If you’ve ever noticed that when you eat mushrooms, it feels like your problems melt away, you’re on to something! Medicine mushrooms—a name given to certain mushrooms that have medicinal properties—offer several health benefits, including reducing stress and improving immune function. Though they are not recognized as medical foods by the United States Food and Drug Administration, these healthful mushrooms can help you lead a healthier, happier life! To learn more about the benefits of adding medicine mushrooms to your diet, keep reading this article.
1) Reduce Fatigue
Medicine mushrooms are a great supplement for reducing fatigue levels. They contain many B vitamins and antioxidants that can help the body produce energy. These fungi are also a good source of iron, which is needed for the production of hemoglobin and other proteins in the blood. Iron is important because it’s what carries oxygen around the body to keep you healthy and feeling energized.
2) Boost Immunity
Medicine mushrooms have been shown to boost the immune system and therefore decrease the risks for disease. In one study, people who ate a meal with about half a cup of shiitake mushrooms showed an increase in cells that fight infections by 20% and decreased levels of a molecule linked with inflammation by 10%. The same was found for white button mushrooms when they were cooked at high temperatures. This could help people with asthma or allergies because inflammation is linked to these conditions.
3) Protect Against Cancer
These mushrooms are known for their anticancer properties. Some studies have shown that adding these mushrooms to your diet can help reduce the risk of cancer. One study found that women who ate more than 1.6 ounces per day had a 40% lower risk of developing endometrial cancer than those who consumed less than one ounce per week. This same study also found that there was a significant reduction in breast cancer rates as well, but the research is not yet conclusive. It’s clear that we need more research on this topic, but it’s promising nonetheless.
4) Lower Cholesterol
Medicine mushrooms are a good source of soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol. Soluble fiber is not digested by the body, but it slows down digestion and keeps blood sugar levels steady. This is great for people who suffer from diabetes or anyone looking to lose weight. Also, because they don’t contain any cholesterol themselves, they can help lower total cholesterol levels.
5) Improve Digestion
Medicine mushrooms have a long history as being beneficial for digestive health. In fact, many people find that eating just one or two pieces can help cure their upset stomach, diarrhea, and bloating. It’s said that mushrooms are so good at helping digestion because they contain a large number of enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids. Some varieties also contain Beta-glucans which can also boost immunity and help lower cholesterol levels. For more information about mushrooms please check: Fungi Magazine