10 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms

Exactly why you should be eating more mushrooms

health benefits of mushrooms

In this article, we will discuss some of the health benefits of mushrooms.

Mushrooms come in many varieties, from button and oyster to the larger portabello.

They are delicious and add texture and flavor to our food. But do you know about the health benefits of mushrooms?

Mushrooms are often classified as a vegetable, but they are a type of fungus. Don’t let that put you off though; they are perfect for you!

We hope the reasons below will encourage you to eat more of this delicious plant-based food. Let’s dive in!

1. May help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions today. It is a very serious condition that also increases the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease.

This study on humans found that adults with a predisposition or family history of type 2 diabetes may benefit from the regular consumption of mushrooms. Specifically, the white button mushroom.

White button mushrooms are one of the most common and versatile varieties. We encourage you to include more of them in your diet today!

2. Can improve cholesterol

Beta-glucan is famously known for being one of the key components in oats that makes it so healthy.

It is known to help reduce cholesterol and improve lipid profiles and improve blood sugar levels.

In this human study done by Greek universities, it was found that beta-glucan metabolites also produce healthy short-chain fatty acids, which is what improves blood sugar levels, and help slow down aging.

3. Is a good source of selenium

As mentioned in this government-published article, according to a national health survey, most Americans don’t consume enough selenium. Hardly anyone talks about this nutrient as well.

Although required only in trace amounts, it is vital for proper hormone function, especially of the thyroid, and DNA synthesis, and the prevention of cell damage.

Mushrooms, especially wild edible ones like the King Bolete, are a good source of selenium. We hope this encourages you to try them out soon.

4. Improves immunity

Since olden times, mushrooms have been known for their health benefits. One of these is an immunity booster.

In this study published in The Journal of Nutrition, it was found that mushrooms may help boost immunity.

After a regular intake of shiitake mushrooms by adults, there was an improved immune response.

5. Promotes gut health

Mushrooms are a source of prebiotics, the intake of which is part of overall gut health.

Gut health is linked to improved bowel movement, blood sugar regulation, better nutrient absorption, cholesterol levels, and even better mental health.

The prebiotics in mushrooms is a type of fiber that provides food for the good bacteria in our gut.

As mentioned in this study in The Journal of Nutrition, mushrooms, which have prebiotics, have been found to have a significant effect in promoting gut health.

So not only is it essential to take in probiotic foods, but it is also vital to consume prebiotic-rich foods like mushrooms.

6. Has anti-inflammatory properties

Studies show that inflammation contribute toward the development of many conditions. For example, high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Many foods common in the modern diet, as well as the stress of the modern lifestyle, tend to be inflammatory.

However, mushrooms, in particular, have been found to have anti-inflammatory action. And this helps fight inflammation, as found by this study in The Journal of Nutrition.

7. Is a good source of fiber

Mushrooms add variety and texture to our diet. From a culinary perspective, they are somewhere between meat and vegetable.

They can mimic the texture and rich flavor of the meat while also having the nutritional benefits of vegetables or plant foods. 

What’s great about this is that it also has fiber and is low in calories.

Fiber helps promote regular bowel movement and helps you feel full for longer. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

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According to the USDA, one cup of stir-fried white button mushrooms (108 g) has 2 g of fiber. This accounts for an average of 7% of an adult’s DRI for fiber.

8. Can help fight diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic condition wherein the body has a difficult time regulating blood sugar due to insulin resistance. It is one of the commonly diagnosed conditions today.

This US study by the Department of Agriculture found that those who consumed mushroom intake were shown to have significantly lower blood sugar levels after their meals.

This could be due to the beta-glucan and fiber present in mushrooms.

9. Has anti-cancer properties

Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and substances that help fight cancer. Cancer is one of the most dreaded, but also one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions today.

This US study by the Department of Agriculture found that one of the many benefits of mushrooms is their power to lower the risk of cancer. It does this by fighting free radical damage in the body.

10. Is rich in B Vitamins

Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, specifically thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3).

Our bodies need these vitamins for energy production and metabolism at the cellular level. And they keep our nervous system healthy.

Here’s something to consider. According to the USDA, one cup of stir-fried white button mushrooms (108 g) already has, on average for adults, 33% of the DRI for riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Need we say more? Mushrooms are awesome!

Takeaway

As mentioned in this article, the consumption of mushrooms has been associated with many long-term health benefits.

With so many varieties and with each one having their unique texture and flavor, mushrooms could improve the variety and nutrition in our diet. 

The key is to be creative. Many people have also found that they enjoy burgers that use mushrooms as a meat extender.

We hope you try including mushrooms in your diet by trying new varieties or cooking them in different ways, to enjoy the numerous health benefits of mushrooms.

(Nutritionist-Dietitian, Blogger & Content Writer)

I like living a holistic, balanced lifestyle, one that takes health and personal preference into account. I also love to experiment in the kitchen, create new dishes and bake. I believe that the pursuit of health should lift us up, not be something rigid that holds us down.