The Goodness of Mushrooms
Adding more mushrooms to your diet is a delicious way to improve your nutrition. While many classify mushrooms in the vegetable category, they are technically fungi, though they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting compounds, which makes them a smart addition to your meals. They can even make a good substitute for meat in most dishes, since they can have a denser, meatier texture and flavor.
So what makes many mushrooms so magical? First, they are a big boost to the immune system. They contain selenium, which helps your body produce T-cells, which are known as the killers of invading pathogens. The cell walls of mushrooms contain a compound called beta-glucan, which are fibers that stimulate the immune system to specifically hunt down cancer cells, and prevent the growth of tumors.
Since mushrooms are so high in antioxidants, they can help the repair of many tissues in your body. Not only that, but they tend to help the body regulate blood glucose and insulin levels. For anyone with blood sugar control issues, this is a big deal. Specifically, people with diabetes or prediabetic conditions can see benefits in this regard.
Mushrooms are a high fiber food. This means they can fill you up at meal time, and you’ll stay satisfied for many hours afterwards. The fiber in mushrooms can help to feed the good probiotic bacteria in your gut, so you can have improved digestion. You can also experience weight loss from adding more mushrooms to your diet.
Your heart will thank you, too. Mushrooms contain potassium and vitamin C, both of which we all could use more of. The potassium is especially important for the heart’s muscle tissue. Sodium and potassium work together and need to be balanced in our diet. Most of us get plenty of sodium, but not enough potassium, so mushrooms can help rebalance this equation. Plus, you’ll be helping to regulate your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.