8 Reasons Why You Should Add Mushrooms To Your Diet
Did you know there are around2000 edible varieties of mushrooms in the word?
India is home to a number of mushroom species, the most popular edible ones being button mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, portobello mushrooms and straw mushrooms, to name a few.
While you might know that mushrooms are a healthy choice, you might have not known that certain varieties of mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, and reishi are referred to as ‘medicinal’, because they are thought to have specific healing and therapeutic properties.
Mushrooms are naturally free of gluten, sodium and cholesterol, and house several vital micronutrients. They also have a naturally low glycemic index, which means that they are presumed to have little negative effect on blood glucose due to their low carbohydrate content.
To just say mushrooms are good for your body is an understatement, so let’s look at 8 compelling reasons why mushrooms should be included in your diet :
1. Low calorie source of protein
Although mushrooms cannot be a stand-alone protein source, it can definitely represent a portion of your daily needs.
Most types of mushrooms contain between 5-7% of the daily recommended value for protein.
100g of mushrooms have a little over 3g of protein. That may not be a lot, but keep in mind that they’re also low in carbohydrates and have only a minuscule amount of fat, most of which is polyunsaturated fats.
Like meat, mushrooms contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
So, if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, adding mushrooms to your diet alongside protein-rich foods such as lentils, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, can make a great part of a balanced diet.
2. Rich in fiber and antioxidants
Mushrooms contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps keep your digestive system in check. The presence of Beta glucan, a form of soluble dietary fiber has been strongly linked to improving cholesterol and boosting heart health. This compound also possess anti-inflammatory properties which may help reduce pain, stiffness, and swelling.
Mushrooms have high levels of ergothioneine and glutathione, which are potent antioxidants that could help combat aging and bolster health.
3. Excellent source of Vitamins & Minerals
Mushrooms are packed with micronutrients.
They contain vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that is vital for healthy eyes, skin and immune system.
They are also rich in B vitamins ; riboflavin (B-2), folate (B-9) and thiamine (B-1), a combination that plays an essential role for heart health as well as maintaining vision, metabolism, and neurological function.
Mushrooms also contain a variety of minerals, like potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus, that are rarely found in plant-derived foods.
4. Boosts immune system
While all types of mushrooms are an excellent source of Zinc, Crimini mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms are particularly richer in this trace mineral.
Zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system as it a key player in growing of cells, repairing damaged tissues, creating DNA and building protein.
Some species of wildly-grown edible mushrooms are naturally rich in selenium, an essential component of selenoproteins, that helps protect against cell damage and infections.
5. Supports bone health
Vitamin D- enhanced mushrooms are the only non-animal fresh food to contain vitamin D.
Mushrooms harvested with exposure to ultraviolet light are known to be a considerable source of Vitamin D, an important component to support bone health.
There are studies that suggest that simply leaving your mushrooms outside in direct sunlight for 15-20 minutes may enhance the levels of vitamin D2 as high as 10mcg per 100g weight.
Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining and building strong bones by helping your body absorb calcium.
6. Maintains digestive and nervous system
Along with B vitamins, mushrooms are also a great source of iron, which help the body utilise energy from the food consumed and produce red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body and thereby facilitating with healthy brain and muscle function.
The presence of potassium helps regulate the heart, kidneys, and digestive system.
Mushrooms are reported to be a promising source of prebiotics because they contain a variety of carbohydrates like chitin, hemicellulose, β and α-glucans, mannans, xylans, and galactans.
They provide a number of gut health benefits which includes, stimulating the growth of gut microbiota, supporting gastrointestinal health and bacterial flora. A healthy guy function is imperative for maintaining our immune defences as well as communicating with the brain through nerves and hormones.
7. Great substitute for plant-based meat
Mushrooms are best described as slightly meaty and chewy textured, making them a perfect replacement for meat.
Cooked mushrooms naturally burst with umami flavour with hints of earthiness, and takes on the flavours that they’re cooked in.
Adding mushrooms to your dish gives it a certain dense, steak-like quality, making it a popular meat substitute amongst vegans.
8. Extremely versatile and easy to cook
Mushrooms take anywhere between 5-20 minutes to be fully cooked, depending on the method of cooking. If you’re on a time crunch and need to whip up something quick and easy, then mushrooms are the ideal choice.
From stuffing them to adding them in your sandwiches, mushrooms can be added in practically any dish including curries and stir-fries.
For easy-to-make mushroom recipes, check out : https://herbivo.in/recipies/
Not only do mushrooms boast an impressive nutrient profile, but they also happen to be an affordable ingredient that can easily be incorporated into your dishes.
So be sure to add mushrooms to your plate, to help you reach your dietary goals.
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