Usually thought of as a vegetable, a mushroom is a fungus that is full of nutrients that can boost the immune system and combat many diseases and conditions.
Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and calories and high in B vitamins, chitin, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium and zinc. They also contain high levels of beta-glucans, compounds that keep immune cells alert, and ergothioneine, an important antioxidant. Mushrooms also contain germanium, a nutrient that boosts oxygen use in the body and fights free radical damage.
Over 200 mushroom species are used in Chinese medicine and 25% have been found to fight tumors.
Numerous studies are finding that cordyceps mushrooms can fight cancer by inhibiting cancer cell division and growth. Cordyceps interfere with how cancer cells make proteins and stop metastatic spread of cancerous tumors.
Maitake mushrooms have improved the health of AIDs patients and the blood sugar levels of diabetics. They may also reduce hypertension. Maitake enhances the immune system and stops the growth of tumors
Oyster mushrooms ease tendon tightness and strengthen blood vessel walls. They are very rich in iron and can help combat anemia.
Reishi mushrooms have been getting a lot of attention. Their beta-glucans increase T-cell levels in the immune system which can help people suffering from immune disorders.
This immune boost can help reduce cancer cell growth and the spread of tumors.
Reishi mushrooms contain ganoderic acids that lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of blood clots and even help to correct arrhythmia.
Reishi also contains lanostan, a natural antihistamine that can treat arthritis and muscle aches.
This “medicine of kings” can improve memory and concentration and act as a sleep aid and calming stress-buster.
Reishi, however, is a bitter and woody mushroom.
Shiitakes contain lentinan, a substance that can heal chromosome damage caused by anti-cancer treatments.
The eritadenine in shiitakes can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Lentinula edodes mycelium (LEM) in shiitake mushrooms helps prevent and treat cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, high blood pressure and infectious diseases.
White mushrooms have more copper, potassium, protein and selenium than either oyster or shiitake mushrooms.
Porcinis, portabellas and morels are also mushrooms loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.
Mushrooms and vitamin D
Your best source of vitamin D is the sun, but there are very few good food sources of vitamin D as well. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to everything from depression and osteoporosis to heart disease and cancer.
Foods fortified with vitamin D usually have a form that isn’t easily metabolized in the body. Mushrooms contain a form of a vitamin D precursor that can be transformed into usable vitamin D with the addition of ultraviolet light.
Exposing mushrooms to UV light for just five minutes creates 100% of our recommended daily allowance of vitamin D.
You just can’t go wrong going mad for mushrooms.
Healthy Recipes with Mushrooms