Lets talk about......Mushrooms!!

Lets talk about......Mushrooms!!

Mushrooms seem to be getting their 15 minutes of fame lately so we've compiled some information about How this nutrient-rich fungus can boost your health!

But first Note that Unless you’re a mushroom Expert, stick to your supermarket aisle to avoid poisoning or other side effects. You’ll still have plenty of options!


What’s in a mushroom?

Mushrooms contain health-boosting vitamins and minerals, along with protein and fiber. For example, one cup of cremini mushrooms has only 15 calories, but 2 grams of protein and nearly 1 gram of fiber.

Mushrooms also contain compounds (including polysaccharides and sterols) that may help protect your health and prevent disease. Nutrients in mushrooms include:

  • Selenium: Helps your body make antioxidants to prevent cell damage.
  • Vitamin B6: Supports your nervous system and helps form red blood cells.
  • Riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid: Help carry out several metabolic reactions and are involved in the production of energy
  • Potassium: Identified in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as an under consumed nutrient. Helps muscles contract, assists with fluid balance and maintains normal blood pressure
  • Zinc: Supports your immune system and healthy growth in babies and children.

Benefits of eating mushrooms

Boost your immune system

Chronic inflammation (long-term swelling) is associated with heart disease, cancer and other medical conditions. Mushrooms contain certain antioxidants that help protect your body from stress and prevent or slow cell damage.

Mushrooms also activate substances in your immune system that can enhance its ability to protect you against infection and disease, including the growth of tumor cells. Some research has found a potential link between higher mushroom consumption and lower cancer risk, especially breast cancer.

Lower blood pressure

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte that helps your body control blood pressure. Most North Americans don’t get enough potassium. Because mushrooms are rich in this mineral, they may help lower high blood pressure (hypertension). They may also reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Supply vitamin D

Vitamin D2, a type of vitamin D, keeps your bones strong and muscles working properly. Most of our vitamin D comes from animal-based sources, dietary supplements and good old sunshine. And here’s a fun fact: Some mushrooms may have a label that reads “UV-treated” or “rich in vitamin D.” That’s because mushrooms contain ergosterol, which turns into vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light.

“These UV-treated mushrooms are enriched for your health,” explains Prescott. “When mushrooms are exposed to ultraviolet radiation or even sunlight, the ergosterol transforms into vitamin D. So, you get a high concentration of vitamin D when you eat them, potentially enough to meet 100% of your vitamin D needs for the day.”

You can buy UV-treated or vitamin D-enriched mushrooms at the store. Or try it at home:

  1. Slice one portabella or three smaller, white button or cremini mushrooms.
  2. Leave them in direct sunlight for as little as 15 minutes.

Sun and done!

Protect brain health

The nutritional value of mushrooms may help protect your brain from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In one study, participants 60 and older who ate more than two cups of mushrooms per week had a much lower risk of developing MCI. Other research suggests mushrooms rich in polyphenols and certain antioxidants may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“This mushroom research is interesting because it could help with serious brain conditions that affect so many people,” says Prescott. “We need to know much more, but early studies are promising.”

Maintain heart health

Mushrooms are a boon for healthy heart lovers. Their nutrients and plant-based compounds can help prevent plaque buildup in your blood vessels. Substitute flavorful, low-sodium mushrooms for meat while keeping calories, fat and cholesterol levels low.

“Some mushrooms have taste and texture just like meat,” says Prescott. “And the benefits of substituting them for beef, lamb or other red meat can’t be beat. You get the nutrients and the low calories, sodium and cholesterol without sacrificing flavor.”

Improve gut health

Mushrooms contain substances you need to balance your microbiome (fungi, bacteria and viruses) in your gut and fuel the growth of good bacteria. By supporting your digestive system and immune system, mushrooms can help make sure that the nutritious food you eat keeps you healthy and strong.

So, come visit us at Briteland and check out our Mushroom Growing Kits! We have a few different mushroom varieties for you to choose and the kits come with everything you need to start growing this Power Fungi! 

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