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Edible Mushrooms And Its Health Benefits

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Cultures around the world have eaten or used mushrooms medicinally for centuries, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt.

Mushrooms are classified as vegetables in the food world, but they are not technically plants. They belong to the fungi kingdom. Although they are not vegetables, mushrooms provide several important nutrients.

Edible Mushroom
Edible Mushroom

It’s important to eat only organically grown mushrooms because they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in. Mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, as well as air and water pollutants, so healthy growing conditions is a critical factor.

The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct types: cultivated and wild.

Overall Health Benefits

  • One study showed that substituting red meat with white button mushrooms may support a healthy weight.
  • Adding more mushrooms to your diet may help improve diet quality.
  • Eating certain mushroom species is seen in a study to be more effective than taking vitamin D2 supplements.
  • Mushrooms support your gastrointestinal health, thanks to their supply of dietary fiber and fungal enzymes.
  • Penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline are all derived from fungal extracts.

Edible Mushrooms with Health Benefits

These are some of the mushrooms and its health benefits. These mushrooms are also used for medicinal purposes.

  • Morel Mushroom

    Morels, used in Eastern India, as a traditional medicine, considering their therapeutic benefits hold healthy nutritive content. They help scavenge and destroy disease-causing bacteria, preventing occurrences of serious ailments. Besides promoting immune health, Morels are effective against cancers of the prostate and the breast. They promote metabolic function vision health, produce energy and combat tumours.

Morel Mushroom
Morel Mushroom
  • Enoki Mushrooms

    Enoki Mushrooms growing in willowy white clusters have heads resembling a cap. Cultivated in small glass containers, these mushrooms offer health enhancing properties, boosting immunity and providing anti cancerous benefits.

  • Shiitake

    Shiitake is a classic vegan substitute for meat, boasting of several medicinal compounds. Abundant in Vitamin D, these mushrooms with antiviral compounds help combat infections, keeping diseases at arm’s length. Known in Japanese language, as the ‘Oak Fungus’ these shiitake mushrooms with loads of lentinan are highly beneficial for preventing formation of cancerous tumors in the body.

  • Oyster

    Oyster Mushrooms derive their name from oysters, owing to the similarity in appearance. Potent antioxidant compounds in oyster mushrooms, have sent scientists researching their potential benefits for treating HIV diseases. Apart from this, these mushrooms are contenders for protecting against cancers and facilitating healthy cholesterol levels in the body.

  • Maitake Mushroom

    Popularly known as “Hen of the Woods” these delectable Japanese delights comprising of potent anticancer elements, prevent hormone- related cancers of the bladder, ovary and the breast. Maitake mushrooms are known to treat cancer and are also used to relieve some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Owing to the existing antiviral properties, they boost immune health, besides lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Reishi Mushroom

  • Owing to the presence of gandodermic acid, an active compound, the Reishi types offer healthy cardiac benefits. These keep the arteries from clogging, preventing sticking of blood clots to the arterial walls. Because of this, they help maintain healthy levels of blood pressure and cholesterol in the body.
  • Button Mushrooms, possessing specific kind of carbohydrates boost metabolism, thereby keeping blood sugar levels under check. In addition to its high metabolic activity, the white button mushrooms, loaded with selenium, help burn fat, effecting weight loss and preventing the incidence of prostate cancer.

Eating wild mushrooms that are toxic to humans can cause severe illness and sometimes even death. Studies have also shown that some wild mushrooms contain high levels of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals.

To avoid these dangers, it is best to consume mushrooms that have been cultivated under appropriate conditions.

Consuming beta-glucans is believed to be safe for most people. However, since beta-glucans are capable of stimulating immune function, this may be a risk for those with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and multiple sclerosis.

Researchers have yet to conclude whether or not large amounts of beta-glucan intake has any negative effects on those with these conditions.

Always trust sealed products from reputable companies or those which you have grown yourself under controlled conditions after buying their seeds (called spawns) from a trusted source. A single poisonous mushroom among others in a dish can threaten a large amount of people’s health, resulting in comas, severe poison symptoms, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, cramps, insanity.

Always avoid eating discolored ones or those which are different in color than the typically accepted color of their species.

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