Are they a miracle? Can they protect against cancer? And even help manage type 2 diabetes?
These functional foods can do it all. And the best part is that you can enjoy all the health benefits right from your garden.
You guessed it. Growing mushrooms is super fun and beneficial for your health.
If you are thinking about growing your own mushrooms and enjoying the many health benefits they have to offer, check out this guide to learn more.
Mushrooms contain many beneficial nutrients including protein, fiber, and micronutrients, as well as the following vitamins:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
These nutrients offer a range of health benefits that help you feel your best while protecting your body against harmful damage.
It is estimated that 50% of all the mushrooms produced are considered functional or medicinal. The FDA states that medicinal foods are foods that are specially formulated and processed for a patient who requires the use of them as a major component of a condition’s specific dietary management.
Mushrooms have been known for their positive health effects on heart health. They have been known to lower cholesterol and promote healthy blood pressure levels.
Mushrooms also contain phytonutrients, which are chemicals produced by plants. This comes from the Greek word “phyto” meaning plant. Though these nutrients are non-essential they do offer some impressive health benefits, such as:
- Improved immune health
- Improved eye/ brain health
- Protection against cardiovascular disease
- Decreased inflammation
One of the most important minerals to help regulate blood pressure is potassium. One medium white mushroom (18g) contains 57 mg of potassium. The recommended daily intake for a healthy adult is between 3,500 and 4,700 mg.
Another important compound in mushrooms is beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide that helps boost the immune system, improve cholesterol, and also boost heart health.
The healing properties of beta-glucan from mushrooms have been known for thousands of years.
Protect Against Cancer
Another huge function of beta-glucan is that it has anti-tumor properties, and may help protect the body against cancer. Beta-glucan works by interacting with cell surface receptors, promoting anticarcinogenic effects. Thanks to this, beta-glucans are also used as a complement to cancer chemotherapy.
There have been many studies done to show the effectiveness of mushrooms in preventing tumors. One study, in particular, showed that the greater the intake of mushrooms, the lower the risk of breast cancer development.
Another study, conducted in China, concluded that women who ate about one mushroom a day decreased their risk of developing breast cancer by about 64%.
Boost Your Immune System
Mushrooms are very well known for their immune-boosting properties. There is extensive research on the anti-inflammatory effects and how this helps prevent disease.
Chronic inflammation can lead to several of the most prominent diseases today including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Crohns Disease
Inflammation is a natural function of the body to help protect itself. But if it’s not taken care of, it could lead to even more serious diseases like:
There was a study done on healthy young adults who were given either 5g or 10g of shiitake mushrooms daily for 4 weeks. The results showed that the mushrooms boosted the participant’s immune system, decreased inflammation, and improved cell function.
Growing mushrooms is easy, and its super fun to watch them grow. If you are interested in growing shiitake mushrooms and unlocking all these amazing health benefits, check out this shiitake grow kit.
Mushrooms also have positive effects on your gut bacteria. Mushrooms act as prebiotics to feed and help promote the growth of helpful gut bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut, and the prebiotics helps the probiotics thrive.
Studies have shown a strong correlation between changes in gut bacteria, and the development of obesity. Obesity is a disease that can trigger numerous other health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mental illness
The University of Calgary in Canada conducted a study on overweight or obese participants, and the effects prebiotics had on body fat composition. They were randomly selected to receive either a prebiotic or a maltodextrin placebo for 16 weeks.
After the 16 weeks were up, the results showed that the participants receiving the prebiotic had significant decreases in bodyweight z score (-3.1%), body fat (-2.4%), and percent trunk fat (-3.8%).
Other benefits of having a healthy gut bacteria balance have been linked to:
- A stronger immune system
- Improved cognitive health
- Higher energy levels
- Lower cholesterol
- Stabilized hormone levels
- Better quality of life
Mushrooms area great source of B vitamins. B vitamins are propounded to promote higher energy levels. This is very true, but another benefit that many don’t know is the positive effect B-vitamins have on your brain health.
One of the main vitamins found in mushrooms is choline. Choline is an essential B-vitamin that is necessary to synthesize phosphatidylcholine. Choline has many benefits including positive effects on brain and heart health.
A study done on the effects mushrooms have on cognitive health was conducted in Singapore. The study consisted of 663 participants over the age of 60 who had either 2 or more servings of mushrooms per week, 1 to 2 servings per week, or had very few mushrooms in their diet.
The study went on for about 6 years and concluded mushrooms and their compounds may help delay neurodegeneration, which are symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The participants that ate 1 to 2 servings of mushrooms were 43% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment, and the participants who had 2 or more servings per week had a 52% reduced risk.
Mushrooms are delicious and nutritious. Why not reap the benefits from the comforts of your home. Growing mushrooms has never been so easy.
They are super fun to watch grow and we have made it very easy with our mushroom grow kits. Purchasing a kit, especially for beginners, is a smart idea to get started. With the kits, the mushrooms are ready to grow as soon as you receive them.
So go get your mushroom growing kit, watch them grow and develop, and you too can experience the health benefits associated with these functional foods.