Ever wonder how much the common edible mushroom benefits your health? We know they are delicious when added to dishes, sauteed, added to veggie smoothies, teas, salads, etc. but which method of consumption has more advantages to your overall well-being; raw or cooked? When exposed to heat, the cellular wall of the mushroom breaks down and allows the beneficial compounds to become bio-available. This means your body then has the ability to absorb and utilize the goodness that our fungi friends provide! Below, is some information that is often overlooked in our culture while countries such as Japan and China have known and used mushrooms for thousands of years to maintain and improve health.
Mushrooms contain essential amino acids, protein, beta glucans, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals such as; B and D vitamins, potassium, zinc, magnesium and more! Acting as a prebiotic, detoxifier and fortifier of the immune function, they are low in calories, low in fat, cholesterol free and high in antioxidants. All of these benefits are fundamentals for a nutritious diet. The complex combination of beneficial compounds are unlocked when heated.
Add mushrooms to soups, sauces, sautés and if you have a supplement powder form you can also add to tea, coffee, smoothies, yogurt. Get creative with this nutritional addition to your meals and beverages! Many species are considered to be gourmet mushrooms including Lion's Mane, Chantarelles, Shiitake, Maitake, Morel, Oyster mushrooms, Portobello and Cremini (which are the same mushroom in different stages of the life cycle). Several gems can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store! Most are found while foraging in their natural habitat.
If you aren't too keen on the taste of mushrooms you can always supplement your diet with capsules or bulk powder. There is always a way to incorporate them into anyone's daily regimen!
We should not ignore that fact that edible mushrooms contribute essential and beneficial properties that our bodies need and provide building blocks for good health. If included in our daily diet, we will improve our health, which also contributes to our disposition of mind and body! With all of the research that has been and continues to be done, we should consider routinely adding mushrooms to our meals. They are important just like fruit, vegetables, grain, nuts and meat: hence, the forgotten food group! In addition, always remember to drink plenty of water, get exercise as well as eating healthy. Get some sunshine while simultaneously getting Vitamin D to improve bone health and aid in mood elevation when you're down. At night, relax muscles from head to toe, breathe long slow breaths, know that you are okay just the way you are as you prepare for the day's end and for a good night sleep. Enhance health, enjoy life! Take care of the only body you have and add the forgotten food group to your food pyramid. Be well, be healthy on your journey!