“Mushrooms are rich in copper, niacin, biotin and riboflavin”
When it comes to nutritious food, mushrooms are not high on many people’s list. Due to the numerous myths associated with these tiny umbrella shaped outgrowths, many people refrain from adding them to their everyday diets. Though there are a few poisonous varieties of mushrooms, a number of them are in fact edible. Mushrooms are so unique that they belong to a separate kingdom though they are sometimes classified as a vegetable.
There are different varieties of mushrooms like Portobello, Shiitake and Button and all of these are rich in vitamin D and iron along with other essential nutrients. Mushrooms are low in calories, sodium and are cholesterol and fat-free. There are other health benefits of mushrooms, some of which include:
- Beneficial for anaemic people – Mushrooms contain over 90 per cent of nutritive iron that can be easily absorbed in the body.
- Help manage cholesterol levels – They are beneficial in helping lower cholesterol levels as they contain no cholesterol or fat and are very low in carbohydrates. The lean protein content in mushrooms helps in burning cholesterol in the body when digested.
- Effective in combating breast and prostate cancers – Due to the significant presence of various polysaccharides, like beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, mushrooms are very effective in preventing breast and prostate cancers. Linoleic acid suppresses oestrogen levels in women, thereby reducing the chances of breast cancer while beta-glucans inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in prostate.
- Ideal for diabetics – They have no fats, are low on carbohydrates, high in protein and are a rich source of minerals and vitamins, they are considered to be the best food for diabetics.
- Improve bone health – Mushrooms are rich in calcium which is very essential in strengthening bones.
- Contains rare vitamin D – Vitamin D is rarely found in vegetables, with edible forms not being particularly common. Mushrooms have this essential vitamin that can facilitate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
- Contains selenium – They are classified as fungi that feed off animal and plant matter, mushrooms are the best way to obtain selenium.
- They are also good for the skin as they are rich in copper, niacin, biotin and riboflavin.
Few facts to remember about Mushrooms
- Mushrooms should never be eaten raw.
- Decayed or old mushrooms should also be avoided.
- Mushrooms that look like wide-open umbrellas with white rings and milky gills around the stem are nature’s deadliest poisons.
A note of caution
These innocuous looking buttons can be highly toxic! Not all are good to eat. Most species of mushrooms are highly poisonous and unless one is trained or has a good knowledge in differentiating between the edible and poisonous ones, it is best to consume those that have been cleaned and packed in stores. You can also talk to our team of dietitians at your nearest Apollo clinics on your next visit to know about the benefits of mushrooms.