Mushrooms are an amazing food group. Although some may consider mushrooms to be a vegetable, technically they are part of the fungi family, and edible mushrooms have amazing health benefits!
Mushrooms are low in fat and calories, which make them an ideal food for those on a weight loss journey. They are also high in fiber, contain many minerals and vitamins,along with properties that can help to boost your immune system, help to balance blood sugar levels, and even help to regulate some of the neural transmissions in the brain. Mushrooms can certainly be considered powerhouses of health benefits!
There are many types of cultivated edible mushrooms that are perfect for adding to your diet. However, it is vitally important to be cautious about ingesting mushrooms harvested in the wild. Many wild mushroom varieties can be extremely poisonous, and you must be absolutely sure that when eating wild mushrooms, they are not of a poisonous variety! Have a qualified mushroom guide go with you if you decide to embark on harvesting wild mushrooms.
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For the nature of this article, we are going to talk about the many health benefits of a few popular, cultivated mushrooms that can commonly be found in grocery stores. These mushrooms can easily be added to your diet by adding them to soups, stir-frys, pasta sauce, omelettes, and are absolutely delicious marinated and grilled for a summer BBQ!
Known as Pleurotus ostreatus, oyster mushrooms are often found in Chinese food recipes. They have a very delicate look to them and their flavor is sweet and subtle. They have a very unique scent about them as well, that some describe as anise. They are easy to cultivate and make wonderful additions to many dishes.
Oyster mushrooms are high in vitamin D which is beneficial for strengthening bones. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which can help in the prevention of osteoporosis. Oyster mushrooms are also high in minerals such as selenium, zinc and copper which all contribute to healthy body functions.
Oyster mushrooms also produce a compound called statin, which may help to reduce cholesterol levels within the blood system. Statin helps to slow down production of cholesterol within the liver, and can help reduce circulating LDL-cholesterol within in the system. Statin may also help to reduce fatty plaque build up in the arteries which may help to control heart disease.
Shiitake mushrooms, Lentinula edodes, are one of the most cultivated mushrooms in the world and are extremely popular in Asian cuisine. With a strong, almost nutty flavor, shiitake’s are perfect foods for stir-frys and are an essential ingredient in miso soup.
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Shiitake mushrooms have earned a solid reputation as having properties that may help to fight cancer cells. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, shiitakes have a polysaccharide, called lentinan, which has shown to have anticancer properties. The polysaccharides in shiitakes have been shown to stimulate the immune system and form white blood cells. White blood cells are the cells needed to help detect and fight bacteria and viruses that may invade our bodies.
One of the most amazing things about shiitakes, is that they are actually high in protein with over 18 amino acids, including 7 of the 8 essential amino acids needed for the human body. As shiitakes also have significant amounts of vitamin B12, they make a great protein source for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Maitake mushrooms, Grifola frondosa, are also called “hen of the woods” and are found growing at the base of trees, primarily oak trees. Maitake mushrooms can be eaten as a food source, however, they do have a strong earthy flavor and are used more as a medicinal mushroom. As with many other mushrooms, maitake’s contain beta-D-glucans which can help to stimulate white blood cells and boost the immune system.
According to a 2015 study, maitake mushrooms contain an enzyme, alpha-glucosidase, which can help to slow down sugar absorption in the bloodstream, and may help to protect against the many problems associated with diabetes 2.
A really great way to add maitake mushroom extract into your diet, is by adding a scoopful of Isagenix Immune Shake Booster to your daily IsaLean Shakes. Shakes from the Isagenix line of products are great for meal replacement and can be very helpful while on a weight loss and personal wellness diet.
Portabella mushrooms are perfect for anyone wishing to reduce meat in their diet, as they are often used as a meat substitute. They are perfect for marinating and throwing on the grill. Due to their large size they are great for stuffing and baking as well.
Portabella mushrooms are actually a sub-species of common white button mushrooms, Agaricus bisporu, that you find commonly in stores. These varieties of mushrooms are very palatable and contain many vitamins and minerals. Portabella’s, common white button, and crimini mushrooms are easily added to your favorite dishes and should always be kept on hand!
As with many other mushrooms, reishi’s, Ganoderma lucidum, contain beta-D-glucans that are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Studies have shown that properties in reishi mushrooms may help to reverse liver damage and may even help to regenerate liver cells. There is some evidence that by consuming reishi mushrooms, they may help to reverse some of the neural abnormalities that can contribute to Alzhimers disease.
Porcini Mushrooms, Boletus edulis, have been a long time favorite mushroom in Italian dishes. With a delightful, nutty flavor, not only are these gourmet mushrooms extremely tasty and versatile, they are also very high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. They also contain significant amounts of anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and lypocene, which can help in the prevention of cancer and other modern diseases.
Adding mushrooms to your diet can add not only amazing flavors to your dishes, but also can help to provide a myriad of vitamins, minerals and other amazing healthy properties. Head to the store today and stock up on some beautiful magical mushrooms for your pantry!