Spongy and famous for their meat-like texture, mushrooms are edible fungi that hold a prominent place in our meals. Once considered to be an exotic ingredient, today, they are easily available and used in most dishes like soups, salad or stir-fries. There are various types of mushrooms that can be eaten and enjoyed like the common button mushrooms, the healthy shiitake, oyster mushrooms or the popular Kashmiri guchchi.
Most varieties are low in calories, full of Vitamin D and packed with healthy antioxidants. It is believed that in ancient Egypt, mushrooms were retained for the royalty, and the ancient Romans thought that mushrooms could give strength to warriors. Talking about the health benefits of mushrooms, a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition Science at the University of Buffalo shows that eating mushrooms regularly can have beneficial effects on weight management and immune function. It can also be useful in regulating glucose levels. According to Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini from Delhi, “Mushrooms are excellent for your health as they have numerous medicinal properties. In China, some varieties of mushrooms are used to make medicines. Ganoderma is a type of a mushroom that is known for its healing properties. It is rich in zinc and potassium which help in regulating various functions of the body.”
(Also read: 10 Best Indian Mushroom Recipes)
The Many Health Benefits of Mushrooms
1. Checks Cholesterol Levels
Mushrooms are full of lean proteins and have negligible fat or cholesterol. They are a great source of chitin and beta-glucan that are fibers which keep a check on your cholesterol levels. The high protein content helps burn excess cholesterol and fat in the body. It helps reduce the chances of some cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis.
2. Maintains Bone Health
Mushrooms contain abundant calcium which is an essential nutrient to maintain strong bones. Consuming mushrooms regularly can help reduce chances of developing bone-related conditions including osteoporosis, joint pain, and other disorders related to bone degeneration.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Out of the many antioxidants present in mushrooms, ergothioneine is an antioxidant that is effective in protecting your body from any free radicals. Mushrooms also contain natural antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that help you get rid of various infections. The presence of vitamin A, vitamin B-Complex and vitamin C also help in strengthening the immune system.
4. Good for Diabetics
According to Dr. Simran Saini, “Mushroom is a great source of chromium which helps maintain blood sugar levels, further keeping a check on insulin, abd thus it is a super food for diabetics.” They are also low on carbohydrates and fats.
5. Helps in Weight Loss
Mushrooms contains a lot amount of fiber that helps in improving digestion and keeps the metabolism in check. Mushroom does not contain any fat or carbohydrates which means that you can easily include it in your diet plan.
Mushrooms contains immense amount of fiber that help in improving the digestive tract of the body
Not many people may like mushroom but given these health benefits, you might want to re-consider your opinion. Some of the wild mushrooms can be extremely dangerous for health. Check for allergies or any other health condition or refer to the doctor before consuming them.