Mushrooms are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that give many health benefits.
Learn more about these wonders of nature through the revealing infographic, “The Mushroom Advantage: Benefits and Uses of This Food.” You will find important facts about mushroom nutrition and mushroom poisoning, as well as which types of mushrooms are good for your health.
More Outstanding Health Benefits Of The Fungus Among Us
The earth’s soil is home to many natural agents that help promote the environment. One of them is the fungi mushroom, which helps restore pollution-damaged habitats, acts as natural pesticides, and even provides a sustainable fuel called Econol.
Mushrooms help support Mother Nature. They are also able to help you in maintaining your own health, from helping strengthen your immune system to preventing debilitating diseases. Some benefits that you may enjoy from consuming mushrooms are:
- Weight management – One study showed that substituting red meat with white button mushrooms may support a healthy weight.
- Improved nutrition – Adding more mushrooms to your diet may help improve diet quality.
- Optimal vitamin D levels– If you place them in direct sun light before eating; eating certain mushroom species is as effective as taking vitamin D2 supplements. Click the link to find out more.
- Optimal digestive function – Mushrooms support your gastrointestinal health, thanks to their supply of dietary fiber and fungal enzymes. “The small intestinal tract cells also require energy to maintain integrity of the cell wall, and production of energy requires healthy levels of vitamin B5. Mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, corn, broccoli, and beet greens are concentrated sources of pantothenic acid.”
- Antibacterial properties – Penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline are all derived from fungal extracts.
It’s small wonder that mushrooms are now gaining a superfood reputation. Dr. Mercola recommends that you add more of them to your diet. But first, let’s explain how mushroom nutrition supports your health.
What’s Responsible for Mushroom’s Benefits?
Mushrooms contain long-chain polysaccharides, specifically alpha- and beta-glucans. These molecules have beneficial effects on your immune system. In fact, did you know that medications like penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline are all derived from fungal extracts?
Other naturally-occurring compounds like fungal proteins, lectines, peptides, and laccases in mushrooms also support your immune function. In fact, studies show that mushrooms have cancer-fighting and anti-tumor properties.
Mushrooms are also great sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins (especially niacin), vitamin C, calcium, minerals, and selenium. They also contain antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms, such as ergothioneine, which according to studies is a highly potent antioxidant. It is produced by fungi and certain mycobacteria found in soils.
A study published in the journal Nature states that ergothioneine is a derivative of the amino acid histidine. The antioxidant also contains sulfur, which may help protect your DNA from oxidative damage.
Mushrooms also owe some of their beneficial properties to the mycelium, a cobweb-like structure that is found in nearly all landscapes. Through the mycelia, fungi absorb nutrients from the soil. When two compatible mycelia join, they form mushrooms, which make spores. These spores, which fly away, are responsible for making new mycelial colonies.
Know Your Mushrooms!
In spite of the many benefits of mushrooms, Americans consume very limited types. For instance, they consume roughly 900 million pounds of mushrooms per year, but 95 percent of that is just from one species, the button mushrooms.
At the same time, not all mushrooms may be beneficial to your health. Out of 10,000 species of this fungus, 50 to 100 types are toxic. These can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal problems, visual issues, palpitations, chills, and kidney and liver failure. Avoid eating these harmful varieties of mushrooms at all costs.
Share this helpful information about mushroom nutrition with your friends and family, so that more people will discover the many benefits of mushrooms.