Mushrooms are fungi and not a vegetable, but they are used and served as a vegetable. Mushrooms can be very beneficial for health. They are low in calories, rich in vitamins, and taste delicious. If you want to know how eating mushrooms can benefit your health, read this article.
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms
Here are some important nutrients present in mushroom:
|Total fat||0.3 g|
The above table mentions the approx values in 1 cup chopped raw mushrooms (70-80 grams).
Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms
Mushroom is largely cultivated and consumed in most parts of the world for its distinct taste. They are available in wide varieties, but in India, people generally consume white mushrooms. In this section we shall be discussing some of the health benefits of eating mushrooms:
1. Helps Build Immunity
Mushrooms are a great food option for strengthening the immune system. Mushrooms contain selenium, which aids the production of killer T-cells. Selenium improves immune response to various kinds of infections. The presence of beta-gluten fibre in the walls of mushrooms aid in fighting the cancer cells and also help in the prevention of various kinds of tumours.
2. Boosts the Production of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for strengthening the bones, but this vitamin is also required for strengthening the immune system and for battling depression. Eating mushrooms can provide you with Vitamin D.
3. May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
Mushrooms contain certain enzymes and dietary fibres that are beneficial for maintaining the cholesterol levels in the body. Therefore, by including this wonder food in your diet, you can reduce your chances of heart-related ailments, atherosclerosis, stroke, etc. This food is also low in carbohydrates and also contains no cholesterol or fat. So, eat mushrooms!
4. May Lower the Risk of Diabetes
Being low in carbohydrates this food is an ideal food for people suffering from diabetes. Eating mushrooms can help manage and lower your sugar levels. The antibiotic properties of mushrooms also help in keeping the symptoms of diabetes at bay.
5. May Treat Anaemia
Anaemia is a condition that is characterised by a low iron level in the body. However, this condition can be cured or overcome by adding foods that are rich in iron and mushrooms are one of the richest sources of iron. If you have iron deficiency, including mushrooms in your diet in the form of mushroom soup or other forms may help in warding off the condition.
6. May Strengthen the Bones and Teeth
Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for healthy bones and teeth. Mushrooms are loaded with calcium and a regular intake of this superfood can strengthen your bones and teeth and lower the chances of joint pain, osteoporosis, and other such health conditions.
7. May Help Prevent Cancer
The presence of beta-glucans and linoleic acid in mushrooms lend them anti-carcinogenic properties, which are known to prevent various kinds of cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Increased amounts of estrogens in a woman’s body, especially after menopause, increases her chances of developing breast cancer. However, the presence of linoleic acid hampers the production of cancerous cells. Also, beta-glucan helps in preventing the growth of these cells.
8. Helps Maintain Weight
Eating mushrooms can also keep your weight in check because it contains fewer calories. Mushrooms help speed up the metabolism and the presence of Vitamin B helps in converting carbohydrates into energy. They are also loaded with VitaminS B2 and B3 which help in metabolising fats and proteins in the body.
9. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Increased blood pressure can lead to various kinds of health ailments. However, mushrooms can help in managing your blood pressure. This is because mushrooms contain a good amount of potassium in them and this mineral helps in easing the tension in the blood vessels and lowering the chances of high blood pressure. Mushrooms also help in improving cognitive functioning. The high amounts of potassium improve blood and oxygen flow to the brain which helps in stimulating neural activity.
How to Include Mushroom in Your Diet
Do you want to know how you can add this tasty food in your diet? Here are some of our recommendations:
- You can sauté mushrooms in some oil and add seasonings of your choice for an instant side dish.
- You can add mushrooms to your sandwich, pizza, fried rice, pasta, or other such dishes.
- You can cook mushrooms and add them to gravies with other ingredients such as peas or chicken.
- You can stuff and grill mushrooms and consume them as appetizers.
- You can chop or slice them and add them in omelettes, dosa or other such dishes.
How to Select and Cook Mushrooms
Here are some things you should keep in mind while picking up mushrooms and cooking them:
- Always pick up fresh and firm mushrooms.
- Always pick mushrooms from a reputed store.
- Never pick up mushrooms growing in the wilderness until or unless you are sure that it is fit for consumption.
- To store mushrooms, use a paper bag. Keep the mushrooms in a paper bag and store it in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Before cooking mushrooms brush off the dirt gently.
- Cook mushrooms well as cooking help in releasing minerals and vitamins in the mushrooms.
Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Mushrooms?
Not all kinds of mushrooms are fit for human consumption and if such mushrooms are consumed they can lead to fatal complications. Here are some risks associated with eating mushrooms:
- Mushrooms tend to absorb materials where they grow and if the soil contains heavy metals, mushrooms will absorb them too.
- Consuming poisonous varieties of mushrooms may result in vomiting, nausea, convulsions, and cramps. In some cases, it may lead to severe poisoning.
- Consuming some varieties of mushrooms may lead to fatal complications.
- Eating discoloured or different-coloured mushrooms can also lead to fatal complications as these mushrooms may be poisonous.
- Mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which help in stimulating immune functions. However, this may cause complications with people who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as lupus, asthmas, rheumatoid arthritis etc.
Here are some frequently asked questions or FAQs on eating mushrooms:
1. How Will I Know That Mushrooms Have Gone Bad?
You can very easily establish good mushrooms from the bad ones because healthy mushrooms look fresh, spongy, and moist. If you have mushrooms in your kitchen that have a slimy or sticky surface or have turned dark, then they have gone bad. It is best to discard such mushrooms. Such mushrooms not only lose their taste and nutritive value but they also become unfit for consumption.
2. Are Mushrooms Good for Hair?
Mushrooms are not only good for your health but it is also good for your hair. Mushrooms are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which help in preventing hair fall but it also aids hair growth. The presence of Vitamin B in mushrooms help in carrying oxygenated blood to the scalp, which improves hair growth. Mushrooms are also loaded with copper that helps in facilitating iron absorption that is beneficial for the overall health of your tresses.
If you have been sceptical about adding this edible fungus in your diet, now is the time that you explore it and add an extra punch of nutrition in your regular diet.