What’s So Special About Mushrooms?

This article was published on: 07/12/22 9:37 AM

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Truffles are like gold! They are sought after and treasured. Truffles are a hardy, healthy alternative to meat. That might be one of the reasons for their rise in popularity, even among us regular folks. In part that’s due to the ever increasing knowledge of their health benefits. There are so many health benefits of mushrooms, so let’s take a closer look!

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Despite their popularity, if you can’t find them on your own out in nature, truffles are expensive. There’s good news though. You can reap the same benefits for much less money with mushrooms.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Both truffles and mushrooms are nutrient dense. They contain carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and fatty acids. They also provide vitamin C, phosphorous, sodium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, plus all nine essential amino acids. That’s quite a bunch of benefits!

Mushrooms are high in antioxidants. They’re also antibacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory.

That means eating truffles or mushrooms will offer these seven amazing health boosting effects:

1. Reduces oxidative stress which causes premature aging. Oxidative stress occurs when your body produces too many free radicals. Antioxidants, however, eliminate excess free radicals and protect you from premature aging. Visually, oxidative stress looks like wrinkles, thinning skin, and collagen loss (skin elasticity).

2. Lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and risk of cardiovascular disease. In a 2007 study, oyster mushrooms reduced blood sugar levels and cholesterol in diabetic participants. And a 2020 study determined the anticlotting factors in mushrooms help keep the blood vessels and heart unobstructed.

3. Protects against liver damage. A 2019 study found mushrooms improve outcomes for patients with fatty liver disease. The study’s volunteers (with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) who ate mushrooms ingested bioactive molecules from the mushrooms. Those molecules reduced the inflammation in their livers, improved their gut microbiota (thereby reinforcing the intestinal barrier), decreased their low-density lipoprotein (“LDL”) cholesterol, and increased their high-density lipoprotein (“HDL”) cholesterol.

4. Reduces inflammation and aids in weight loss. Inflammation is considered the underlying cause of many problems such as obesity, heart disease, and cardiovascular problems. Studies show the chemical extracts of mushrooms significantly decrease the cellular inflammation creating activity of compounds like nitric oxide, cytokines, and prostaglandins.

5. Fights bacterial infections and boosts immune system. Thanks to anti-microbial properties, mushrooms fight harmful bacteria and support the immune system. Mushroom polysaccharides both stimulate and suppress antibody production (the immune system’s bacteria and virus killer).

6. Cancer prevention. Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated anti-tumor effects, which is great news for cancer treatment and prevention. A 2013 study found reishi mushrooms suppressed the growth and metastatic potential of breast cancer cells.

7. Improves mood. Psychedelic mushrooms are considered a promising treatment for treatment-resistant depression. A study published in the Nature Medicine journal found participants with major depression experienced a rapid improvement in depressive symptoms after receiving oral psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms.

Bonus Benefit of Eating Mushrooms

Mushrooms also provide a healthy, and some would say delicious, alternative to meat. They provide lots of vitamin D (which improves calcium absorption, immune function, bone strength, muscle health, and heart health), potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), and selenium (which protects you from premature aging).

One way to get more mushrooms into your diet is to add a cup of chopped mushrooms into your meat mixture. Think one cup of mushrooms to one pound of beef or turkey.

Hope I’ve encouraged you to think more about adding mushrooms to your diet. There are so many health benefits to mushrooms. You don’t want to miss out. And don’t just think about it, do it 🙂

And if you want to learn more, here’s a great article about truffles.

If you feel stuck and need additional support to adopt a new healthy habit or routine, consider working with me. We can partner up in setting goals, drawing on your skills and strengths, and implementing strategies to help you find your way to lasting healthy success.

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For over 15 years, Shelli has been a freelance writer and wellness habit coach on Joyinmovement. She writes about brain fitness, creating a healthy lifestyle, traveling the world, and making positive habits stick. Stop procrastinating! Take action, join her free newsletter.

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