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Health Benefits of Mushroom, Uses And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2020

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Mushrooms have to be cooked to get their nutritional benefits as their cell walls are indigestible if not exposed to heat. However, mushrooms contain a few nutrients and vitamins which provide quite a few health benefits. Consumption of mushrooms helps to fight different types of cancer, regulates blood cholesterol levels, and thus helps to fight diabetes. Mushrooms aid in strengthening our immune system and also help to lose weight.

Here we discuss how adding Mushrooms in your food diet, can change your health. Since it offers numerous health benefits not only to toddlers but also for adults. Mushrooms good for eye health, high blood pressure problems, and even people suffering from thyroid and kidney problems can easily consume. Hundreds of food recipes can be created with Mushrooms.

What are Mushroom?

Mushrooms, belonging to the family ‘Agaricus’, are not plants although they are classified as vegetables in the food kingdom. Mushrooms belong to the fungi kingdom and contain a host of essential nutrients. Mushrooms are actually saprophytes, organisms that depend on dead and decaying animal and plant matter for their nutrition.

The body of the mushroom is generally spread over a large area and is hardly noticed. The part of the mushroom that we see is actually only the ‘fruit’ of the vegetable. There are thousands of varieties of mushroom-forming fungi across the world but scientists have been able to identify only about 10 percent of them.

Nutritional Value of Mushroom

Mushrooms are very good natural sources of Vitamin D.Check out Mushroom nutritional value, it contain germanium, a trace mineral, selenium, an anti-oxidant mineral as well as other minerals like copper, niacin, potassium and phosphorus. They are also rich in Vitamin C, protein, calcium and iron. Furthermore, mushrooms also contain insoluble chitin and soluble beta glucans which are extremely beneficial for our health.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

0.3 g
Total Fat
318 mg
3.3 g
Total Carbohydrate
3.1 g

Vitamins and Minerals in Mushrooms

Vitamin D
3 %
Vitamin C
2 %
5 %
Vitamin B-6
2 %

Amazing Health Benefits of Mushroom

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Mushroom. You can make healthy mushroom snacks, soups and recipes offer right amount of nutritonal value.

Mushrooms Helps to fight cancer

Mushrooms are rich in anti-oxidants that fight against the harmful free radicals in our body. If not acted upon, these free radicals tend to harm our body cells which might eventually lead to cancer. Selenium is a mineral found in mushrooms that facilitates the functioning of our liver enzymes and thus helps to detoxify certain cancer-causing compounds in our body. Vitamin D is also present in mushrooms which regulates the cell growth cycle and prevents the growth of cancer cells.

Mushroom good for cholesterol level

Mushrooms have no cholesterol or fat and are very low in carbohydrates. They however contain fiber and other enzymes that help to lower cholesterol levels. Mushrooms are also rich in lean protein content that helps to burn cholesterol. Thus consumption of mushrooms helps to regulate cholesterol levels and protects your heart.

Mushroom good for heart patients

Mushrooms contain fiber, vitamin C and potassium which help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Mushrooms have high potassium content and low sodium content and this combination helps to lower blood pressure. This in turn helps to prevent the risks associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. You can consume cream of mushroom soup for heartburn problems and acid reflux.

Mushrooms helps to treat anemia

Anemia is caused due to the deficiency of iron and is characterized by fatigue, headaches, digestive issues and reduced neural friction. Consumption of reishi mushrooms soup help to prevent these symptoms as they are rich in iron. Iron helps in the formation of red blood cells and ensures that we remain healthy and fully functional.

Mushrooms good for bones and osteoporosis problem

Mushroom contains calcium which helps to strengthen our bones and also aids in bone formation. Thus incorporating mushrooms in your diet will provide the necessary calcium that is required for your bones. This will delay or prevent the onset of conditions like osteoporosis and other ailments related to degradation of bones like lack of mobility and joint pain.

Mushrooms helps to prevent inflammation

Mushroom contains a powerful anti-oxidant called ergothioneine that helps to prevent inflammation. A particular type of mushroom, known as reishi mushroom, helps to fight diseases, lowers inflammation, and reduces tumor growth and allergic reactions. These reishi mushrooms have been used for their anti-inflammatory properties for thousands of years in Asia.

Mushrooms increases absorption of iron

The copper content in mushroom helps to get iron properly absorbed from food and also facilitates its proper utilization by getting it released from the primary storage spots of our body like liver. Copper and iron work present in Mushrooms together to ensure that we have healthy bones and they also prevent anemia.

Reishi mushroom for immune system

Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, an amino acid containing sulphur, which is a powerful anti-oxidant and helps to increase body immunity. This compound helps to remove all the free radicals which tend to cause various diseases in our body. Mushrooms also contain natural antibiotics which prevent growth of microbes and other fungal infections. Furthermore, mushroom good for immune support, the presence of Vitamin A, B-complex and C in mushrooms also helps to strengthen our body immunity.

Mushroom diet for weight loss

Mushrooms are rich in proteins and dietary fibers but they are very low in carbohydrates and have negligible amounts of fat or cholesterol.

Beta-glucans and chitin are the two types of dietary fibers present in mushroom and they help to increase satiety and reduce appetite. These dietary fibers in mushrooms make you feel fuller and help reduce the intake of calories.

You can make various mushroom recipes for weight loss management. Add this amazing vegetable in your diet plan.

Uses of Mushroom

White button mushrooms are the most cultivated and it is widely used as an ingredient in both dishes and sauces. Mushrooms have Vitamin D, selenium and anti-oxidants and thus are beneficial for our skin and thus are used widely in topical creams, serums and facial preparations. It is widely believed to have skin-whitening capabilities. Due to the presence of iron, consumption of mushrooms also helps to prevent hair loss. They are rich in nutrients and rank higher than most vegetables and fruits in their nutrient density.


Side-Effects & Allergies of Mushroom

It is not easy for a layman to differentiate wild mushrooms from healthy mushrooms. Consumption of wild mushrooms may result in severe illnesses in humans and can even cause death. As beta-glucans present in mushroom stimulate immune function, people with autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, asthma and multiple sclerosis should avoid consuming it.

Cultivation of Mushroom

It is believed that mushroom was first cultivated in Asia during 600 A.D. Mushrooms were introduced to Asia in the 17th century and to Netherlands, the third largest producer of mushrooms, in the beginning of the 19th century. The ancient Romans consumed mushrooms while the Aztecs and the Egyptians considered it be the ‘food of the Gods.’ However, in the middle of the 17th century, a French cultivator accidentally found mushrooms and began to cultivate it. This marked the beginning of the history of cultivated mushrooms. Today, hina and the United States are the world’s largest producers of mushrooms.

Mushrooms are not plants and they require conditions which are drastically different that those required by plants to grow. Mushrooms do not essentially require sunlight but depend on their growth medium to get all their energy and growth materials through the biochemical decomposition process. It is required to expand a stock of mycelium so that there is enough mycelial mass for the fungi to transform into a mass of fruiting bodies i.e. mushrooms. It is essential to use moist and sugar-rich substrates for the fungus to grow and all harmful bacteria and fungi that may consume the substrate are to be removed. After the growth of sufficient mycelium, the fungus should be placed in a humid environment, the temperature should be decreased and some light along with fresh air should be allowed to reach the fungus. This will stimulate the transformation of the mycelium into fleshy mushrooms.


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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
    Reviewed By
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist

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