Here are several health benefits of mushrooms that you might experience by include them on your menu, from a
healthier stomach to a sharper mind.
Fungi are hot right now, even if you’re eating them raw in a salad. However, according to the National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS) in 2022, sales of mushrooms and goods made with mushrooms decreased by 7% from the
Fungal foods fascinate nutritionists. Mushrooms provide few calories. According to Mary Jo Feeney, RD, MS, RDN,
FADA, FAND, a consultant to the Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Industries, Los Altos, California, mineral nutrient
analyses also revealed that these mushrooms are rich in both macro and micronutrients, particularly B vitamins,
selenium, zinc, and copper, niacin, pantothenic acid, and an excellent source of riboflavin. She says that B vitamins are
necessary for the production of energy in cells. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary
Supplements, selenium is a potent antioxidant while zinc and copper are necessary for a healthy immune system
We’re concentrating on entire mushrooms in this tale rather than processed mushrooms because it’s obvious that
eating whole mushrooms raw or cooking them for recipes is good for your health. Other forms, like supplements,
nutraceuticals, and mouthwashes, may offer additional advantages, but further research is required.
According to Kim Bedwell of the Mushroom Council, the white button mushroom is the most widely consumed
mushroom in the country. Other varieties, such cremini, often known as baby bella, and portobellos, are becoming
more and more well-liked, according to her. Additionally, she claims that speciality mushrooms (such shiitakes, oysters,
and maitakes) are more likely to be found there. Depending on your taste preferences, you have many options.
Mushrooms Promote Bone and Immune Health
According to a review article in the October 2018 Nutrients, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to UV light.
(According to the NIH, a half cup of raw, white, UV-exposed mushrooms provides 46% of your daily requirement for
D.) And for a veggie, that is a fantastic nutritional benefit (er, fungi). There aren’t too many food sources of vitamin D,
particularly plant sources, claims Brooking. The vitamin is absolutely essential for immunological and bone health. The
recommended intake of vitamin D enhances muscle function, lowers the incidence of falls, and may have anticancer,
antidiabetic, and heart-protective effects, as noted in the Nutrients evaluation of research.
Your body produces vitamin D through sun exposure, but there are a number of things that might increase or decrease
your chance of having a vitamin D deficit. According to MedlinePlus, you may be deficient if you don’t get enough
sunlight, don’t consume enough calories in your diet, or have certain medical problems that interfere with absorption,
like Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, or chronic renal or liver disease.
According to Bedwell, you can find this information on the front or bottom of the packaging when buying mushrooms
that are high in vitamin D. If your mushrooms provide at least 20% of the recommended value, or DV, per serving, it is
another indication that they are high in vitamin D. This information can be found on the nutrition facts label. The
Nutrients study recommends that you also pay attention to the “best by” date and consume the mushrooms before
that period to guarantee that you’re still getting a sufficient level of vitamin D.
Mushrooms Could Be Good for Your Gut
According to a review published in the September 2017 issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, your
gut is home to trillions of bacteria, and eating mushrooms may help your GI tract be populated with the proper balance
of bacteria to maintain GI tract health and boost your immune system. The early but very interesting studies on
mushrooms and gut health. Prebiotics, the nutrients that probiotics feed upon, are present in mushrooms, according
to Brooking. Therefore, prebiotics from mushrooms might promote the development of this advantageous bacterium.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are live microorganisms, or
bacteria, that may have health advantages for the body because they aid in digestion and create nutrients.
You Can Lower Your Blood Pressure With Mushrooms
According to the USDA, one whole portobello mushroom, one of those well-liked big mushrooms, has 306 mg of
potassium, a crucial mineral. According to the American Heart Association, potassium improves blood vessel function
and counteracts sodium’s effects to assist manage blood pressure. How? More potassium in your diet promotes salt
excretion in urine. The advantages for heart health don’t end there. A review published in the May 2021 issue of the
American Journal of Medicine suggests that mushrooms may also help lower inflammation and raise cholesterol and
A Link Between Mushrooms And Cancer Prevention
Think about including fungus in your diet as a cancer preventative. According to a meta-analysis of 17 studies
published in the September 2021 issue of Advances in Nutrition, people with higher routine mushroom intake had a
34% lower risk of developing any cancer than those with lower intake, particularly in the case of breast cancer.
Antioxidants, especially glutathione and ergothioneine, which are abundant in mushrooms, may shield cells from
Nevertheless, not all studies have discovered beneficial connections. According to Cancer Prevention Research in
2007, researchers found that participants who consumed five servings of mushrooms per week did not have a lower
risk of 16 different malignancies compared to those who consumed them infrequently August 2019.
When substituted by red meat, mushrooms may
Mushrooms give meals a delicious, meaty flavor known as umami. In a lot of recipes, they can be used in place of or in
addition to meat, according to Brooking. In a significant prospective cohort study that was published in April 2021 in
Nutrition Journal, researchers discovered that participants who consumed one serving of mushrooms daily compared
to those who consumed one serving of processed or red meat had a 35 percent lower risk of death from any cause.
The authors of the study speculate that this may be because, in addition to possessing the antioxidants ergothioneine
and glutathione, mushrooms are also high in fiber, low in calories, sodium, and fat. It’s not apparent whether the
participants’ longer lifespans were caused by mushroom eating alone because those who eat mushrooms typically had
Mushrooms Could Improve Brain Function
We all want to age well, but according to the Alzheimer’s Association, 12 to 18 percent of persons 60 and older have
mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a disease that can sometimes be a precursor to Alzheimer’s and affect memory.
thinking abilities, and judgment. An aging brain needs a balanced diet, and mushrooms can be a part of that. A March
2019 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that those who reported eating more than two servings of
mushrooms per week had 57 percent lower odds of getting MCI than those who ate them less frequently than once a
week in a study on 663 adults in Singapore aged 60 and older.
(Golden, oyster, shiitake, white button, dried, and canned mushrooms were employed in the study.)
Their capacity to safeguard cognition may be due to one thing. Ergothioneine, a substance that functions as both an
antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, may help prevent neuronal damage.
A Few Psychoactive Mushrooms May Be Used as a
Treatment for Mental Illness
Psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance present in “magic mushrooms,” is frequently discussed as a potential
psychedelic therapy for disorders like depression and PTSD. Additionally, these treatments show some potential when
carried out under close supervision: In a modest (59 participant) trial, psilocybin medication for six weeks was found to
be equally beneficial as escitalopram, a common antidepressant, in treating depression. This report was published in
the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2021. (The results are less conclusive because there was no placebo and
the trial was tiny.)
Psilocybin is currently being studied as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression in large research centers like
the Center for the Neuroscience of Psychedelics at Massachusetts General Hospital because psychedelics may be
helpful in establishing new brain connections. Having said that, this kind of therapy is coming. According to the Drug
Enforcement Administration, psilocybin is officially a Schedule 1 substance (meaning it is currently prohibited for
personal use in the United States) and is not approved for medical use, even if it may be used in some restricted