mushroom health benefits

Mushroom Health Benefits

Mushrooms provide many health benefits. They are low in calories and fat, and contain potassium and other nutrients.

Mushroom polysaccharides stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in your colon. They also prevent the breakdown of vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium and reduces inflammation.

White mushrooms are a good source of vitamin B6, a nutrient that aids in DNA production and metabolism. They are also high in selenium, an antioxidant that can help prevent cancer cell growth.

1. Lowers Risk of Cancer

Research on medicinal mushrooms and their extracts has shown they are anti-cancer. These mushrooms have been found to be able to inhibit cancer cell growth, suppress tumor metastasis and enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy. [1]

These mushrooms have polysaccharides that stimulate natural killer cells, T cells, B cells and macrophages, resulting in an enhanced immune response. They also contain ergothioneine, which is an amino acid the body can’t make, and glutathione, which can help to protect cells from free radicals that cause cancer.

Mushrooms also provide vitamin D, which is important for bone health and a healthy metabolism. They are low in sodium, making them an excellent choice for lowering blood pressure. Adding mushrooms to your diet can lower your risk for cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.

2. Lowers Blood Pressure

Mushrooms are a low-calorie, fat-free addition to a healthy diet and have been shown to lower blood pressure in clinical trials. They also contribute to heart health and help balance cholesterol levels.

Mushroom nutrient research indicates that they contain bioactive compounds like cordycepin, lovastatin, ergosterol and ergothioneine which can positively impact cardiovascular disease risk factors. These include lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol, and regulating triglycerides.

In addition to lowering blood pressure, mushrooms contain folate and are the only vegan, nonfortified dietary source of vitamin D. This nutrient plays a role in regulating blood sugar and bone strength. Mushrooms are also rich in choline, which is important for brain function and nervous system health. Medicinal mushrooms such as lion’s mane may also stimulate the growth of brain cells, improve cognitive functions and mitigate neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

3. Reduces Inflammation

Mushrooms have been shown to reduce inflammation by helping the body break down and remove free radicals that cause illness and premature aging. Mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants that help keep the immune system strong.

White mushrooms contain beta-D-glucans, which stimulate healthy bacteria in the colon to reduce inflammation. Lion’s mane mushrooms are rich in compounds that boost immunity and lower cholesterol, while reishi mushroom benefits include anti-inflammatory properties.

Researchers are exploring mushroom metabolites as potent and safe biofactories that produce natural, plant-based anti-inflammatory agents. They may be used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products to prevent or treat inflammation. Mushrooms are low in calories and sodium, and provide many of the same vitamins and minerals found in vegetables, meats and grains. They are rich in riboflavin, niacin and selenium.

4. Increases Brain Function

Mushrooms contain immuno-modulating antioxidants and neuro-protective phytonutrients that promote healthy nerves. In particular, Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) has been shown to induce Nerve Growth Factor synthesis in lab animals.* It is thought to help counteract the decline in brain function that often comes with aging, and can even promote the growth of new neurons.*

In addition, studies show that mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and fat, which helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure. They are also a source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps balance the body’s pH levels.

A study published in 2021 found that people who regularly eat mushrooms (two 3/4 cup servings of cooked mushrooms a week) may experience a reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This benefit is linked to the mushroom’s natural concentration of ergothioneine, an amino acid that protects the brain from oxidative stress.

5. Strengthens Bones

Mushrooms are a fat-free, low-calorie and cholesterol-free food that is packed with vitamin B vitamins. They are especially high in riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, which help protect heart health. They also contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and keep bones strong. One cup of white mushrooms provides 33% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.

The common button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) contains polysaccharides that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and support immune function. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a woody canker or conk found on birch trees, is high in anti-inflammatory beta-glucans and ergothioneine. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote a healthy qi, boost immunity and increase energy.

Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi) has 2000-year-old written records in ancient medicinal texts that describe it as a tonic to improve energy, promote longevity and enhance meditative practices. It is also thought to reduce stress and anxiety.

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