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7 Amazing Health Benefits of Mushrooms To Know

Belonging to the fungi category, mushrooms are often classified under their kingdom because of the significant differences among plants, animals, and fungi.

In comparison to other organisms in the plant or animal kingdom, fungi grow around their food and digest through an external process with the help of enzymes. Though mushrooms have many species and surprising characteristics, they are known to carry many health benefits.

The farmed white button mushroom, Agaricus sports, is the standard for the name “mushroom,” so the term “mushroom” is most generally used to refer to fungus (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) with a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella) on the underside of the cap.

1. Benefits Of Mushrooms & Its Types

1.1. Toxic Mushrooms

Toxic Mushrooms - Benefits Of Mushrooms
Image by Florian van Duyn/ Unsplash

Toxic chemicals are produced by many wild mushroom species and can be poisonous, antibiotic, antiviral.  Even though there are only a few lethal species, several others can cause severe and painful symptoms.

1.2. Edible Mushrooms

Mushrooms are widely utilized in cooking and can be found in various cuisines (notably Chinese, Korean, European, and Japanese) because of their nutritional punch.The majority of store mushrooms are grown commercially on mushroom farms. Because it is grown in regulated, sterilized surroundings, they are considered safe. The most popular of these are Agaricus bisporus and Shiitake mushrooms.

Brown mushrooms comprise 92 percent water, 4% carbs, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat in their raw state. Raw mushrooms supply 22 calories per 100-gram serving. They are a good source of B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, selenium and copper, and a moderate source of phosphorus, zinc, and potassium. They are low in vitamin C and salt, if at all.

1.3. Raw And Cooked Mushrooms

Raw and cooked mushrooms are, most of the time, nutritionally equivalent with a slight difference. A cup of these mushrooms contains twice the number of mushrooms as a cup of raw mushrooms. When a mushroom is cooked, it loses up to half of its nutrients, especially water-soluble vitamins.

1.4. Rich in Vitamins & Minerals

Benefits Of Mushrooms

Image by Ed van duijn/ UnsplashMushrooms are well-known for their delicious flavor and numerous health and other advantages. They are a great addition to your diet because they are high in critical vitamins and minerals and taste various meals.

1.5. Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms

Mushrooms are low-calorie foods that are high in nutrients. They’ve long been acknowledged as a crucial part of any diet since they’re full of health benefits -promoting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light, for example, are a substantial source of Vitamin D, which is crucial for bone and immunological health1.

1.5.1. Lowers The Blood Pleasure

Mushrooms are high in potassium, a nutrient that helps to reduce the detrimental effects of added salt in the body. Potassium also reduces blood vessel 2tension, which may help in lowering the blood pressure in the body.

1.5.2. Nutritional Benefits

As already mentioned, mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like Selenium, Copper, Thiamin, Magnesium, and Phosphorous.

There are many benefits like they are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants AAntioxidantsare substances that aid in eliminating toxic chemicals from the body. One average cup of Crimini mushrooms contains – 15g of Calories, 2.2 g of protein, 0.2g of Fat: 0.2 grams, 2.3g of Carbohydrates, 0.7g of fiber, and 1.4g of Sugar.

B vitamins, such as riboflavin, or B-2 folate, or B-9 thiamine, or B-1 pantothenic acid, B-5 niacin, or B-3 B vitamins assist the body in obtaining energy from food and forming red blood cells. A variety of B vitamins appear to be vital for brain health3 and are found in many mushrooms.

Edible Mushrooms - Benefits of Mushrooms
Image by Rinat T/ Unsplash

1.5.3. Boosts The Immune System

They contain anti-inflammatory properties4 that boost the immune cells5, thereby increasing the immune system’s effectiveness and improving general health.

Mushrooms have been shown to stimulate macrophages in the immune system, enhancing their ability to fight foreign bodies and making you less prone to significant infections. It also improves the functioning of the nervous system.

1.5.4. Helps With Weight Loss

Long and short-term studies have revealed that mushrooms are fat-free and, when combined with exercise and other lifestyle changes, can help people lose weight as they have very few calories. Mushroom antioxidants have also been linked to lower hypertension and other metabolic problems and improve public health.

1.5.5. Prevents Ageing

Ergothioneine and glutathione are the two antioxidants found in mushrooms in extremely high concentrations. These antioxidants work extra hard to protect the body from physiological stress and provide healthy skin when they are present together.

1.5.6. Strengthening Of Bones

Strengthening Of Bones - Benefits Of Mushrooms
Image by Owen Beard / Unsplash

As opposed to mushrooms growing in the dark, mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light and sunshine during their growth cycle have transformed a substance called ergosterol straight into vitamin D. Mushrooms are the only vegan vitamin D source.

1.5.7. Cancer Prevention and Diabetes

According to the National Cancer Institute, mushrooms’ antioxidant content may help prevent lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancer. Mushrooms have a minor amount of vitamin D in them as well. Vitamin D supplementation may aid in the prevention or treatment of some cancers.

Dietary fiber may aid in the management of a variety of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. People who eat a lot of fiber may have a lower chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes, according to a 2018 study of meta-analyses. Fiber may aid in the reduction of blood glucose levels in people who already have it.

1.5.8. Protects Heart Health

Mushrooms have many nutrients that help with cardiovascular health and heart disease. Beta-glucans, a form of fiber, may help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Many varieties of this fungus have beta-glucans in their cell walls.

The stems of shiitake mushrooms are a significant source of nutrients. Beta-glucans from a reliable source. Mushrooms are also a delicious and fulfilling substitute for red meat in any recipe, removing calories, fat, and cholesterol.

