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There are various benefits associated with the consumption of mushrooms. Mushrooms serve as a fungus belonging to mushroom or umbrella forming species with over 140 thousands species. However, the ones under scrutiny for potential health and nutritional benefits only amount to 100.
The most common mushrooms known by the scientific name agaricus bisporus is also the most consumed mushroom in the world.
The mushroom received various names through many eras and places. Some of the names given include the:
- Table mushroom
- Crimini mushroom
- White mushroom
- Swiss brown mushroom
- Roman brown mushroom
- Button mushrooms [source]
The Most Beneficial Mushrooms
Before discussing the health benefits of mushroom, it makes a good thing for everyone interested to know the different types of mushrooms. This provides info about the best cooking and medicinal mushrooms. It will also help educate people about the safe-to-eat and highly beneficial mushrooms.
The Inonotus Obliquus, most widely known as chaga mushroom, appears like a burnt charcoal or wood and lives as parasites on birch trees and others. It packs with lots of healthy benefits and one evidence to this is its high ORAC score. ORAC, an acronym for Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity determines the power of a food or ingredient to defend the body from free radicals which cause breast cancer, liver diseases, heart diseases and more.
The reishi mushroom (ganoderma lucidum), also called red reishi or ling zhi plays an important role in Chinese herbal medicines as many believe in its miraculous health benefits, thanks to the miracle ganoderic acid. This medicinal item helps lower blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and aids with issues of anxiety, hepatitis, insomnia, and cancer tumors.
The pleorotus ostreatus provide more uses among other types of mushrooms. Known as the most versatile, the oyster mushroom like this mushroom showcases culinary, medicinal, and environmental benefits.
The famous shiitake mushrooms possess meaty and versatile flavor which makes it ideal on plenty of Asian dishes. Shiitake mushrooms also provides loads of B vitamins, responsible for fighting off cancer cells, infections, and cardiovascular diseases.
Moreover, shiitake helps control blood sugar and functions as a great anti-inflammatory drug. Shiitake mushrooms contain all eight types of amino acid which contributes to reduced appetite, muscle buildup, weight loss, improved digestion, and overall wellness.
Maitake mushroom (grifola frondosa), also known as “hen of the woods”, “king of mushrooms”, “dancing mushroom, and sheep’s head. It is a powerful herbal rich in beta glucan and the maitake d-fraction that helps cure a wide range of health conditions such as cancer, high cholesterol level, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
Other safe and edible mushrooms include agaricus blazei murill, white button mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms. Moreover, in Italy you will find the mushroom being referred to as Italian Brown Mushroom and Italian Mushroom.
Nutritional Components in Mushrooms
Mushrooms have benefits likened to those of Vitamins and minerals. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotics and antioxidant. Though they belong to the family agaricus, the species belong to the organism of plants without chlorophyll also known as saprophytes. Nevertheless, the mushrooms vary in size, color, shape, structure and other properties. [source]
Mushroom Health Benefits You Should Know
There are various benefits associated with consuming mushrooms. They are necessary for nutritional and health assistances. [source]
#1 – Prevention of Breast and Prostate Cancer
Mushrooms help prevent cancerous cells in developing at the breasts and scrotum areas. People who consume mushrooms will less likely develop cancerous cells at the stipulated zones. Moreover, the presence of beta-glucans and linoleic acid ensures the mushrooms possess anti-carcinogenic effects.
The beta-glucans prevents the development of carcinogenic cells when the production of estrogen ceases after women reach menopause. Also, the mushrooms provide anti-tumor properties.
#2 – Prevention of Diabetes
Mushrooms contain low carbohydrates and more of proteins. However, minerals and vitamins are present in tangible amounts. The presence of water and fiber ensures healthy digestion of food in the stomach.
Additionally, it contains sufficient deposits of insulin and sugar breaking enzymes. They catalyze the presence of compounds useful in balancing the functionality of the liver and the endocrine glands. Nonetheless, mushrooms hold antibiotic components useful in controlling the infections causing the deterioration of diabetic condition.
