Here's Why Mushrooms Should Be Your Diet Staple

Below we list numerous benefits of consuming mushrooms regularly.

Here's Why Mushrooms Should Be Your Diet Staple

Some mushrooms contain compounds with potent anticancer properties

Mushrooms are a type of fungus that typically grow above ground, whereas other types of fungi grow underneath the soil. They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, and have been consumed as food for thousands of years due to their unique taste and texture.

In terms of health, mushrooms are generally considered to be nutritious. They are low in calories and fat, while being rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They are also a good source of protein for vegetarians and can provide important nutrients like vitamin D, potassium, and selenium. Keep reading as we list numerous benefits of consuming mushrooms regularly.

10 Health benefits of consuming mushrooms:

1. Nutrient-rich

Mushrooms are low in calories but high in essential nutrients like vitamins (B vitamins, vitamin D), minerals (iron, potassium), and antioxidants, which can support overall health and well-being.

2. Immune system support

Certain mushrooms, such as shiitake and maitake, contain compounds like beta-glucan that have been shown to enhance immune system function. These compounds stimulate the production of immune cells and enhance their activity against pathogens.

3. Antioxidant activity

Mushrooms contain antioxidants like selenium and ergothioneine, which help protect the body's cells from oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals. This can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancers.

4. Anti-inflammatory properties

Certain compounds found in mushrooms, such as triterpenes, have been found to possess anti-inflammatory effects. Regular consumption of mushrooms may help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation.

5. Digestive health

Mushrooms are a good source of dietary fibre, which supports healthy digestion and can prevent constipation. Additionally, certain types of mushrooms contain prebiotic fibres that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which play a key role in maintaining overall gut health.

6. Weight management

Mushrooms are low in calories, but their high fibre content helps create a feeling of fullness and reduces overall calorie intake. They can be a great addition to a weight management diet by providing volume without significantly increasing calorie consumption.

7. Cardiovascular health

Regular mushroom consumption has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. The bioactive compounds found in mushrooms, such as beta-glucan and antioxidants, may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease.

8. Brain health

Some varieties of mushrooms, particularly lion's mane, have been shown to contain compounds that can enhance cognitive function and support brain health. These compounds may stimulate the growth of neurones and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

9. Blood sugar control

Certain mushroom varieties, including reishi and shiitake, contain compounds that may have a positive impact on blood sugar control. They can help regulate glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity, making them beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing it.

10. Cancer prevention

Some mushrooms contain compounds with potent anticancer properties. For example, compounds like lentinan and other polysaccharides found in shiitake mushrooms exhibit anti-tumour effects by enhancing the body's immune response against cancer cells.

Moreover, mushrooms are known to have several potential health benefits. They can boost the immune system, support heart health, help manage blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and even have anti-cancer properties. However, it is important to note that the specific health benefits may vary depending on the type of mushroom consumed.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.