Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile and therefore popular ingredient in many delicious dishes. There are many ways to include them into our diet and there are many benefits to consuming them.
While one of the more common reasons to consume mushrooms is their excellent intense flavour, it’s also worth knowing the other benefits of this real superfood that is quite nutritious and rich in nutrients.
Mushrooms are a low-calorie food that contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so they have long been considered an important part of any diet. But what do we need to know about mushrooms?
They contain 92% water
We all know how important proper water intake is for our bodies as it contributes to well-being, the health of our organs and their proper functioning, yet we often find it difficult to drink enough water. In this case, foods with a high water content can help us, because our bodies also receive a significant amount of water from them. Mushrooms are one such food as they contain 92% water. However, this is also advantageous during their preparation, since mushrooms are prepared in their own moisture during steaming.
An excellent source of vitamins
Mushrooms contain a lot of vitamins B, C and D. Mushrooms are one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D. In addition to being rich in B vitamins, it is also a significant source of vitamin B12, which is key for vegetarians as this vitamin is most commonly found in products of animal origin. It also contains folate, which is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B9 and plays a significant role especially in pregnant women, as it is an important nutrient for the optimal development of the baby. Vitamin C content is important for the immune system. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies can produce when exposed to sunlight and is important because it helps with calcium absorption, immune system health and bone growth. Mushrooms exposed to UV light are particularly good sources of vitamin D. The natural vitamin D from mushrooms is not broken down by heat either.
It can help prevent cancer
Some studies and clinical trials have shown that regular consumption of mushrooms can play a key role in preventing diseases such as breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancers, as antioxidants in mushrooms can suppress or reduce the growth and proliferation of cancer cells.
Excellent source of minerals
Among the minerals essential for the optimal functioning and health of our body, potassium, iron, copper, selenium, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium are also present in several mushrooms. These minerals and essential trace elements are required for many processes in our body, such as supporting cognitive functions, the immune system, circulation, bone health and many other processes.
Excellent source of fiber and protein
Fibers in mushrooms help circulatory health, lower blood cholesterol levels and help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. Consuming a lot of fiber can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and can help lower blood sugar in diabetics. At the same time, they are nutritious due to their high fiber content, so a sense of satiety can also benefit dieters. It is also rich in essential amino acids and contains proteins that are very similar in composition to animal proteins.
Gluten and lactose free
Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates, calories and fat, so consuming them can be a great alternative for dieters, diabetics or people who are sensitive to gluten and lactose.
Rich in antioxidants
Free radicals are toxic byproducts of metabolism and other bodily processes, which can accumulate in the body, resulting in oxidative stress that can damage the body’s cells and lead to a variety of health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases. Mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants in mushrooms include selenium, vitamin C and choline.
It can lower blood pressure
Mushrooms are a very good source of potassium, which is known to reduce the negative effects of sodium on our bodies. Potassium, however, lowers blood vessel tension, so it can help lower blood pressure.
It can help with weight-loss
Mushrooms are low in calories, but contain significant amounts of fiber, protein and vitamins, making them great for those looking to lose weight. Edible mushrooms have no fat or cholesterol, but there are plenty of other important nutrients in them. In addition, mushrooms can help reduce meat intake by adding a unique salty flavour to meat-free foods.
In conclusion, mushrooms can not only be delicious ingredients for our favourite foods, but also have a positive effect on our health, so it is recommended to include them in our diet and consume different types of edible mushrooms regularly. Perhaps the most common are white and brown button mushrooms, but you can also experiment with other edible mushrooms, as each can provide a unique taste and experience in our favourite dishes.