The standard for the name " mushroom " is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word " mushroom " is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing. lamella)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

For what reason Having to eat Mushrooms ?

Mushrooms have been used for centuries for their healing properties. Discover just what they have to offer in terms of nutrition and health.

Mushrooms may not be all that impressive to look at, but they more than make up for their appearance with their incredible nutritional profile. Research continues to serve up impressive discoveries about just what this fungi has to offer.


Healthy Contents of Mushrooms

Mushrooms have rich stores of many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even antibiotics! They contain vitamins A, B,C, and D, iron, calcium, potassium, and copper, and are the best source of selenium for vegetarians.

Mushrooms are naturally fat and cholesterol free, contain very few carbohydrates, and are a good source of lean protein. They are also a good source of fiber; their makeup consists of between 80-90% water and of the 10% dry weight between 8-10% of that is fiber.

It's no surprise that with such an impressive array of nutrients mushrooms have been linked to many positive health benefits. Here are just a few of the positive ways mushrooms can impact health conditions and why.

Mushrooms contain eritadenine, a compound that helps to reduce blood cholesterol. Fibers found in mushrooms, like chitin, can also help in lowering cholesterol.

Cardiovascular heath can be improved by eating mushrooms due to the beta-gluten they contain. The copper in mushrooms can also protect and improve the health of the heart. Mushrooms are also an excellent source of potassium, which lowers blood pressure.

Mushrooms are a great choice for diabetics, as they contain natural enzymes that help the body break down sugar and starch as well as compounds that aid the function of the liver and pancreas.

As a natural source of antibiotics (penicillin comes from mushrooms), mushrooms can greatly enhance the immune system. The Shiitake mushroom contains lentinan, a beta-glucan that stimulates the immune system. Mushrooms have also been found to contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that protects against free-radicals. Vitamins A, B, and C as well as copper also help to boost immune function.

Mushrooms also have cancer-fighting properties. They inhibit the activity of specific enzymes (aromataste and 5-alpha-reductase) that have been linked to breast and prostate cancer. Rich stores of selenium work together with vitamin E found in mushrooms to protect against free-radicals. In addition to this, the presence of beta-glucans and linoleic acid in mushrooms provide anti-carcinogenic effects.

As a source of food for the weight-conscious, mushrooms are an excellent choice. Fat and cholesterol free, low in carbohydrates, and high in fiber and protein, mushrooms provide necessary nutrients while boosting metabolism.

Mushrooms are increasingly easy to find in local supermarkets and quite easy to prepare. Go ahead and try some today!


Sources:

organicfacts.net, "Health Benefits of Mushroom" (July 12, 2010)
healthcastle.com, "Medicinal Mushrooms: Health Benefits Include Cancer Fighting, Cholesterol Lowering and More!" (July 12, 2010)
vegetarian-nutrition.info, "Health Benefits of Mushrooms" (July 12, 2010)
health.pon.net, "Mushrooms and Health" (July 12, 2010)
medicalnewstoday.com, "The Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms" (July 13, 2010)
lifestyle.iloveindia.com, "Benefits of Mushrooms" (July 13, 2010)
lifemojo.com, "Health Benefits of Mushroom" (July 13, 2010)

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