We all love mushrooms because of the exotic flavor and taste it adds to our foods. Mushrooms are not only tasty, but they are also loaded with numerous nutrients and minerals which makes it an essential food in your regular diet.
There are around 140000 varieties of mushrooms in the wild, however, our scientific world is familiar with only 10 percent of those varieties. If you find clusters of mushrooms in the wild, it is better to stay away from those as most types of mushrooms are toxic and some varieties are identified to be toxic.
It is always better to buy your mushrooms from a reliable grocery store or supermarket. Some most common varieties of edible mushrooms include
- Button or White mushroom
How to choose the best mushrooms
Fresh mushrooms are not moist to touch, they feel firm, and are mold free. Prevent cooking mushrooms that don’t satisfy the mentioned condition.
They have a shelf life of around 5 to 7 days if stored in a paper bag inside a refrigerator.
Make sure to brush off the dirt, and rinse it gently before using them in your recipes.
What are the Health Benefits?
Edible varieties of mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, B-vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and other vital nutrients. All of these combined makes mushrooms no less than a superfood. Some of the known benefits of consuming mushrooms on a regular basis are as follows.
1 It is a Rich Source of Vitamin-D
Yes, your body can produce vitamin-D on its own when you are exposed to sunlight. However, if you want to source it from your foods, there are not many natural sources that provide you with this vital nutrient.
Vitamin-D is responsible for numerous functions in your body. It strengthens your immune system, and enables better absorption of calcium, which strengthens your bones and joints, and prevents osteoporosis.
2 Lowers Cholesterol
Mushrooms have zero cholesterol and fat. Studies found that consuming mushrooms actually reduces the level of total cholesterol by nearly 65 percent. Additionally, it also reduces the levels of triglycerides.
It is important to note that mushrooms only reduce the level of bad cholesterol or LDL while maintaining the level of HDL or good cholesterol. This means it directly protects your arteries and heart from potential damage.
3 Might help to regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Mushrooms have a high percentage of water and it is low on carbohydrates and sugars. This means you can enjoy a mushroom-rich meal and not worry about increasing your sugar levels.
In a study done on the mice, scientists found that white button mushrooms were extremely beneficial at improving the growth of good bacterias in the gut, which ultimately led to improved glucose levels in the mice.
4 Fights or Prevents Anemia
Mushrooms are a good source of heme-iron, a type of iron that can be easily absorbed by your body. Best sources of heme-iron are from animal-based foods and this leaves a very little choice for vegans to source their iron.
While iron supplements can be a good alternative, naturally sourced iron is considered to be best for your health.
Mushrooms are one of the best sources of heme-iron and nearly 90 percent of the iron content found in edible mushrooms can be easily absorbed by your body.
Your body needs iron to produce enough red blood cells, deficiency of which can potentially lead to anemia and various other health problems related to it.
5 May Prevent Cancer
Though there is no clear evidence to back the claim that mushrooms protect you from certain types of cancer, it is a good source of selenium. Selenium is an essential part of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is an antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidative damage and DNA from mutations. Both of which are essential parts of protecting your cells from cancer and cell damage.
Other than that Selenium is also a vital nutrient for the normal functioning of your immune system. But, it is unknown at this point in time whether higher levels of selenium will boost your immunity.