According to research, medicinal mushrooms and fungi possess 126 health-related functions. As a result, mushrooms are being studied for their potential to improve health and prevent or manage several health problems.
Furthermore, mushrooms are also said to have high levels of some antioxidant compounds and the many vitamins and minerals that they contain. Therefore, it is believed that they have beneficial effects on human health.
1. Combats cellular damage
Researchers have demonstrated that antioxidants can prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases and signs of ageing. Some mushrooms, like porcini and white button mushrooms, in addition to their nutritional benefits, are rich in the antioxidants glutathione and ergothioneine, both of which are uncommon in plant foods.
2. Optimizes brain function
In a separate study of 600 adults aged over 60, we found that mushrooms may be able to reduce the cognitive decline that is associated with ageing. This data is based on antioxidant research and a separate study on mushrooms.
3. Enhances bone health
Sometimes, UV light is used to increase vitamin D storage in some mushrooms sold in stores. These UV treated mushrooms are excellent sources of vitamin D. Healthy bones depend on consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D. Consuming these mushrooms has the same benefit as taking supplements or going out in the sun to receive vitamin D.
Typically, mushrooms do not contain much vitamin D. Wild mushrooms are the exception, but they can be dangerous to eat if you cannot tell which ones are palatable and which are toxic.
4. Reduces the risk of diabetes
Mushrooms have high fibre content and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Dietary fibre provides many health benefits, including reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, according to a study published in 2020, polysaccharides present in mushrooms also decrease oxidative stress and protect against diabetes.
5. Helps reduce depression
Researchers reviewed the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) results and concluded that consuming mushrooms reduced depression risk. Furthermore, researchers found that this benefit is consistent regardless of the number of mushrooms consumed.
Culinary mushrooms include white button, portabella, crimini, enoki, shiitake, and cloud ear mushrooms. Portabella mushrooms can grow to 6 inches in diameter and are the largest cultivated mushrooms.
There are a variety of mushrooms that contain different levels of macro-and micronutrients. Shiitake mushrooms, for instance, contain more fibre, while white mushrooms have more calcium. However, in general, most edible varieties contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B-6, potassium, folate, copper, and zinc.
How to cook mushrooms
There are various ways to cook mushrooms, such as baking, grilling, broiling, roasting and sautéing. You can use them to enhance your meals' texture, taste, and substance with this hearty vegetarian ingredient. Make stews, sauces, and soups with mushrooms, chop, saute and combine with potatoes, grains, and eggs.
Start the day with an egg and mushroom dish filled with protein and fibre, or serve your main dish with grilled mushrooms. Use mushrooms topping on a healthy pizza or as a side dish. If you want to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can substitute them for meat.