• The Health Benefits of Button Mushrooms

    The Health Benefits of Mushrooms.

    Button mushrooms, also known as crimini mushrooms are the worlds most frequently eaten mushroom and are fast becoming a considered 'super food'.
    They have been grown since prehistoric times and were consumed by hunter gatherers, unfortunately, due to their time line of existence it is difficult to pinpoint their origin, although historians think it is most likely to be Asia.

    Mushrooms were thought to have special powers and the Egyptians believed the mushrooms granted them immortality and were considered a food for the Gods; whilst Folklore in Mexico, China and Russia believed that mushrooms offered them super human strength.

    Mushrooms, although commonly thought of as a vegetable, are actually fungi, a living organism with no roots, seeds, leaves or flowers, in fact, technically they are not even plants.

    Our immune system relies heavily on our white blood cells to protect us from disease and environmental attacks. Mushrooms have been found to have an affect on three types of white blood cells, these are monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. The role mushrooms play can vary depending upon the need at the time, they can trigger white blood cells to become more or less active as is required by the body.

    Mushrooms have excellent antioxidant properties which can help to protect our DNA from damage. Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits mushrooms can help to protect the blood vessels against oxidative damage, this protection helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also worth remembering that cancer begins with the development of chronic inflammation and poor nutrient intake, as well as chronic oxidative stress and lack of antioxidant nutrients. A daily intake of mushrooms can help to reduce chronic inflammation and this is achieved by blocking the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.

    These commonly found fungi are an excellent form of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), a unique type of fatty acid which can lesson the production of oestrogen, this may offer some good news to woman who are at risk of developing oestrogen dependant breast cancer. CLAs power is in its ability to bind to aromatase enzymes which reduces their ability to produce oestrogen, thereby reducing the risk of hormone related breast cancer. These benefits are not unique to women, the CLA also blocks a second type of enzyme known as 5-Alpha reductase which is linked with an increase risk of prostate cancer.

    Fresh mushrooms have also been shown to be a valuable source of vitamin B12, however the amount varies greatly from mushroom to mushroom, this is due to the natural bacteria growing on the surface of the mushroom, the varied growing conditions also affects the availability of this valuable vitamin.
    Vitamin B12 is just one of the many B-vitamins that mushrooms contain, and it may be due to this rich source of B-vitamins that mushrooms offer excellent cardiovascular benefits.

    Mushrooms have peaked a special interest in the field of cancer fighting foods, Although mushrooms have the ability to directly impact on white blood cells, their influence does not end there. Mushrooms can also promote apoptosis, or programmed cell death, this can result in the cancer cell dying and thereby preventing the spread of cancer among healthy cells. In fact, incredibly, the bodies ability to detect and de-activate cancer cells is enhanced by the consumption of mushrooms, the biological substances found in mushrooms are shown to help prevent cancer cells from forming or recurring.

    The daily consumption of button mushrooms can also play an important role in reducing your total cholesterol by up to 65 percent, your LDL cholesterol by as much as 54 percent and your triglycerides by as much as a whopping 70%.
    Beta-glucan is a form of soluble fiber found in mushrooms that has been found to interfere with the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream. Mevinolin also found in mushrooms inhibits a key enzyme used to make cholesterol within the body.

    Nutrients found in button mushrooms.

    A closer look at the nutrients and their benefits to your health.

    Copper - Mineral

    - Helps to maintain blood volume
    - Produces energy in your cells from carbohydrates
    - Supports the building of strong tissue
    - Involved in the manufacturing of collagen
    - Helps maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol
    - Assists in the prevention of premature ageing
    - Reduces the symptoms of arthritis
    - Maintains eye colour
    - Helps regulate the heart beat
    - Promotes quick wound healing

    Selenium - Mineral

    - Antioxidant, fights free radicals
    - Helps promote a healthy thyroid function
    - Helps to slow down the signs of ageing
    - Helps to excrete mercury from the body
    - Supports a healthy cardiovascular function
    - Improves sperm motility

    Vitamin B2
    - Riboflavin

    - Helps to produce energy from food
    - Antioxidant, fights free radicals
    - Helps to metabolise fats and protein
    - Assists in the proper functioning of the nervous system
    - Helps to synthesise vitamins B6 and folate
    - Improves eye health/

    Pantothenic Acid
    - Vitamin B5

    - Helps alleviate respiratory conditions
    - Reduces stress and anxiety
    - Promotes a healthy functioning immune system
    - Helps to prevent hair loss
    - Aids in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates
    - Helps to regulate cholesterol levels
    - Supports a healthy nervous system
    - Promotes a healthy functioning liver
    - Helps to reduce inflammation, dryness and pain in the eyes

    Vitamin B3 - Niacin

    - Helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels
    - Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
    - Balances blood sugar levels
    - Helps to reduce acne
    - Helps to improve skin health
    - Supports proper neurological function
    - Helps protect against Alzheimer's disease
    - Helps to promote joint mobility
    - Can help prevent erectile dysfunction
    - Helps to improve digestion

    Phosphorus - Mineral
    - Maintains healthy cell function
    - Helps in maintaining healthy strong bones
    - Helps to release energy from food
    - Promotes a healthy acid-base balance
    - Helps to facilitate digestion
    - Helps in the synthesis of protein

    Potassium - Mineral
    - Supports a healthy nervous system
    - Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
    - Maintains a healthy kidney function
    - Regulates fluid balance
    - Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
    - Helps to improve bone and muscle health
    - Helps to reduce anxiety

    Zinc - Mineral

    - Supports a healthy immune system
    - Promotes healthy, clear skin
    - Helps to maintain vision and works well with vitamin A
    - Promotes a healthy male reproduction system
    - Can aid in the prevention of eczema
    - Supports a healthy sense of smell and taste
    - Supports weight loss by suppressing appetite
    - Essential for repair and function of DNA
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. Cassandra's Avatar
      Cassandra -
      For many years I didn't eat mushrooms, I find them slimey. But then I tried small amounts of raw mushroom in a salad and it was a completely new experience, no slime, nice taste and texture.

      Although, I only stick to button mushrooms, I'm not brave enough to try the more exotic varieties.

      After reading this article, I'll try and incorporate a few more into my diet.
    1. Emma's Avatar
      Emma -
      I'm not a big lover of mushrooms, can you recommend any ways in which I can get the benefits of mushrooms without actually eating them?
    1. Deena's Avatar
      Deena -
      Quote Originally Posted by Emma View Post
      I'm not a big lover of mushrooms, can you recommend any ways in which I can get the benefits of mushrooms without actually eating them?

      I'm not a big lover of mushrooms, I don't like them cooked, but I find them palatable in small quantities raw. Have you tried that?
      If that is not your thing, You can buy supplements of mushrooms to help boost your immune system. It might be worth considering investing in these in readiness for the winter months.
    1. Deena's Avatar
      Deena -

      This is worth a try with some good write ups. Ive put a link to the cheapest place Ive seen these on the web.

    1. Deena's Avatar
      Deena -
      Sorry admin about the image being so big
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