Long celebrated as a superfood and source of powerful nutrients, fresh mushrooms are a healthy addition to your plate. Mushrooms not only come with the goodness of vegetables, but also give benefits otherwise provided by meat, beans and grains. The most common type of mushrooms are the cultivated white button mushrooms which are widely used as an ingredient in a range of dishes as well as sauces. They also have medicinal properties and have been used in China, Korea and Japan in the treatment of disorders such as allergies, arthritis, and bronchitis as well as cancers of the stomach, oesophagus, and lungs.
Some of the amazing benefits of adding mushrooms in our daily diet include,
1. Burning Cholesterol
Mushrooms are full of lean proteins and have negligible fat or cholesterol. They are a great source of chitin and beta-glucan that are fibres which keep a check on cholesterol levels. The high protein content helps burn excess cholesterol and fat in the body. It also helps reduce the chances of some cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
2. Maintaining Bone Health
Mushrooms contain abundant calcium which is an essential nutrient to maintain strong bones. Consuming mushrooms regularly can help reduce chances of developing bone-related conditions including osteoporosis, joint pain, and other disorders related to bone degeneration.
3. For youthful and Radiant Skin
Mushrooms are active ingredients in topical creams, serums, and facial preparations as their extracts are considered as potent antioxidants and natural moisturisers. They are rich in Vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants that protect our skin.
Hyaluronic acid in mushrooms is considered as the body’s internal moisturiser as it plumps up and firms the skin.
Some mushrooms contain kojic acid which is a natural skin lightener. This acid inhibits melanin production on the surface of the skin and lightens the new skin cells formed.
Mushrooms contain a super-high concentration of two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, which protect the body from the physiological stress that causes visible signs of aging. Mushroom extracts are often used in skin products for treating skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and acne.
4. For a Shining Mane
Mushrooms are a good source of iron, Vitamin D, antioxidants and minerals that help combat hair loss. Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells and strengthens hair. Copper facilitates the absorption of iron from food and production of melanin, a pigment that imparts color to your hair.
Mushroom contains large quantities of selenium which aids in hair growth as well as prevents dandruff. Selenium compounds can also kill a fungus called Malassezia which is present on the scalp and is responsible for shedding dry skin fragments.
5. Fighting Breast and Prostate Cancers
Mushrooms include beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid with anti-carcinogens. Linoleic acid helps in suppressing estrogen in women after menopause to prevent breast cancer while Beta-Glucans helps in preventing prostate cancer. Selenium helps the most in suppressing these cancerous cells.
6. Diabetics’ Delight
The natural enzymes in mushrooms help in breaking down of sugars and starch. They also improve the functioning of the endocrine glands. Moreover, the natural antibiotics in mushrooms help the diabetic people from easily prone infections.
7. For a Stronger and Fitter You
The combination of Vitamins A, B, and C in mushrooms help build good immune system and fight against infections. The antioxidant, ergothioneine in mushrooms protects body from free radicals. Also, for weight loss, it is always recommended to take high protein; low carbohydrates and no fat diet which is offered by mushrooms.
8. Treasure Trove of Vitamins
Mushroom is the only vegetable which contains Vitamin D. Vitamin B1 or thiamin present in mushrooms is responsible for controlling the release of energy from carbohydrates and helps in the functioning of our nervous system and brain. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 present in mushrooms vitamin promotes good vision and eye health, healthy skin and strengthens our immune system. Niacin or Vitamin B3 present in mushrooms helps in controlling the release of energy from carbohydrate, fat, and protein. This tends to keep our body’s nervous system and digestive system in good shape.
Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid, is naturally found in mushrooms. It is essential for various metabolic roles and provides assistance in producing hormones in our body. Vitamin B6, found in mushrooms regulates our body’s internal clock and is very important for brain function and development. This vitamin is also responsible for alleviating mood swings and depression.
Folate or Vitamin B9 in mushrooms helps in the formation of white blood cells and red blood cells in bone marrow. Even pregnant women are advised to consume folate, which helps in the proper growth of the foetus. Vitamin H or biotin found in mushrooms is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins and increases immunity.
So, think again, before you say “No” to mushrooms.