The many health benefits of mushrooms

A new study from Penn State has found a link between the consumption of mushrooms as part of a healthy diet and a lower percentage chance of experiencing depression. This newfound information has inspired us to write about the many health benefits of mushrooms – they aren’t just nice fungis!

Lowers depression risk

As mentioned above, Penn State College of Medicine researchers have found that mushrooms contain several substances that have antidepressant qualities. 

In May 2021, researchers at the university conducted a study on mushroom consumption and a lower risk of cancer. They found promising and compelling results during this study so have become a mushroom-focused lab as a result. They even conducted a study to find a link between the fungal food and preventing premature deaths. The third study was indeed the one that found a link between mushrooms lessening depression. 

The study had 24,699 participants and an overall incidence of depression at 5.9%. The participants that ate an average of 4.9 grams of mushrooms per day experienced a reduction in the likelihood of depression. 

Good source of Vitamin D

Mushrooms are a low-calorie food that holds a lot of healthy nutritious content. One such nutrient is Vitamin D. Mushrooms raised with exposure to ultraviolet light are a great source of Vitamin D – an important factor in bone health and immune health. 

Rich in Zinc content

A lot of general mushrooms used in recipes are also an excellent source of zinc. Crimini mushrooms are particularly high in zinc content. Zinc is essential in ensuring growth potential in infants and children. Make sure your kids are getting their mushrooms in!

Lowers Blood Pressure

Mushrooms are a rich source of potassium. Potassium reduces the negative impacts of sodium on your body. It also alleviates tension in blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It can be a lovely side snack to add to dishes to ensure your blood keeps flowing smoothly. 

Boosts Immune System

Mushrooms also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which in turn can greatly improve the immune system. 

Mushrooms contain a soluble fibre called beta-glucan, an active polysaccharide. This compound will activate parts of your immune system. They also stimulate macrophages in the immune system. Macrophages enhance the body’s ability to combat foreign bodies and toxins – helping you to fight off illnesses.

They also contain Vitamin B; a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and prevents damage to cells and tissues. 

Weight Loss

Many studies have also found that mushrooms, when used in tandem with exercise and lifestyle changes, can also help with weight loss. One study even substituted 20% of participant’s beef consumption with mushrooms and found that BMI improved overall whilst belly circumference decreased. Not only will it help with weight loss, it reduces the risk of hypertension and metabolic disorders. 

How to eat more mushrooms?

So, now that you know fungi are great and have terrific health benefits, you’re probably wondering how to include them into your diet … well, we’ve got some ideas for you:

  • Chop them up to match the consistency of ground beef and then blend them into meat to use for lunch and dinner. Flavour your mince and get healthy at the same time.
  • They can also be mixed into omelettes and other meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  • You can also slice them and add them to your pasta sauce. They add flavour and texture to any dish at all. 

So, get mushrooms into your diet and your recipes! The health benefits are all there for you to enjoy and pull from!

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