7 health benefits of mushrooms

Nutrition experts are thrilled with mushrooms. Mushrooms are low in calories. They also provide a wide range of macro and micronutrients, including B vitamins, selenium, zinc and copper. B vitamins are important for energy production in cells. And selenium is a powerful antioxidant, while zinc and copper are essential for the proper functioning of the immune system.

It is clear that whole mushrooms that are eaten raw or cooked for use in recipes are beneficial to health, and it is on them, rather than the processed mushrooms, that we focus in this article. .

The most popular mushroom is the button mushroom. Other varieties, such as cremini and portobello, are becoming increasingly popular. Specialty mushrooms (such as shiitake and maitake) are also more likely to be found in department stores. You are spoiled for choice, depending on your taste preferences, which means there are many ways to enjoy the following seven health benefits of mushrooms.

1. Mushrooms promote immunity and bone health

When exposed to UV light, mushrooms generate vitamin D, according to an October 2018 nutrient review. D). And that’s an amazing nutritional benefit for a vegetable (er, mushroom). There aren’t really many dietary sources, particularly plant-based, of vitamin D. This vitamin plays an incredibly crucial role in immune system and bone health. As the research journal Nutrients points out, the recommended amount of vitamin D supports muscle function, reduces the risk of falls, and may have anticancer, antidiabetic and heart-protective properties.

Your body produces vitamin D from sun exposure, but several factors can affect your risk of vitamin D deficiency. You can have a deficiency if you don’t get enough sunlight, don’t get enough in your diet, or if you have certain conditions that affect absorption, such as Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis, or chronic kidney or liver disease.

Make sure you pay attention to the expiration date and consume the mushrooms before that date, as this will allow you to get a good amount of vitamin D.

2. Mushrooms can promote gut health

Your gut contains trillions of bacteria, and eating mushrooms can help populate your digestive tract with the right balance of bacteria to keep your digestive tract healthy and strengthen your immune system, notes a review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. September 2017. Research on fungi and gut health is early but really compelling. Mushrooms contain prebiotics, which are the nutrients that probiotics feed on. Therefore, mushroom-based prebiotics could promote the growth of this beneficial bacterium. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, probiotics are live microorganisms, or bacteria, that can have beneficial effects on the body by aiding digestion and producing nutrients.

3. Mushrooms are good for blood pressure

A whole Portobello mushroom, these famous large mushrooms, provides 306 milligrams (mg) of potassium, an important mineral. Potassium helps control blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium and improving blood vessel function. Such as ? A higher amount of potassium in the diet promotes the excretion of sodium in the urine. The heart health benefits don’t stop there. Mushrooms may also help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce inflammation, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine in May 2021.

4. Mushrooms have been linked to cancer prevention

Consider adding mushrooms to your cancer prevention diet. According to a meta-analysis of 17 studies published in Advances in Nutrition in September 2021, people who ate more mushrooms had a 34% lower risk of cancer than people who ate less, particularly in the case of breast cancer. Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, including ergothioneine and glutathione, which can protect cells from damage. That said, not all research has found positive associations. In a prospective cohort study involving more than 100,000 men and women, the researchers concluded that participants who ate five servings of mushrooms per week had no lower risk of 16 different types of cancer than those who rarely ate mushrooms. according to Cancer Prevention Research in August 2019.

5. Mushrooms can promote longevity when substituted for red meat

Mushrooms add umami, or a savory, meaty flavor, to foods. They are the perfect extension to add instead of or in addition to meat in so many recipes. In a large prospective cohort study published in April 2021 in the Nutrition Journal, researchers found that study participants who ate one serving of mushrooms per day compared with those who ate one serving of red or processed meat had a risk of death. 35% lower for all causes.

This could be because in addition to containing the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, mushrooms are also low in calories, sodium and fat and high in fiber, the authors say. At the same time, people who consume mushrooms tend to have healthier diets. It is therefore not clear whether the consumption of mushrooms alone is responsible for the lengthening of the participants’ life.

6. Mushrooms can increase brain health

We all want to stay awake as we age, but 12-18% of people aged 60 and over have mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that is sometimes a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease and affects memory , thinking skills and judgment. A healthy diet is important for an aging brain, and mushrooms can be one of them. In a study of 663 adults aged 60 and over in Singapore, those who reported consuming more than two servings of mushrooms per week were 57% less likely to develop MCI than those who ate less than one. once a week, according to a March 2019 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. (The study used golden mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and canned mushrooms.)
A possible reason for their cognition-protective properties? Ergothioneine, which is not only an antioxidant, but also has anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can protect against neuronal damage.

7. Some psychoactive mushrooms are a possible treatment for mental health disorders

There is a lot of talk about the use of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic compound found in “magic mushrooms”, as a psychedelic treatment for conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a small study (59 people) published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2021, a six-week course of psilocybin was found to be just as effective as escitalopram, a standard antidepressant, in relieving depression. (Aside from being a small study, there wasn’t even a placebo, which limits the strength of the results.) Leading research centers are currently studying psilocybin as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression, as psychedelics could be useful in facilitating new neural connections. That said, this type of treatment is on its way. Although psilocybin can be used in some specific research settings, it is not yet approved for medical use.


A review of mushrooms as a potential source of dietary vitamin D

Psilocybin test versus escitalopram for depression

The association between mushroom consumption and mild cognitive impairment: a community-based cross-sectional study in Singapore

Association of mushroom consumption with all-cause and cause-specific mortality among American adults: results of a prospective cohort study from NHANES III

Greater mushroom consumption is associated with lower cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Mushroom Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Systematic Review

* Presse Santé is committed to transmitting medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of the doctor.

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