Fungi are on fire right now, even if you’re eating them raw in a salad. The industry publication Nutritional Outlook reported in 2021 that sales of mushrooms and products containing mushrooms increased by 33% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Fungal foods have nutritionists enthused. The calories in mushrooms are low. Furthermore, they offer a wealth of macro- and micronutrients, particularly B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and copper. She says B vitamins are crucial for a cell’s energy production. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements also notes the importance of zinc and copper for a healthy immune system and selenium’s potent antioxidant properties.
We’re concentrating on whole mushrooms in this story rather than processed mushrooms because it’s obvious that they’re healthier when eaten raw or cooked for recipes. There needs to be more research done on other forms, such as supplements, nutraceuticals, and mouth sprays, which may offer additional benefits.
Mushrooms Promote Bone Health and Immunity
Mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to UV light. The NIH reports that a half cup of UV-exposed white raw mushrooms contains 46% of your daily value for D. And that is a fantastic nutritional benefit for a fungus. Vitamin D can be found in relatively few food sources, particularly plant sources. The vitamin is absolutely essential for immune and bone health.
The amount of vitamin D that is advised supports muscle function – lowers the risk of falls, and may have anticancer, anti-diabetes, and heart-protective properties, as the Nutrients review of research makes clear. Your body produces vitamin D from sunlight, but there are many things that can increase or decrease your risk of having a vitamin D deficiency.
According to MedlinePlus, you may be deficient if you don’t get enough sun, don’t eat enough, or have certain medical conditions that interfere with absorption like Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, or chronic kidney or liver disease. Look on the front or bottom of the package for this information when purchasing mushrooms high in vitamin D.
Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Eating as little as 18 grams of mushrooms per day—roughly a 1/8 cup or two medium mushrooms—can reduce your risk of cancer by as much as 45%, according to a review of 17 cancer studies conducted between 1966 and 2020. Ergothioneine, an antioxidant and amino acid that prevents or delays cellular damage, can be found in large quantities in mushrooms.
Some types of mushrooms, including shiitake, oyster, maitake, and king oyster, contain higher concentrations of ergothioneine. But studies have shown that eating any kind of mushroom regularly will reduce your risk of developing cancer.
While reducing calories, fat, and cholesterol, mushrooms are a great alternative to red meat. Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, according to research, support healthy cholesterol levels. They contain substances that lessen the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, prevent cholesterol from being absorbed, and inhibit the production of cholesterol.
Mushrooms can usually be found in the produce section of any grocery or health food store. Since many mushroom varieties are poisonous and difficult to distinguish from edible varieties, gathering them from the wild is not advised. Consuming mushrooms are healthy because of all the advantages they have for your body.