Nutrient-Rich and Weight-Friendly

Catherine Gervacio, a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian and Certified Exercise Nutrition Coach at Living.Fit, explores the amazing health benefits of mushrooms, especially their vitamin D content:

“Mushrooms are low in calories and fat, making them a great option for those looking to manage their weight or reduce calorie intake. A cup of white mushrooms (70g) only contains 15 calories and 0g total fat.

As for their nutrient content, they generally provide essential nutrients such as B vitamins (especially niacin and riboflavin), selenium, copper, and potassium.

Some types of mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, also contain small amounts of vitamin D. The fiber in them is important for digestive health and can contribute to a feeling of fullness, aiding in weight management.”

Catherine Gervacio
Catherine Gervacio

1.5.9. Source Of Copper And Potassium

Shiitake mushroom stems are an excellent source of nutrients. Beta-glucans. Mushrooms can also be used in place of red meat in any recipe, saving calories, fat, and cholesterol.

When it comes to heart, muscle, and nerve function, potassium is crucial. 2/3 cup cooked Portobello mushroom has about the same amount of potassium as a medium-sized banana.

1.5.10. Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms - Benefits Of Mushrooms
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Many medicinal mushrooms, or magic mushrooms as they are called, have been used as traditional medicine and have many medicinal properties. Still, they have never been thoroughly researched to see if they can treat the conditions that they are supposed to treat.

They’re similar to herbal medication. Because of their diverse and adaptable health advantages, mushrooms have been used medicinally for thousands of years.

Medicinal mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses that provide a wide range of health advantages, including anti-inflammatory, immune support, antioxidant-rich, aids in blood sugar management, promotes brain health and helps mild cognitive impairment, supports the neurological system, boosts energy and stamina. Some of the main medicinal mushrooms are:

  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom: Promotes healthy brain function and neuron regeneration.
  • Reishi Mushroom: Acts as sleeping aid and immunomodulator with high potency
  • Cordyceps Mushroom: Improves lung capacity and increases energy
  • Chaga Mushroom: Boosts digestion and clears or protects the skin
  • Turkey Tail Mushroom: Boosts the immune system functioning
  • Shiitake Mushroom: Improves the cardiovascular health
  • Maitake Mushroom: Helps regulate the high blood pressure and supports the immune functioning

 1.6. Eating Mushrooms

There are around 2,000 edible mushroom types. Mushrooms may usually be found in the produce section of any supermarket or health food store. Some individuals gather wild mushrooms, but it’s essential to know which ones are edible because certain mushrooms contain toxic substances.

They can be prepared in a variety of ways and paired with a variety of ingredients. They can be sliced raw and tossed in a salad, grilled, sautéed, or roasted. Soups, sandwiches, wraps, casseroles, and Italian foods all benefit from them. They can be eaten in stir fry, with olive oil, and in the form of chopped mushrooms. For vegetarians, mushrooms can be served as a side dish or as the main entrée. Because of their meaty texture, portobello mushrooms are frequently served as “burgers” or “steaks.”

1.7. Health Risks

Benefits of mushrooms
Image by Kalineri/ Unsplash

Although wild mushrooms create a delectable delicacy, the poisons found in some of them can cause serious health problems. Heavy metals and other toxic compounds can be found in high concentrations in some wild mushrooms.

Containing a toxin called gyromitrin, mushrooms can cause many health risks.

  • Neurotoxicity includes the destruction of nerve cells, thus disrupting the nervous system.
  • Gastrointestinal toxicity affects the gastrointestinal tract, thus including symptoms like vomiting, nausea and vomiting.

The toxicity can cause many health risks in mushrooms. Hence only select mushrooms from a reputable supplier to prevent these risks and fully utilize the health benefits.

Mushrooms: A Nutrient-Packed Boost for Immunity and Longevity

Tom Smith, Marketing Manager at Nirvana Super, advises integrating mushrooms into your daily diet for maximum nutritional benefits:

“Mushrooms are nutrition all-stars. They help immunity and might even slow aging since they contain [lots of] antioxidants and good-for-you vitamins and minerals. It’s pretty easy to work them into your foods routinely [too].

Throw some mushrooms into morning omelets or lunch salads, or use them instead of meat for dinner – they have a hearty chew.

If you don’t like the texture, you can always take mushroom extract pills instead. Switching up the types, like shiitake and reishi, [gives your] health a boost in different ways.

Eating mushrooms often, whether cooked whole or supplemented, can seriously bump up your overall wellness. They make a solid, everyday addition to a healthy routine.”

Tom Smith
Tom Smith

Closing Thoughts

Mushrooms are a nutritious complement with various vitamins and minerals and other health benefits and thus, must be added to our daily diet. They’re simple to make and include a variety of nutrients.

There are many health benefits of mushrooms, and there is a lot to uncover when it comes to different types of mushrooms and their benefits. Including mushrooms in your diet in a limited amount can be helpful for your health, be sure to use the right mushroom in the right amount.

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

  1. Chang, Ellen T., et al. “A critical review of perfluorooctanoate and perfluorooctanesulfonate exposure and immunological health conditions in humans.” Critical reviews in toxicology 46.4 (2016): 279-331. ↩︎
  2. Wong, Ping-Pui, Natalia Bodrug, and Kairbaan M. Hodivala-Dilke. “Exploring novel methods for modulating tumor blood vessels in cancer treatment.” Current biology 26.21 (2016): R1161-R1166. ↩︎
  3. Prince, Martin, et al. “No health without mental health.” The lancet 370.9590 (2007): 859-877. ↩︎
  4. Wirth, Philip W., et al. “Anti-inflammatory properties of cannabichromene.” Life sciences 26.23 (1980): 1991-1995. ↩︎
  5. Kurosawa, Shin, and Masato Kato. “Anesthetics, immune cells, and immune responses.” Journal of anesthesia 22 (2008): 263-277. ↩︎


Neha Pasupuleti

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