Ongoing international research around fresh cultivated mushrooms is increasingly indicating that these readily available, affordable, versatile and delicious treasures from nature are indispensable when it comes to looking after your health.
Reduce the incidence of heart attacks
Excessive salt intake is associated with high blood pressure (or hypertension), which can damage the arteries and lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Fresh mushrooms are one of the best low-sodium food choices we can make as they contain only 14mg of sodium per 100gms! When considering the fact that a low salt diet allows between 400 – 1000 mg of sodium per day – their low sodium content is even more impressive!
Control YOUR weight
A 2010 research study by the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) confirmed fresh mushrooms as a formidable ally to aid weight loss. They have a high nutrient density compared to their KJ/Kcal content (one cup of raw mushrooms contain approximately 20 calories) and provide essential nutrients without hugely increasing calorie intake. It also reduces the consumption of sodium, saturated fat or other compounds linked to poor health.
Ally in the fight against breast cancer
Around the globe stretching from western Australia to California, new breast cancer research studies seem to confirm the dietary link: Mushrooms contain phytochemicals that are found to specifically suppress breast & prostate cancer making them important partners in the battle to win this fight. They also contain a fatty acid, conjugated linoleic acid, that has the ability to inhibit two enzymes called AROMATASE & 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE that are involved in these cancers.
Combats prostate cancer
Selenium is found to have an anti-cancer affect in prostate cancer particularly and mushrooms contain selenium in quantities much higher than any other plant food. Research seems to indicate that an increased intake of selenium decreases the incident of prostate cancer by up to 60%. One serving of Portabellini mushrooms (100gm) provides almost a 1/3 of the daily value for selenium. Portabellas (big browns) and white button mushrooms are also good sources of the nutrient.
Fresh cultivated mushrooms contain important anti-aging antioxidants such as Ergothioneine that fights free radicals. Wheat germ has always been considered an essential source for this antioxidant, but apparently mushrooms contain twelve times more! And as they are readily available and affordable, eating them may be a better long-term anti-ageing investment than those expensive creams!
Vitamin D increases our ability to fight infections by increasing the production of antimicrobial peptides that can destroy viruses, bacteria and fungi. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that naturally contains Vitamin D. A 100g of white button mushrooms contains 4% of the daily requirement of Vitamin D.
Vitamin and mineral booster
Mushrooms are also packed with B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folate (especially important during the early stages of pregnancy) and contain essential minerals: potassium, selenium, phosphorous and copper and small, but nutritionally important, amounts of iron.
Lower blood pressure
Recommended lifestyle changes to control your blood pressure include attaining and keeping a healthy weight, cutting back on salt and eating more foods rich in potassium.
Fresh mushrooms are high in potassium. In fact most people may be surprised to learn that while orange juice is touted as one of the highest potassium foods, one medium Portabella mushroom or five white button mushrooms have more potassium than an orange!
Increases red blood cell production
Mushrooms provide a significant amount of copper – one of the essential minerals that help our body to produce red blood cells to function efficiently. A cup of stir-fried white button mushrooms provides 0.3 milligram of copper, which is about one-third of the recommended daily intake for adults.
The king of Umami
While many ingredients have umami, there is one that stands alone as the king of umami: fresh mushrooms! Mushrooms not only deliver plenty of umami on their own, they actually intensify the umami of the other ingredients, an effect called “synergy.” This means that by adding mushrooms to just about any savoury dish, everything else in the dish will taste even better!
So there you have it! Fresh mushrooms are the ultimate trump card – delicious and angelically good for you too! Now all you have to do is make sure that you throw a handful of mushrooms into every dish you serve!