Mushrooms in the diet – is it worth eating?

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Mushrooms, although they are treated as plants, belong to the separate kingdom – the kingdom of fungi in the category of systematics. Mushrooms, although they contain a lot of water, can provide the body with essential nutrients. 

Vegetables and fruits are very colorful, and their color reflects the content of individual vitamins, minerals and natural dyes, e.g. beta-carotene, chromium. Mushrooms are not so colorful and effective, but it does not mean that they do not contain any nutrients. Consuming mushrooms can bring consumers not only taste but also some health benefits. 

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Mushrooms – unprocessed food 

Remember that mushrooms are low-processed food. We only subject them to a heat treatment during cooking, frying or baking. Nutritionists agree, however, that the high intake of low-processed food contributes to reducing the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

A source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins 

Little is said about the fact that mushrooms are a source of antioxidants (eg antioxidants) such as, for example, ergotionein and glutathione – their highest concentration contains boletus. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that fight free radicals that can damage the body’s cells and lead to the development of many diseases, including cancer. In addition, mushrooms contain more selenium than vegetables and fruits. This mineral is needed for enzyme production, cleansing the body and good thyroid function. It has been proved that selenium counteracts cancer and inflammation of the body, reducing the risk of their occurrence. Mushrooms also contain quite high amounts of manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron. When it comes to vitamins, it contains vitamin D (more specifically vitamin D2 – ergocalciferol) and vitamins from group B. 

Mushrooms in a diabetic diet 

Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes, eating high-fiber foods, can more easily maintain low blood glucose levels. People with type 2 diabetes, in turn, can improve blood sugar and insulin levels. Fiber contained in mushrooms is funcina – a specific complex of chitin and glucan that gives the fungus tissues the right stiffness. The polysaccharides contained in it support the immune system by acting antiallergic. Funcina is not digested in the digestive tract, as is plant fiber. 

For example, in a 100g duck there is approx. 3.8g of fiber, and 100g of oyster mushrooms – approx. 2.3g. For healthy people it is recommended to eat 21-26g of fiber every day for women and 30-38g for for men. A hundred-gram portion of mushrooms, usually a supplement to the food, or its base (especially in the case of vegetarian dishes) covers about 10-18% of the daily requirement for fiber – depending on individual needs. 

A healthy heart 

The fiber and potassium contained in mushrooms have a positive effect on the health of coronary vessels. The right proportion of potassium and sodium helps maintain normal blood pressure. Consuming fungi containing high levels of potassium and low levels of sodium helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension and heart disease. In addition, eating the beta-glucan contained in the mushrooms helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol – it is also important for a healthy heart. A good source of beta-glucan are, among others shiitake mushrooms. 

Better resistance and digestion 

Selenium included, among others in fungi it also increases immunity and stimulates the immune system to produce T-lymphocytes. Beta-glucan found in the fungal tissue, in turn, supports the immune system to fight cancer cells. Mushrooms also favor digestion, because they contain the already mentioned dietary fiber. 

Mushrooms are often criticized because of the low nutritional value, but they should not be negated to the point that they are attributed to the total lack of nutrients. Not without reason, they are called forest meat. Vegetables – although they contain a lot of water are not criticized. So why do not you treat mushrooms in a similar way and include them in your diet? After all, this low processed food, in addition to the taste values, provides certain minerals, vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. 

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You can read also: Positive influence of shiitake mushrooms on health

Posted on: May 22, 2019

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