Mushrooms belong to the fungi kingdom and are one of the most widely-enjoyed foods that are beloved by many vegetarians and vegans around the world. The vegetable comes in a variety of types, including maitake, shiitake, cordyceps and king trumpet mushrooms, all containing rich sources of protein and fiber, as well as vitamins and antioxidants.
Due to its excellent nutritional content and health benefits, mushrooms are a member of the superfood family and a great addition to your healthy diet.
Here are five tops reasons why you should eat more mushrooms!
Mushrooms are packed with protein and fiber, containing very few calories and no fat or cholesterol. The superfood is described as the fleshy or fruiting body of a fungus, therefore having a similar texture to meat - perfect for those who are hoping to satisfy a large appetite and feel more full for longer.
Mushrooms are also a good source of beta-glucans which help metabolize fats and sugars in the body. This makes them an ideal addition to your diet if you are actively trying to lose weight by reducing daily calorie and fat intake.
Full of Nutrients
Looking at their nutrition profile, mushrooms offer a surprising amount of nutrients that can greatly benefit your overall health. While they contain excellent sources of fiber and protein and are extremely low in calories, mushrooms also provide lots of B vitamins, selenium, potassium and vitamin D, when exposed to sunlight.
Mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants, as well as copper, vitamin C and iron. B vitamins, like riboflavin, niacin and folate, are essential to many body processes.
The superfood is also one of the few plant-based sources of vitamin D, a nutrient that is important to bone health, muscle and nerve function. Implementing mushrooms into your meals is a great way to boost your intake of vitamin D.
Strengthens Immune System
Food is meant to nourish and fuel our bodies, providing us with the energy we require for the day. Including healthy foods consistently in your meals helps maintain a strong overall health and immune system. Mushrooms definitely fall into the category of healthy foods, as one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world. They have been found to help simulate and regulate the body’s immune system with their fantastic nutrition profile.
Maintains Blood Pressure
Mushrooms offer a healthy dose of potassium. Diets that include natural sources of potassium are essential in reducing high blood pressure, as potassium decreases the effects of sodium in the body. This superfood can therefore be very helpful and of high impact to those with high blood pressure or wanting to maintain a good blood pressure.
Helps Prevent Illnesses
As well as carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins and zucchini, mushrooms offer rich sources of antioxidants which can help your body get rid of free radicals. These are chemicals that can seriously harm the body’s cells, potentially leading to cancer.
Moreover, the superfood provides lots of selenium which helps eliminate cancer-causing compounds in the body. The mineral also decreases inflammation and the risk of tumor and cardiovascular diseases.
How Can I Integrate More Mushrooms Into My Diet?
Because they are considered great sources of protein, mushrooms can be a perfect substitute for meat, making them very suitable for a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet.
You may enjoy them raw or cooked in low-fat dishes, such as salads, wraps, soups, stir-fried and pasta dishes; however, cooking them lightly or eating them raw is the best way to retain all of their beneficial nutrients. Mushrooms are a delicious and amazing addition to a variety of dishes that can suit your unique lifestyle!
Some people do not particularly like the taste of mushrooms or the vegetable’s texture as it irritates their stomachs. So despite their great benefits, they exclude the ingredient from their meals – this is a great shame!
Fortunately a great alternative to fresh mushrooms can be found with powered supplements. If you wish to still implement the nutrients of mushrooms into your diet without dealing with the taste you can opt for dried mushrooms ground into a fine powder. Simply mix or blend the powder with other ingredients or into your meals to avoid the taste and texture of mushrooms while still getting all the positive benefits.
No matter what your preferences are, get the most out of mushroom’s nutritional benefits and begin your journey to a healthy lifestyle today.