Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms
Are you curious about the nutritional benefits of eating mushrooms and fungi? Throughout this article, I discuss the evidence-backed answer to those questions and much more – including scientific and authorised research and resources.
Read on to find out just how nutritious mushrooms and fungi can be.
What are Mushrooms & Fungi?
Mushrooms are a type of fungi that generally have a stalk and cap, and can grow in both soil and on wood. They reproduce by releasing spores into the air, which then land on appropriate surfaces and start the process of developing into new mushrooms. There are many different types of mushrooms, with over 10,000 species currently identified.
“There are many different types of mushrooms, with over 10,000 species currently identified.”
Fungi are a kingdom of organisms that includes things like yeast, mold, and mushrooms. Like plants, they get their energy from photosynthesis. But unlike plants, they don’t have chlorophyll, so they can’t make their own food from scratch. Instead, they rely on dead or decaying organic matter for food. This is why you often see them growing on things like rotten logs or in compost piles.
While most people think of mushrooms as being vegetables, they are actually classified as fungi. This is because they lack chlorophyll and do not produce their own food through photosynthesis like plants do. Mushrooms are an important part of the ecosystem because they help decompose organic matter.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms & Fungi
Mushrooms and fungi are a valuable source of food for humans. They are low in calories and fat, but more importantly, are a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms are also a good source of protein, which makes them an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans.
Fungi are known to have many health benefits. They can help boost the immune system, fight cancer, lower cholesterol levels, improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
There are many different types of mushrooms and fungi, each with their own unique set of health benefits. Here are a few of the most popular varieties and the nutritional benefits they offer.
SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins D and B6. They also contain compounds that can boost your immune system and help fight cancer.
REISHI MUSHROOMS have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments. They are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help improve your overall health.
CHAGA MUSHROOMS are one of the most nutrient-dense varieties, providing plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They have been shown to boost the immune system, fight cancer, and improve brain function.
TURKEY TAIL MUSHROOMS are another great option for those looking for an immunity boost. They contain high levels of polysaccharides, which are thought to stimulate the immune system. Turkey tail mushrooms are also being studied for their potential to fight cancer.
How to Cook with Mushrooms & Fungi
Mushrooms and fungi are not only a delicious addition to many recipes, but they also offer some unique nutritional benefits. Here are a few tips on how to cook with mushrooms and fungi:
- Never wash mushrooms, use kitchen paper or a brush if they need cleaning.
- Mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways including sautéing, grilling, roasting, and stir-frying.
- Add mushrooms to soups, stews, pasta dishes, pizzas, and more for added flavour and nutrition.
Wholesome World Recipes worth trying
Mushrooms are a low calorie food that is high in antioxidants and other essential nutrients. They can be used in many different recipes to add flavour and nutrition to your meals. Here are my favourite recipes that feature this epically nutritious ingredient, all available in the Wholesome World app which you can try for FREE!
MUSHROOMS ON TOAST WITH HAZELNUTS: A perfect recipe to use an array of mushrooms (wild, chestnut, button, portobello… the list goes on) giving slightly different health benefits from the soluble fibre called beta glucans.
MUSHROOM SOUP: A bowl of this each day may be very helpful during chemo treatment to support your white immune cells or simply boost them weekly for good overall health. The garlic and onions add super antioxidants to make this soup an all round comforter and healer.
FISHIE PIE: Mushrooms add additional protein and an array of therapeutic, immune boosting properties alongside the sweet potatoes which are more nutrient dense than ordinary potatoes especially as they contain beta-carotene. (link to insight)
MY OMELETTE: Mushrooms are one of the top anticancer foods, as are red onions. The additional spinach supplies iron and Vitamin C plus antioxidants and vitamin K.
Mushrooms and other fungi are often overlooked as a source of nutrition, but they can be a great addition to your diet. They are a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain antioxidants and other compounds that have been shown to have health benefits.
“They are a good source of protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain antioxidants and other compounds that have been shown to have health benefits.”
Including mushrooms and fungi in your diet can help you reach your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories and fat, and they are a good source of several essential nutrients. Mushrooms and fungi can also help you meet your needs for vitamin D, copper, selenium, potassium, and more.
Mushrooms are a good choice for vegans and vegetarians because they are one of the few sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for our bones and muscles, and it helps our bodies absorb calcium. Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet light have the highest levels of vitamin D.
Fungi contain compounds that can boost our immune system. One of these compounds is beta-glucan, which is a type of fibre that has been shown to enhance the immune response. Fungi also produce antibiotics that can help fight infections.
Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Inflammation is a normal response by our immune system to protect us from infection or injury.
Learn more through my Wholesome World health & wellness app and cookbook
The seed for the Wholesome World wellness app and now cookbook & life, was planted almost 10 years ago during a poetically tragic chapter in my life.
Through the support and invaluable insight of experts across the medical, holistic and environmental industries, I’ve pulled together a bible of scientific, nutritional, physical and mental health knowledge to share with you. My aim was and still is, to share our discoveries and practical experience with other people searching for a way to maximise their health. And so we have it, my Wholesome World was born.
Learn more about the my story here.
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