Mushrooms are a superfood, available in multiple varieties and have found a significant place in Indian cuisine in the recent years.
Mushrooms are neither a vegetable nor a fruit but a fungus and are a great source of lean protein that can be included in your regular diet.
Extensive cultivation and harvesting of mushrooms in India has gained momentum in the recent past and it has introduced us to a lot of varieties. Some of the known edible variants are button, oyster, porcini and chanterelles.
Mushrooms are being widely researched for their vital health benefits and also for their different medicinal properties.
However, consuming inedible mushrooms can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and could turn fatal in extreme cases.
Edible mushrooms are packed with protein, fibre, B vitamins, and potent antioxidant selenium, which aids in boosting the immune system and prevent damages to cells and tissues.
Specifically, the most commonly used white button mushroom is one of the very few sources of vitamin D for vegetarians. Even if they are grown indoor or outdoor, they are exposed to UV light increasing their concentration of vitamin D.
Top Health Benefits Of Mushrooms
1. Improves Haemoglobin Count
Mushrooms are a great source of iron. According to studies, consuming mushrooms regularly enhances the formation of red blood cells and boost iron levels in those suffering from anemia. Mushrooms are the only plant source where 90 per cent of the iron can get completely absorbed into the body.
2. Prevents Cancer
The abundance of beta-glucans and linoleic acid in mushrooms exhibits anti-carcinogenic effects, that are beneficial in preventing breast and prostate cancer. Linoleic acid is mainly helpful in suppressing the harmful effects of excess estrogen, which is one of the major cause of breast cancer in women post menopause.
3. Immune Booster
Mushroom is a powerhouse of potent antioxidant ergothioneine which safeguards from free radical damages and boost the immune system. Mushrooms also contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin) which hamper the microbial and fungal infections. In addition, the richness of vitamin A, B-complex, and C in mushrooms help in healing ulcers, wounds and boosting the immune system.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
The right combination of lean protein and a good amount of fibre in mushroom is great for losing fat and building muscle mass. The rich nutritional profile of mushroom is considered as one of the best foods that people can consume as often as possible to reap the benefits, as recommended by researchers.
5. Prevents Diabetes
The wealth of nutrients in mushroom makes it an ideal source of low-fat, high fibre, high lean protein meat for diabetics. It also contains natural insulin and enzymes which help in breaking down of starch in food. Further on, the natural antibiotics in mushroom also help diabetics from combating infections.
6. Strengthens Bones
The abundance of calcium in mushroom is well-known to fortify bones and strengthen bone density. Regular addition of this protein-rich food can improve bone strength and reduces the risk of osteoporosis in adults. Moreover being rich in vitamin D, the mushroom also facilitates absorption of calcium and phosphorus thereby enhancing bone mass.