Making Room for Mushrooms

You may love the distinct taste of a mushroom, or you may be one who gets creeped out by their existence of edible fungi, but either way, you should know about the health benefits of mushrooms.  There are too many kinds, too many flavors of the like (stick with the kind you find in a grocery store, trust me) to go over them all, but about 100 of the thousands of species are known to have medicinal properties. Adding them to your diet can not only add flavor, but can also add health benefits.

Most mushrooms contain lean proteins and have no cholesterol or fat and are very low carbohydrates. They are full of fiber and contain enzymes that help lower cholesterol levels.

A balanced diet including mushrooms can help avoid cardiovascular diseases that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. They are a great source of iron that helps build red blood cells and prevents anemia that can lead to fatigue, headaches and digestive issues. The linoleic acid in mushrooms also helps suppress the harmful effects of excess estrogen.

Mushrooms are very helpful to diabetics since along with the low carbs and high protein contents, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help the breaking down of sugar and starches in food. They also aid in liver, pancreas and other endocrine gland’s functions by helping to regulate insulin in the body. The natural antibiotics in mushrooms can also help protect diabetics from infections that are particularly dangerous.

Mushrooms contain a lot of calcium, which keeps your bones strong and can reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis and bone degradation. This is also helps with joint pains and aches. They contain vitamin D that promotes absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.

Ergothioneine is an amino acid found in mushrooms that contains sulfur and becomes a powerful antioxidant that can help protect you from free radicals and boost the immune system. Mushrooms also contain naturally produced antibiotics that can slow down macrobiotic growth and fungal infections. The fact that they have vitamins A, B-Complex and vitamin C is a major bonus.

Some types of mushrooms (like shitake) have a high potassium content that relaxes blood vessels and helps reduce blood pressure. Potassium is also known to increase cognitive functions by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

Mushrooms have healing properties with their anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant contents. They can actually inhibit viruses and decrease the severity of illnesses by increasing production of B and T lymphocytes that are the crucial immune cells that fight off pathogens viruses, toxins and other substances that can make you sick.

So, what’s not to like? You should make room for mushrooms in your diet.

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