Health benefits of mushrooms: 10 interesting health benefits of mushrooms nobody told you about

Chethana Prakasan

Loaded with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, antibiotics and proteins, mushrooms are considered as the ‘meat’ for vegetarians. Mushrooms were consumed only by the royalty in ancient Egypt and the people in ancient Rome believed that it gives strength. Today, mushrooms are used extensively in the cuisines across the world. The mushrooms we get in the supermarkets are grown in mushrooms farms and are safe for consumption as it is produced in the sterilized and controlled environment. Mushrooms are fungi that do not contain chlorophyll and extract nutrients from decaying animal and plant matter. There are different types of mushrooms with different texture, color and shapes.  They produce vitamin D and are rich in iron. Here is a list of some of the health benefits of mushrooms.(ALSO READ Health benefits of papaya: 10 amazing health benefits of eating papaya).

1. Helps in prevention of prostate and breast cancer

Mushrooms contain conjugated Linoleic Acid and Beta-Glucans, which have anti-carcinogenic effect and help in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer. The Beta-Glucans prevents the growth of cancerous cells in prostate cancer. An increase in the estrogen level in women after menopause can lead to breast cancer and linoleic acid is helpful in suppressing the estrogen’s harmful effect.

2. Makes bones healthy

Mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D as it produces the vitamin when exposed to sunlight. Not just sunlight, mushrooms when exposed to ultraviolet B converts ergosterol, plant sterol, into vitamin D. This essential vitamin helps the body to absorb phosphorus and calcium, which are important for maintaining the health of bones.(ALSO READ Health benefits of coconut oil: These are 7 amazing health benefits of coconut oil).

3. Boosts immunity

According to a study, white button mushroom may boost immunity by increasing the level of antiviral and other proteins in the body. The beta glucans present in the mushroom protects against flu, cold and other viruses. According to another study, mushrooms also help in the maturation of dendritic cells, immune system cells and boosts immunity.

4. Cures anemia

Rich in iron content, mushrooms can cure anemia. Patients with anemia have lower levels of iron in the blood and it leads to digestive problems, decreased neural function, headaches and fatigue. Mushrooms provide iron, which keep people healthy.(ALSO READ Health benefits of water: This is why you should drink more water).

5. Helps fight free radicals

Helps fight free radicals

Helps fight free radicals

Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals. Although, we associate colorful vegetables with antioxidants, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which is a measure of a food’s total antioxidants, of mushrooms is almost same as for red peppers.

6. Helps lower cholesterol levels

Some enzymes and fiber present in mushrooms help in decreasing the cholesterol levels. Mushrooms are low in carbohydrate and have no fat or cholesterol. They are also rich in lean protein, which assist in burning cholesterol.(ALSO READ How to get pink lips naturally at home: 13 effective home remedies to get back your naturally soft and pink lips).

7. Strengthens teeth, nails and hair

Mushrooms are the best source of selenium apart from animal protein. It is essential element for the healthy bones, teeth, hair and nails. Selenium increases durability and strength of bones. It is also powerful antioxidants, which fights the free radicals and strengthens the immunity.

8 Lowers blood pressure

Some mushroom varieties like maitake and shitake, contain higher content of potassium, which act as vasodilator. Potassium relaxes the blood vessels and lowers the blood pressure. According to studies, increased potassium levels improve knowledge retention and memory.(ALSO READ Home remedies for acne: 7 most effective ways to get rid of acne and clear your skin using home remedies)

9. Helps you lose weight

With its meaty texture and taste, mushrooms are the perfect substitute for meat. Swap your red meat with mushrooms will help you to shed some extra kilos. Replacing mushrooms with mushrooms for just one meal a day can lead to a significant weight loss.

10. Keeps brain healthy

Mushrooms are loaded with copper and niacin, which promote function nerves and nervous system. Vitamin B5 present in the food item plays an important role in the normal functioning of brain.

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