5 Amazing Reasons To Add Mushrooms To Your Diet


New Delhi: Spongy and famous for their meat-like texture, mushrooms are edible fungi that hold a prominent place in our meals. Once considered to be an exotic ingredient, today, they are easily available and used in most dishes like soups, salads, or stir-fries. There are various types of mushrooms that can be eaten and enjoyed like the common button mushrooms, the healthy shiitake, oyster mushrooms, or the popular Kashmiri guchchi.

Most varieties are low in calories, full of Vitamin D, and packed with healthy antioxidants. It is believed that in ancient Egypt, mushrooms were retained for the royalty, and the ancient Romans thought that mushrooms could give strength to warriors.

Talking about the health benefits of mushrooms, a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition Science at the University of Buffalo shows that eating mushrooms regularly can have beneficial effects on weight management and immune function. It can also be useful in regulating glucose levels.

So, like most nutrient-dense foods, mushrooms pack quite the punch of health. The following are some benefits you can gain by including more mushrooms in your diet:

1. Boosts the immune system

Given that they’re packed with nutrients, eating enough mushrooms can improve your immune system. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in mushrooms give it anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, which further aid in keeping seasonal infections and diseases at bay. What’s more, eating mushrooms can also help you reduce the risk of weight gain and obesity.

2. Prevents heart disease

Mushrooms are packed with lean plant proteins and have very low amounts of calories and fats. Mushrooms also contain glutamate ribonucleotides, which not only give them a salty, umami flavour but also make the addition of salt almost unnecessary while cooking. This helps control blood pressure, improve heart health, and ultimately reduce the risk of heart disease.

3. Aids cognitive function

Mushrooms contain two key antioxidants – ergothioneine and glutathione – which not only protect the brain and body from premature aging but also have a protective effect on brain cells. Eating mushrooms can improve cognitive abilities like memory and attention. Studies also suggest that eating mushrooms is associated with lower risks of dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Keeps bones healthy

Mushrooms contain vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus – all the nutrients which help build bones and keep them healthy too. Studies indicate that consuming mushrooms in your diet regularly can help prevent bone-related diseases like osteoporosis, bone pain, and even bone degeneration.

5. Improves digestion

Mushrooms contain polysaccharides, which are nutrients that also act as prebiotics. Prebiotics are compounds that induce the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and fungus. Eating mushrooms can therefore not only improve your digestion but also help keep your gut healthy. This can also further aid you in keeping digestive issues at bay.

Not many people may like mushrooms but given these health benefits, you might want to reconsider your opinion. Some of the wild mushrooms can be extremely dangerous for health. Check for allergies or any other health condition or refer to the doctor before consuming them.

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