exceeds the benefits of pharmaceutical drugs. More commonly found white and brown mushrooms have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and the miracle food can also prevent respiratory infections, and alter gut bacteria, which could also even be used to help prevent obesity—mushrooms are truly underrated!
They Can Help In The Fight Against Cancer
As well as their numerous other benefits, mushrooms have been shown to help fight against cancer. They contain proteins known as ‘lectins,’ which can bind to abnormal and cancer cells. They then label these cells for destruction by our immune systems and have been used in cases of breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, uterine cervix cancer, pancreatic cancer, acute leukemia, and gastric cancer. An Australian study found that women who consumed a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms daily were 64 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
They Can Save The World
Mushrooms aren’t just good for humans. They can work to help protect our planet too. If mushrooms didn’t exist, then there would be no plants. Mushrooms and mycelium break down rocks and organic matter and turn them into the soil which provides the necessary structure to nourish plants and feed us.
In addition, mushrooms have been used to help out planet in other unexpected ways including:
- Absorbing farm pollution
- Fighting off smallpox and flu viruses
- Cleaning up oil spills
- As a sustainable fuel source
- Creating vibrant, fertile environments for farms and forests
- Combating insects, giving plants a chance to grow
Mushrooms are more than just a tasty, trendy dish. They are also a potentially life-saving solution to many health conditions and can help you to look and feel the very best you can with just a simple addition to your diet.