Edible mushrooms have been used by the Chinese for centuries because of their medicinal properties. They were known as the “elixir of life” and are the superfood of 2017. Their nutritional benefits are endless, including those for your immune system! Here’s the low-down on why mushrooms are magic for your health!
Full of the good stuff
Edible mushrooms are packed with selenium. This holds antioxidant properties and also plays a key role in your metabolism. They are a good source of niacin, which is great for your skin and energy levels. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, useful for your bones and immune system, and fibre which promotes a healthy digestive system. Mushrooms also contain more protein than most other vegetables which is why they are very important in a vegetarian diet because they provide all the amino acids.
Lean and lovely
Did you know that mushrooms are low in calories, fat, sodium and free from cholesterol? This makes them a good option when dieting because they provide so many nutrients but are calorie-kind! In 2013, a report showed that powder formulations from the Agaricus blazei Murrill mushroom and the Shiitake contained proteins and unsaturated fatty acids (1). Both of these are useful for a low-carb diet as they keep you fuller for longer. Healthy fats also give you energy!
Mushrooms contain β-glucans, sugars found in the cell walls of fungi. Beta-glucans are not a ‘self-molecule’ as they cannot be synthesised by your immune system (2). This speeds up your immune system response and makes it more effective at fighting diseases. Beta-glucans are also effective at reducing tumour proliferation and support bone marrow when the body is under chemotherapy (3).
Studies have proven the Shiitake mushroom in particular to have antibacterial properties. In one study, the Shiitake mushroom had an antibacterial effect on 85% of the foods it was tested against – including 50% of the yeast and mould species that were trialed (4). Mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants which will detox you body!