Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Would you like to start a plant-based lifestyle? Or, are you simply looking to eat less meat? Well, you have probably noticed that mushrooms take centre stage in several plant-based recipes and are widely considered a fantastic meat substitute. And these claims are well justified, due to their impressive nutrition profile!
Read on to find out more about the fantastic benefits of mushrooms for a plant-based lifestyle.
The Impressive Benefits of Mushrooms
Often classified as a vegetable, mushrooms come in a variety of types, including cordyceps, shiitake, maitake and king trumpet mushrooms. All mushrooms of the fungi kingdom are rich sources of vitamins and minerals and can help boost your overall well-being.
Mushrooms offer high levels of protein and fibre and are packed with selenium and potassium, copper, vitamin C, and iron. They also contain B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin and folate that are vital to many natural processes in your body.
Did you know that mushrooms are the only vegetables that are sources of Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight? Their exceptional nutrition profile truly makes them part of the superfood family, making mushrooms great additions to a plant-based diet!
A Source of Protein
The fleshy part, also known as the fruiting body of a fungus, describes a mushroom. The chewy and fleshy texture is similar to meat and offers excellent sources of protein, making them great supplements for chicken, beef or fish!
Protein is a vital component of literally every cell in the body. Your body requires protein to build and repair tissues, including enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in your body. That’s why athletes, gym enthusiasts and active individuals often take on a protein-heavy diet to regenerate tissues and gain more muscle mass.
As meat and dairy products typically contain higher levels of protein than plant-based products, it is a good idea to include more mushrooms into your diet to provide your body with the right amount of protein it would usually get from other sources, such as meat.
Maintains Healthy Blood Pressure and Immune System
As if mushrooms did not have already enough fantastic health benefits, they also have the ability to strengthen your immune system and maintain healthy blood pressure. Mushrooms are considered one of the highest antioxidant superfoods in the world, with potential to help stimulate and regulate your body’s immune system.
As mentioned above, they also provide fantastic levels of potassium, which is essential in lowering high blood pressure, as potassium can help decrease the effects of sodium in the body.
Helps Fight Off Illnesses
Mushrooms have the advantage of being able to fight off illnesses with their rich sources of antioxidants. This mineral can help your body get rid of free radicals that can seriously harm the body’s cells, which can possibly lead to cancer.
Moreover, the high levels of selenium in the superfood can aid in the process of eliminating cancer-causing compounds in the body, as well as help reduce inflammation and the risk of tumor and cardiovascular diseases.
Add Mushrooms to Your Diet!
Due to its fantastic benefits and high levels of protein, it is a great idea to include mushrooms in your plant-based diet! Mushrooms will provide you with all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs and can make you feel fuller for longer, due to their meaty texture.
In truth, some people find that vegetarian products cannot satisfy their appetite as much as meat can, as they can often be lighter and less dense. This makes mushrooms very suitable for those who want to live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle with a plant-based diet but still crave a similar eating experience to meat eaters.
You can enjoy mushrooms raw or include them in a variety of cooked dishes, including soups, stir-fries and pasta. However, it is advised to cook them just slightly or eat them raw, as all of their beneficial nutrients are retained that way.
What about if you don’t particularly enjoy the texture and taste of this superfood? No need to worry! You can still make the most of its vitamins and minerals with powdered supplements, which are simply dried mushrooms ground into a fine powder.
Just mix and blend the powder with other ingredients or into your favourite dishes and receive all the positive benefits of mushrooms.
Begin your journey to a plant-based lifestyle today!