Today I want to share with you some of the superpowers mushrooms have. This is a massive topic and can get pretty sciencey, so for this week we will talk just about the effects it has on our bodies, without getting toooo sciencey on you and without going into how it could save the planet as well!
Mushrooms are a superfood and one of the most health-promoting foods on the planet. Ancient cultures knew this and mushrooms have been used for thousands of years all over the world. They’re everywhere in Chinese Medicine and even the Ancient Egyptians called them ‘the plant of immortality’.
Actually, mushrooms aren’t technically a plant and us humans are more closely related to fungi (mushrooms) than to any other kingdom – Yep we share 50% of the same DNA as opposed to our plant friends with is more around 30%. Some of the essential molecules in mushrooms have been present in the human diet for so long that our bodies now depend on them — which could be part of the reason why they’re so good for us.
Here are just a few of the many benefits:
Nutrient dense – Mushies are packed with so much nutritional value. They’re low in calories, are great sources of fiber and protein, which is especially good for plant-based diets. They provide many important nutrients, including B vitamins, selenium, potassium, copper, and (particularly when exposed to the sun) vitamin D – which we covered last week.
Immune booster – A study done at the University of Florida’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition found that eating shiitake mushrooms daily improves immunity. White button mushrooms, as well as many other mushrooms, may also have anti-inflammatory power.
Improves digestion – Mushrooms are a prebiotic, which means they nourish the good bacteria in your gut. They’ve also been found to balance the microbiome’s beneficial bacteria, such as Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. Mushies can change gut bacteria for the better, which could also help treat obesity.
Weight loss – Mushrooms have a lot of nutritional value with few calories and little fat. They also contain two types of dietary fibers, beta-glucans and chitin, which help you feel fuller for longer and reduce appetite. In a study done, people were given less meat and more mushrooms in place of meat. After just one year, people reported feeling healthier, and they lost a lot of weight, had less diabetes, and their blood pressure and cholesterol went down.
Cancer fighting Powers – Mushrooms contain a class of proteins called lectins, which are able to bind to abnormal cells and cancer cells and label the cells for destruction by our immune system – incredible huh! In one amazing study of 2,000 women done by the University of Western Australia in Perth, women who consumed at least a third of an ounce of fresh mushrooms every day were 64% less likely to develop breast cancer.
Longevity booster – Almost any edible mushroom will give you a boost in nutrients, these 7 mushrooms are proven to have the most antioxidants and may just help you live longer!
- Lion’s Mane
- Golden Oyster
This should do it for now! Are you getting enough of this magical food in your diet? If not, start now! Next week we’ll talk about some of the ways you can add more of this magic to your diet and also touch on some of the benefits it has for our planet!