There are many types of mushrooms that offer a long list of health benefits. Mushrooms are an odd looking group that goes by the name of fungi pronounced, fun gee or fun guy. Essentially it is neither a plant nor an animal it is a fungus, hence the group name. Although mushrooms may not be a number one menu favorite you may think twice about pushing them aside during your next encounter.
Note: If you have gout do not eat mushrooms.
White Mushroom for Weight Loss and Prostate Cancer Prevention- This category includes the familiar button mushroom, cremini and the Portobello. The white mushroom has a special carbohydrate that stokes the metabolic fire and maintains blood sugar levels. A strong metabolism means more burned fat. Three ounces per day for four to six weeks has been said to yield substantial weight loss (this does not mean that exercise and healthy eating is not required). These mushrooms are also high in selenium which not only aids weight loss but is showing to have positive effects on prostate cancer.
Shiitake Can Fight Tumors– These flavorful, meaty mushrooms contain lentinan which is a natural anti-tumor compound. It has been developed by the Japanese into a beneficial anti-cancer treatment. In turn, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and fighting infection. Four to five ounces per day is recommended.
Reishi: The Super Anti-‘Shroom– This mushroom that looks like a large brown and white flower made of wood, has the following properties: anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. In addition, reishi mushrooms contain gandodermic acid which helps reduce cholesterol which in turn can lower high blood pressure. A few ounces per day is a good addition to a meal.
Maitake Mushrooms for Breast Cancer– A half of a cup per day of maitake mushrooms is said to be able to sweep the system, find abnormal cells and cause them to self-destruct. At the same time, these trumpeting bushels can trigger the body to release killer immune system cells.
Oysters for HIV – Oyster mushrooms are being studied as a possible defense against HIV. Due to its high anti-oxidant compounds, these mushrooms can be a life saving ingredient.
Chanterelle: The Other Anti ‘Shroom – Looking like a single mini-trumpet this mushroom has been associated with anti-microbial, bacterial and fungal properties. They are also high in vitamin C, D and potassium.
Porcini for Anti-Inflammation– A meaty mushroom similar to the Portabello has been used as a successful anti-inflammatory. It contains the compound ergosterol which is capable of cytotoxicity which is the process of attacking enemy cells.
Shimeji Fights Tumors Asthma and More– These are the tiny capped, long stemmed species that can be found in many Asian soups or as a garnish. Be sure and pay close attention to this one as it contains beta-glucans. According to the National Cancer Institute of Japan this compound is a successful remedy for retarding and destroying growing tumors. Shimeji mushrooms can also help diabetes, asthma and certain allergies by enhancing the immune system and boosting its healing capabilities.
In Addition Mushrooms are:
A Great Weight Loss Food
For those who are always looking for nutritious weight loss foods to pack into our diets, mushrooms are a less well-known option. Mushrooms are low in calories, carbohydrates, fat and sodium. However, like watermelon, they are very high in water content (80 to 90% water) and fiber which makes them a great diet food!
An Excellent Source of Potassium
Most people think bananas are the high potassium food, but it may surprise you to learn that mushrooms out rank bananas on the potassium chart. Potassium helps the body process sodium and lower blood pressure. So people with hypertension or a high risk of stroke can enjoy tremendous health benefits from a regular dose of mushrooms in their diet.
Have Disease Fighting Properties
All mushrooms are an excellent source of the antioxidant Selenium which works with vitamin E to protect cells from damaging free radicals. Some studies also indicate that antioxidants are some of the best nutrients for preventing and fighting cancers. Like almonds, mushrooms are becoming more popular for their cancer-fighting and disease protecting properties.
Shitake mushrooms in particular are also high in the beta-glucan Lentinan. Lentinan has been linked with strengthening the immune system and helping combat illnesses that attack the immune system like AIDS.
In addition, mushroom extract has been linked to some treatments for both migraines and mental disorders.
A Metabolism Support Nutrient
The human metabolism relies on a healthy dose of protein, fiber and vitamin B to keep it functional and robust. Mushrooms rank high in all three of these metabolism-supporting nutrients.
A Great Source of Heart-Healthy Copper
Copper is one of the less talked about minerals that is essential to the body, but that the body can not make on its own. Copper has properties that help protect our cardiovascular system, and just one small serving of mushrooms contains more than 20 percent of the copper we need daily.
With our fast-paced lifestyles and the highly processed foods we may frequently find ourselves eating in haste, the magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and selenium nutrients found in a single dish of mushrooms can really make up for some of the deficiencies we struggle to combat in our diets.
I've always loved mushroom, either raw or cooked! Now you have a reason to begin eating more mushrooms!