Last updated on November 9th, 2021 at 01:23 pm
Today on “Meet the Plant” we will be learning all about the amazing benefits of mushrooms which are readily available everywhere and super affordable.
Did you know that most commercial mushrooms are actually the same mushroom, but simply in different stages of growth? They do however share the same common medicinal traits. Other rarer mushrooms (depending on where you live) like shiitake, reishi, wildwood ear, etc, are classified as super mushrooms with extraordinary healing properties. All types of mushrooms contain a varying degree of fiber, protein, B-vitamins, as well as vitamin D. They are also known for having anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
What are mushrooms good for?
Rich in antioxidants
All mushrooms fall under the cleaning category. All mushrooms with the expectations of oyster and maitake contain an amino acid called ergothioneine that can help reduce inflammation.
When eaten raw mushrooms contain a much higher level of chitin and beta-glucan (prebiotic oligosaccharides) which are very beneficial for friendly gut bacteria.
White button mushrooms are one of the very few non-animal sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, hormone balance, immune function, and cancer presentation.
Cancer prevention properties
Shittake mushrooms specifically contain lentinan, which is rich in anticancer, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. It also supports and boosts immune function by stimulating white cell production.
What about all the different kinds of mushrooms?
Shittake mushrooms contain lentinan, a compound that consists of anti-cancer properties, and is also helpful in keeping the blood from getting “sticky.”
Reishi is a great everyday mushroom with good general properties such as antiallergic and antiviral properties.
Wood Ear Mushrooms
Wood ear mushrooms are wonderful for helping to control blood sugar and it also has high levels of anticancer, anticoagulant, and cholesterol-fighting properties.
White Button Mushrooms
Even these readily available mushrooms have been shown to support immune function.
How to get the most from mushrooms?
♦ Cleaning the mushrooms. Most store-bought mushrooms have already been washed, while wild forage mushrooms need a brief wash or brush. This does not affect the quality of the mushrooms.
♦ Cook the mushrooms. Cooking mushrooms actually increases their starch, fiber, and fat content. It also frees up more antioxidants such as carotenoids and ferulic acid. Cooking does however destroy some of the vitamin C content.
♦ Place your mushrooms in the sun. Mushrooms absorb vitamin D from the sun, so this is a simple way to get some extra vitamin D from food, instead of supplements.
Some exotic mushrooms are rather hard to find, if this is the case you can always purchase them dried. To reconstitute, simply soak in boiling water. Remember to save the water (it will be filled with delicious nutrients) and add it to broths, stocks, soups, or stews.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
I get all my dried or powder mushrooms from Mountain Rose Herbs!