Mushrooms, or Saprophytes, extract nutrients from dead and decaying plant and animal matters to provide us with numerous health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels, preventing breast and prostate cancer, regulating diabetes, losing weight, and improving immunity. They are full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anti-biotic, and anti-oxidants. Here are some health benefits:
- Mushrooms have zero cholesterol or fats, and the fiber in them consists of enzymes that help lower cholesterol level.
- Mushrooms can prevent breast and prostate cancer due to presence of Beta-Glucans and Linoleic Acid. Linoleic acid helps suppress effects of estrogen which is a prime reason for breast cancer in women after menopause. Beta-Glucans inhibit growth of cancerous cells in cases of prostate cancer, and the Selenium in mushrooms is also effective in inhibiting cancerous cells.
- Mushrooms have no fats, no cholesterol, very low carbohydrates, high proteins, vitamins and minerals, a lot of water and fiber making it ideal for diabetics and for weight loss. They contain natural insulin and enzymes which help break down sugar or starch by promoting formation of insulin.
- Ergothioneine, a powerful anti-oxidant present in mushrooms is very effective in giving protection from free radicals as well as boosting up immunity. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics which inhibit microbial and other fungal infections. It also has a good combination of vitamins A, B-Complex and C, found to strengthen the immune system.
- Mushrooms are rich in calcium (good for bones), iron (benefits in anemia), potassium (very good for lowering blood pressure), copper (anti-bacterial) and selenium (very good for health of bones, teeth, nails, and hair).
So enjoy mushrooms and try all the different edible types: Button (or white), Crimini, Shitake, Oyster, Enoki, Portobello, Morel, etc.
Recipe: Grilled Portobello
4 Portobello mushrooms (de-stem and clean)
Olive oil ¼ cup of soy sauce (or Bragg’s Amino Liquid or Tamari sauce)
2 cloves of minced garlic
1. Cover Portobello with olive oil.
2. Pour soy sauce and garlic over mushrooms and let marinade for 2 to 4 hours.
3. Place on grill or in a pan over the stove top. Cook each side for 4 minutes.
4. Serve as main course with a salad or as an appetizer or slice it up as a side dish. You can also cut it into strips and add to a stir fry as meat substitute or use it in a sandwich.
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