Mushrooms bring more to the table (and your dishes) than flavor—they also contain powerful health benefits.
Low calorie? Check. Low cholesterol? Check. Low sodium? Check. But it’s not only that mushrooms are low in the “bad stuff” that makes them so great—they also pack protein, fiber, and more. As if we needed another reason to love mushrooms!
Keep reading to learn all the ways mushrooms can help you up your health game.
Vitamin D, please.
Lactose intolerant? Say hey to mushrooms! In fact, mushrooms are the only item you’ll find in the produce section that contains vitamin D. Like us, mushrooms produce vitamin D from sun exposure (or a UV light).
5 different vitamin Bs.
That’s right, mushrooms don’t play around when it comes to B vitamins. These influence our metabolism and promote cell health. Mushrooms contain 5 out of 8 of the B vitamins: folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine.
According to a 2017 Penn State study, mushrooms contain high amounts of ergothioneine and glutathione, two antioxidants that help the body fight against physiological stress—and the wrinkles it causes. Researchers found that cooking mushrooms doesn’t appear to lower the antioxidant count. Future research hopes to explore the connection between these antioxidants and preventing diseases like Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s.
Protection against cancer? Looks promising.
While various mushroom varieties have been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years, recent research showed promising results. According to this Guardian article, “In a human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Centre in 2009, maitake was shown to stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Laboratory in vitro research by Sensuke Konno, associate professor of urology at New York Medical College, found that non-toxic concentrations of the GD or PL ‘fractions’ found in maitake mushrooms, when combined with vitamin C, not only reduced growth of bladder cancer cells by 90% in 72 hours, but were also highly effective in killing them.”
More research is needed before it can be conclusively stated that mushroom compounds effectively fight against cancer, but these results offer hope.
Lower that cholesterol (and make your heart extra happy).
Hearts love mushrooms, too. Research shows that mushrooms contain properties that can help lower cholesterol levels, prevent plaque buildup, and keep your blood pressure and circulation pumping, making your heart a happy camper.
Experience the highest nutritional benefits.
Like other vegetables, the shorter the cooking time, the more nutrients retained. Grilling and microwaving also appear to increase antioxidant activity, as opposed to boiling or frying.
Local to the Middle Tennessee area?
Join us at Stoney Creek Farm on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 10am to learn from Wildlife Diversity Aquatic Biologist and an expert of our fungi-friends, Anna Dellapenta of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
During this 90 minute class, you’ll learn:
- The ecological role of the mushroom
- How to get started with log cultivation, with the focus on wide-ranging oyster and shiitake species
- Additional resources for growing your mushroom knowledge base and sourcing supplies
You’ll also take home one inoculated log with a wide-ranging oyster mushroom to cultivate.