One trend taking 2019 by storm is that of the mighty mushroom. Aside from the many delicious edible species out there, they serve more than one purpose. Mushrooms have been shown to have incredible health benefits including weight loss, relief from high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. They are a rich source of fibre, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin D and also help increase the strength of your immune system. Here are four health benefits of the mighty mushroom you need to know…
Health benefit no 1: Help fight cancer
In 2010 a study was conducted to determine if mushrooms like maitake, crimini, oyster, portobello and white button had any effect on women diagnosed with breast cancer. The various mushrooms showed a significant suppression in growth and reproduction of cancer cells.
Health benefit no 2: Improve cardiovascular health
In a six-week animal study conducted in 2012, it was found that not only did a daily intake of mushrooms result in weight loss, but also lowered cholesterol levels. Mushrooms contain fibres, chitin and beta-glucan, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Health benefit no 3: Boost the immune system
In a study conducted on more than 50 healthy females and males over four weeks, subjects took 5-10 grams of shiitake mushrooms daily. The study concluded that intake of shiitake mushrooms helps improve immune function and lowers inflammation through anti-inflammatory properties.
Health benefit no 4: Fight ageing
In a 2017 study, researchers found that mushrooms have high amounts of two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, both containing anti-ageing properties. It was found that mushrooms are the highest dietary source of these two antioxidants together. The amounts may differ according to species, but the one with best results proved to be the wild porcini mushroom.
Be careful, though!
It is important to note that not all mushrooms are safe to consume. If you do go out foraging for mushrooms, make sure you have a qualified mycologist or expert with you to help determine species. Some mushrooms are poisonous and can be deadly, and can look awfully similar to those that aren’t!
Compiled by Features Writer, Savanna Douglas