Mushrooms were once derided as having no nutritional value, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They may be low in calories, and lack the deep hues of foods like blueberries or beetroot- that are associated with being packed with nutrients- but despite their beige appearance, mushrooms are nutrient packed, and something we should be making a regular part of our diets. Let’s take a look at the nutritional benefits of mushrooms…
We commonly think of mushrooms as vegetables, but they are part of the fungi kingdom. They are low in calories, cholesterol free, contain good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, and have an excellent amino acid profile. They also contain many vitamins and minerals like B-vitamins, selenium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc and more. Some mushrooms also contain Vitamin D- if they were grown in sunlight or exposed to UV light.
The nutritional benefits of mushrooms are no secret, and mushrooms have long been used globally, especially in Asia, to support health. There are many that have superior health benefits which we classify as medicinal mushrooms- having anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, antimicrobial and immune supporting benefits plus so much more. There is variation between the different types of mushrooms, but there are many nutritional benefits of mushrooms and even the humble white button mushroom has been shown to have positive health effects.
Mushrooms are rich in many compounds that they secrete in order to protect and defend themselves against other fungi, bacteria, and pests. These compounds protect the mushrooms in a competitive world and have similar benefits for humans with anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Some of the most valuable nutrients that mushrooms contain are antioxidants like selenium, ergothioneine and glutathione – our master antioxidant and cell defender. Mushrooms antioxidant compounds decrease the amount of oxidative stress in our bodies and damage done to our cells and DNA.
Mushrooms also contain many other important compounds like polysaccharides including beta-glucans which support immune health and other polysaccharides which have anti-diabetic, antibiotic and other properties. They also contain triterpenes which are anti-inflammatory and inhibit histamine release.
Mushrooms contain potentially hundreds of compounds with medicinal benefits, and more are still being discovered each year. The fungi kingdom is so large, and in reality we have only scratched the surface in discovering them and their potential benefits. Regularly consuming mushrooms in your diet, and adding our mushroom powders and mushroom capsules is a great way to add extra nutrition to your diet and keep yourself healthy. The nutritional benefits of mushrooms cannot be understated and consuming a wide variety of ‘shrooms ensures you get a broader spectrum of beneficial compounds