Health benefits of mushrooms
We often think of mushrooms as vegetables, but they are actually fungi packed with variety of nutrients. Mushrooms, often called as “functional foods” are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol. Apart from providing variety of nutrients, they are the house of anti-oxidants and help in preventing the chronic diseases. Mushrooms are also rich in dietary fibres like beta-glucans and chitin. Health benefits of mushrooms include the effect on various body functions like muscle movement, sleep, memory and learning. Nutrient choline, present in mushrooms help in the functioning of all these. Various health benefits of mushrooms are as follows:
- Maintains levels of cholesterol: mushrooms are everyone’s favourite food as they have less carbohydrates and virtually no fat and cholesterol. Also, mushrooms are good source of lean proteins which helps in burning of cholesterol. Mushrooms help in balancing the levels of HDL and LDL. Thus, by maintaining the cholesterol levels mushrooms help in preventing various cardiovascular disorders.
- Good source of iron: health benefits of mushrooms include the effect of iron on the body. Since mushrooms are very good source of iron, they promote the formation of RBCs or red blood cells, particularly in people suffering from anaemia as iron deficiency in their blood leads to fatigue, digestive problems, headaches etc.
- Prevention of breast and prostate cancer: mushrooms are effective agents in prevention of cancers like breast and prostate cancers due to presence of polysaccharides beta-glucans and linoleic acid. Linoleic acid and beta-glucans act have anti-carcinogenic properties. Excess amounts of estrogens, particularly after menopause lead to breast cancer. Linoleic acid act as a suppressor by suppressing the estrogens effects leading to cancer. Similarly, beta-glucans work by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in prostate cancer.
- Diabetes: if you are suffering from diabetes and are constantly looking for a food that have low energy or calorie count without costing you nutrients then mushrooms are ideal for you. High protein content, wealth of mineral and vitamins, no fat and cholesterol and limited amount of carbohydrates make mushrooms a must included food in every diabetic diet. Mushrooms also have good concentration of fibres and water. Also, the enzymes along with natural insulin help in breaking of starch and sugar.
- Mushrooms for health bones: health benefits of mushrooms also include the healthy and strong bones that one can get after eating mushrooms regularly. For bones to be healthy they require good amount of both calcium and Vitamin D. mushrooms are excellent source of Vitamin D as well as calcium which are required for the formation and strengthening of bones. Since Vitamin D is rarely found in vegetables, mushrooms are sought after food as they have edible Vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for the effective absorption of phosphorous and calcium.
- Immune system: the anti-oxidants present in mushrooms help in strengthening of the immune system by limiting the damaging effect of free radicals. Ergothioneine is an anti0oxidnt present in mushrooms uniquely act as master anti-oxidant to boost the immune system. It helps in eliminating the free radicals released during the metabolic processes and resulting in the damage. Mushrooms also act as a source of natural antibiotics which work in inhibiting the various bacterial and fungal infections.
- Selenium benefits: selenium is very beneficial for the bone health, skin and hair as well as for teeth and nails. Mushrooms are rich in selenium and acts as a vegetarian source for human beings to get this important nutrient. Selenium also works as an anti-oxidant.
Apart from these nutritional benefits of mushrooms, they are included in diet for loosing weight. Because of the high content of lean proteins and no cholesterol or fat, they are ideal for loosing weight. Mushroom health benefits include their effect on hair and skin. Since mushrooms controls the sugar level, it helps in controlling the acne. Oyster mushrooms are fan shaped mushrooms which comes in variety of colours like grey, yellow , white etc. there are numerous oyster mushroom benefits like they are very good source of iron, niacin, Vitamin D and anti-oxidants. Another variety of mushrooms include enoki mushrooms which are more elegant in their appearance with small caps and long stems. Enoki mushrooms health benefits are- they are very good source of Vitamin B3, are cholesterol and fat free. Shitake, coliolus, mitake and reishi comes under the category of best medicinal mushrooms.