Menu

Health Benefits of Eating Mushrooms…

B Vitamins

Mushrooms contain some of the most potent natural medicines on the planet. About 100 species of mushrooms are being studied for their health-promoting benefits. As a defense against bacterial invasion, fungi have developed strong antibodies, which also happen to be effective for us humans. Penicillin, streptomycin, and tetracycline all come from fungal extracts. Mushrooms also provide a number of nutrients. They are a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.

  • Pantothenic acid helps with the production of hormones and also plays an important role in the nervous system.
  • Riboflavin helps maintain healthy red blood cells.
  • Niacin promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly.

Important Minerals

  • Selenium is a mineral that works as an antioxidant to protect body cells from damage that might lead to heart disease, some cancers and other diseases of aging. It also has been found to be important for the immune system and fertility in men. Many foods of animal origin and grains are good sources of selenium, but mushrooms are among the richest sources of selenium in the produce aisle and provide 8-22 mcg per serving4. This is good news for vegetarians, whose sources of selenium are limited.
  • Ergothioneine is a naturally occurring antioxidant that also may help protect the body’s cells. Mushrooms provide 2.8-4.9 mg of ergothioneine per serving of white, portabella or crimini mushrooms.
  • Copper helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Copper also helps keep bones and nerves healthy.
  • Potassium is an important mineral many people do not get enough of. It aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure. It also plays a role in making sure nerves and muscles, including the heart, function properly. Mushrooms have 98-376 mg of potassium per 84 gram serving, which is 3-11 percent of the Daily Value.

Antioxidants

Mushrooms are the leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium in the produce aisle. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They help to strengthen the immune system, as well. In addition, mushrooms provide ergothioneine, a naturally occurring antioxidant that may help protect the body’s cells.

Weight Management

Mushrooms are hearty and filling. Preliminary research suggests increasing intake of low-energy-density foods (meaning few calories given the volume of food), specifically mushrooms, in place of high-energy-density foods, like lean ground beef, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal.

Nutritional information courtesy mushroominfo.com in association with mushroomcouncil.org.

Hold on a second... say that again?

The largest living organism ever found is a honey mushroom, Armillaria ostoyae. It covers 3.4 square miles of land in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon, and it's still growing!