#3 – Strengthening of Bones
The mushroom serves as great source of calcium. This essential mineral helps in strengthening of bones. It also assists in the prevention of osteoporosis, a condition that develops with weakening of bones.
In addition, calcium plays an important role in the reduction of pain in the joints hence, making your bones strong to support your movement and body activities.
#4 – Helps in Absorption
Mushrooms contain vitamin D which facilitates the absorption of calcium, phosphorous, and other nutrients. Crimini mushrooms offer a good source of Vitamin D. They also supply the mineral germanium, necessary for assisting the blood in efficiently transporting blood to the various parts of the body.
Moreover, the increase in the consumption of dried button mushrooms proved to showcase more effectiveness than consuming supplements with vitamin D2 and D3 content.
#5 – Boosts the Immune System
Various components in the mushrooms can boost the immune system. A known compound present in mushroom, Ergothioneine contain sulfur, an antioxidant mineral.
Also, mushrooms have been associated with the long chain polysaccharides. They contain molecules such as the alpha and beta molecules which aids in boosting the immune system.
#6 – Controlling Blood Pressure
Sufficient deposits of potassium exist in mushrooms. The compound increases both cognitive retention and oxygenated blood flow. This serves as a refreshing ability for the body as it enables the movement of nutrients to the body tissues in a quick manner.
The component vasodilator enables the relaxation of blood vessel to expand and contract as per the blood pumping which ensures the maintenance of blood pressure.
#7 – Controlling Anemia
Mushrooms provides a sufficient amount of iron to maintain the optimal function of blood. By eating mushrooms the patients are able to recover from symptoms associated with anemia.
#8 – Other Important Nutrients in Mushrooms
There are other important compounds include copper, niacin, selenium and iron. These are important free radicals that are essential and useful in the boosting of the immune system. A compound such as selenium is essential for the strengthening of teeth, hair and nails.
Medicinal Use of Mushrooms
In places such as China, people use the parasitic mushroom to generate traditional medicine. Owing to the endurance of the caterpillar fungus known as Cordyceps, the mushroom is used for fast production of strength and endurance for athletes and the elderly. On the other hand, the Tibetan medicine is derived from the parasitic mushroom and is depend upon as an antidepressant by the Chinese. [source]
On the other hand, the presence of lean proteins in mushrooms helps in burning cholesterol in the body. It helps in striking a balance between the bad cholesterol and the good cholesterol which are LDL and HDL respectively. This makes it possible to have a healthy and efficient functioning of the heart and hence prevent the occurrence of the cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks.
Nonetheless, the presence of dietary fiber plays a key role in weight management. It performs a function of being a bulking agent for the efficient digestion. They include the chitin and the beta-glucans.
The components help increasing the satiety and hence lower the levels of calorie intake making one consume less food. This makes mushroom a key component in soup.
Mushrooms contain antioxidant abilities which equates to that in vegetables such as pumpkins, green beans, tomatoes, and bell peppers. On the other hand, some of the minerals such as the selenium provide a platform for the body to decrease the growth of tumor and the neutralizing of inflammation in body tissues. The vitamins together with the folate or fiber in mushrooms help in preventing the DNA synthesis by inhibiting the production of cancer cells. This happens during cell mutations. [source]
Recommended Cooking of Mushrooms
Consider mushrooms like vegetables which serves as a key component of stews. Stores put them under refrigeration to prevent from oxidation. In some areas, the mushrooms grow seasonal while in others grow in greenhouses and hence, may come available even out of season.
Some delicacies serve mushrooms with eggs while in others, it is made as part of the stew. However, the most common use of all mushrooms especially in the hotel industry is as the main ingredient in mushroom soup. The soup is taken as a starter with croutons included in garnishing it and making it tasty.
Caution To Take With Mushrooms
Mushrooms belong to the family of fungus and most fungus may turn poisonous if not taken properly. However, owing to the numerous species of mushrooms available in the world, it makes an important thing to consider the mushroom that one consumes. One should buy the acceptable species from the local authenticated supplier of mushrooms. [source]
Avoid those mushrooms from the wild as it may contain poisonous substances or is actually a poisonous species. One may end up encountering health problems that could even lead to death.