Did you know that mushrooms are neither vegetables or fruits but in fact fungi? Ancient cultures throughout the world have used this item for medicinal purposes for centuries including the famed Egyptian civilization. China is the foremost mushroom cultivator in the world followed by the United States. Out of the many mushroom species in the world only 10 are commercially cultivated. These include shiitake, button mushrooms, oyster, enoki, maitake and more.
We take a look at some of the health benefits of including this food in your daily diet.
Aids weight loss
Mushrooms contain very little fat and carbohydrates. They are rich in dietary fiber which fills the stomach and makes you feel fuller longer. As a result, there is less food and calories intake leading to effective and lasting weight loss. The food item is loaded with B-complex vitamins that boost the human body’s metabolism which uses up the body fat to generate energy. Scientific studies have proven that regular consumption of this food item leads to reduced waist circumference by eliminating abdominal fat a risk factor for most cardiovascular ailments.
Natural source of Vitamin D
Similar to the human body exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in mushrooms. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium as well as phosphorous resulting in stronger bones, nails and teeth. There exists no fruit and vegetable that supplies this vital vitamin. Hence mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D for vegetarians.
Fights Bacteria and Viruses
Antibiotics such as Penicillin as well as Streptomycin are derived from mushroom fungal extracts. Natural antibiotics are present in the food that stops microbial proliferation and fungal infections. Mushrooms stop wounds from being infected and boosts immunity. The beta-glucan present in the food fights against viruses.
Good for overall health
This food contains no cholesterol and very little sodium. As a result, it can be safely consumed by hypertension and cholesterol patients. It is a delicious and healthy alternative to meat in food. It is high in potassium which regulates the blood pressure and consequently reduces the risk of strokes as well as heart attacks.
This food is also a proven cancer and tumor fighter with several scientific studies demonstrating this property in it.
A Final Note
Many mushroom species are highly poisonous. Never pluck mushrooms in the wild and consume them unless you are specifically trained to recognize edible varieties very well. Also, be aware that mushrooms readily absorb toxic metals from the soil as well as any pesticides sprayed on them. So, don’t buy and eat them unless you trust the source. Cook the food well instead of eating it raw as the cooked version is safer to eat and supplies more nourishment and benefits.
If you have experienced any other health benefits of eating this food, please share it with us so that others may benefit.