Health Benefits of Mushroom

Benefits of MushroomBelonging to the fungi kingdom, mushrooms come in the category of vegetables in the food world but they aren’t technically plants. In spite of not being vegetables they provide various important nutrients to us.

Eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables is the key to get sufficient vitamins and minerals in the diet. In majority of cases, a food that lacks color also lacks essential nutrients, but edible mushrooms which are commonly white in color, proves quite the contrary. This characteristic is part of a collection of Medical News Today articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It supplies a nutritional breakdown of mushrooms and an in-depth look at their possible health benefits, how to take in more mushrooms into your diet and any possible health risks associated with their consumption.

Health benefits of mushrooms :

There are some valuable nutrients present in mushrooms:

Including all kinds of fruits and vegetables in the diet has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Increasing intake of whole, unprocessed foods, like mushrooms, seems to decrease the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes and heart disease. They also help to promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

1) Cancer

Just like carrots, tomatoes, green and red peppers, pumpkins, green beans, zucchini, and other whole foods, mushrooms are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemicals which help us to get rid of free radicals and is a type of chemical that can cause harm to a person’s body cells which further leads to cancer.

Selenium, a mineral which is absent in most of the fruits and vegetables is found in mushrooms. It plays a vital role in liver enzyme function and also helps in detoxifying some cancer causing compounds in the body. Moreover, selenium helps in preventing inflammation and also reduces the growth rates of tumor.

Mushrooms possess Vitamin D which is known to stop the growth of cancer cells and contributes to regulate the cell growth cycle. Freshly cut mushrooms being placed in the sun, remarkably increases the content of Vitamin D. For DNA synthesis and repair, the folate in mushrooms play an essential role and thereby prevents the formation of cancer cells from mutations in the DNA.

2) Diabetes

Researchers have proved that people who belong to type 1 diabetes and whose diet is rich in fiber have lower blood glucose levels and people who belong to type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of grilled portabella mushrooms and one cup of stir-fried shiitake mushrooms both provide about 3 grams of fiber which is beneficial for the digestive system and it also reduces the risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

3) Heart health

The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in mushrooms highly contribute to cardiovascular health.
Potassium and sodium together work in the body and helps in regulating the blood pressure. Consumption of mushrooms which are high in potassium and low in sodium helps in lowering the blood pressure and decreases the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to it, an intake of 3 grams of beta-glucans a day helps in lowering blood cholesterol level by 5 percent. The stem of the shiitake mushrooms is a good source of beta-glucans.

4) Immunity

Selenium stimulates the production of killer T-cells which improves the immune response to infection. The beta-glucan fibers which are found in the cell walls of mushrooms help in stimulating the immune system to fight cancer cells and also prevent from forming tumors.

5) Weight Management

Weight management and satiety dietary fiber plays an essential role in weight management by functioning as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system. Mushrooms consist two different types of dietary fibers in their cell walls which are glucans and chitin. They increase satiety and help in reducing appetite. By making you feel fuller for a longer time, they can reduce the overall intake of calorie.

Nutritional profile of mushrooms :

Mushroom, often referred to as “functional foods” are naturally low in sodium, fat, cholesterol and calories.
Besides providing basic nutrition, they help in preventing chronic disease as they contain antioxidants and beneficial dietary fibers such as chitin and beta-glucans.

One cup of chopped or slices raw white mushrooms contain:

15 calories
0 grams of fat
2.2 grams of protein
2.3 grams of carbohydrate, including 0.7 grams of fiber and 1.4 grams of sugar
Mushrooms are available in a large variety, but most of them provide nearly same amount of the same nutrients per serving, regardless of their shape or size.

Vitamins and Minerals :

Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins which help the body to get energy from food and also to form red blood cells. Some of the B vitamins are riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin (B3). Many of the B vitamins are likely to be important for a healthy brain. Pregnant women are recommended to include folic acid or folate in their diet to boost cells at the time of pregnancy.

Mushrooms are also the only vegan and non-fortified dietary source containing vitamin D. Dairy products are normally a good food source of vitamin D, but vegans don’t consume any animal product, so mushrooms can offer this important vitamin through an alternate source. Minerals like selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus which may be difficult to obtain in a vegan diet are available in mushrooms.

A type of fiber named beta-glucans is found in the cell wall of variety of mushrooms. Recently, beta-glucans have been the subject of extensive studies that suggest they might boost the insulin resistance and also the blood cholesterol levels thus lowering the risk of obesity and improving the immune system.

Choline which is an important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory is present in mushrooms. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, supports proper fat absorption and also reduces chronic inflammation.

Written By Rishi Modi