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    • cal29-July-2022 adminAmrita Sandhu

      The Healing Fungus: Mushrooms And Their Health Benefits

    • Were you aware that the mushroom in your pasta and sandwiches is a fungus? No Right; read on to see how this fungus can benefit your health!

      Mushrooms, for centuries, have been eaten and used for their medicinal, healing and cleansing properties. Mushrooms are widely used by some folk and conventional medical practitioners for the same reason. 

      They are referred to as Agaricus Bisporus in the scientific community. What makes the fungus more unique is that all varieties of mushrooms are low carb and low fat—having a good amount of fibre and nutrients.  

      Studies and animal trials have shown that mushrooms have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. They consist of indoles, polyphenols, polysaccharides and carotenoids as non-nutritive plant substances. 

      This type of fungus is a pantry staple in many households. Not only is it flavourful and tastes good, but it also provides the human body with numerous health benefits that we will explore today.

      Table of Contents

      1. Mushrooms: The Magic Fungus

      2. Nutrients In Mushroom

      3. Mushrooms And Health

      4. Other Health Benefits Of Mushrooms

      5. The Final Say

      6. FAQs

      Mushrooms: The Magic Fungus

      Many chefs employ ‘umami’ mushrooms to put together savoury dishes rich in flavour and nutrients. The high nutritional value can be attributed to their amino acid glutamate; these can also be found in cheese, meats and soups.

      There are over 10,000 types of mushrooms of all kinds of different shapes and sizes. Mushrooms are a fungus called ergosterol. Much like cholesterol in animals, they are not plant-based products and nor are they animal-based products. However, they are considered a vegetable. This ergosterol can be transformed into vitamin D if and when exposed to UV light. 

      China and the United States are considered to be among the top five producers of mushrooms worldwide. Fleshy round caps and gills usually differentiate them under them.

      Nutrients In Mushroom

      As discussed earlier, mushrooms are nutrient-rich and flavourful; this explains why it has multiple health benefits. The following are some of the crucial nutrients mushrooms contain: 

      • Selenium
      • Copper
      • Potassium
      • Vitamin D
      • Phosphorus
      • B vitamins (B2. B3, folate, B5) 

      Mushrooms And Health

      Since ancient times, mushrooms like maitake and shiitake have been used as medicines. Reishi mushrooms are only used for medical purposes because they are tough to eat. 

      Plant chemicals and components in mushrooms may exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects. However, it is still unclear due to the lack of human trials and research experiments. Regardless of that, medical experts have advised the consumption of mushrooms for years.

      Mushrooms stand to be an exception! Some research on animal and plant cells has shown that mushrooms can stimulate immune cells, which can help stop the spread of tumour cells. Beta-glucans and polysaccharides in mushrooms can utilise these cancer-fighting properties and lower the risk of heart diseases.

      Other Health Benefits Of Mushrooms

      Apart from the above-stated benefits, supported by intensive research on various anti-cancer properties in mushrooms, it also has some vital health advantages like anti-hypertensive, which helps lower and manage blood pressure levels. 

      Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering properties. Other than that, mushrooms have various health benefits, which are:

      1. Some mushrooms are anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and antiviral. Some studies show that mushrooms protect the liver with all their properties & nutrients.

      2. They are packed with various nutrients, like, potassium, selenium, and copper. Potassium reduces tension in blood vessels and lower (BP) blood pressure.

      3. Mushrooms are an excellent substitute for calorie-rich foods; they improve BMI and reduce the extra pounds near our belly.

      4. Antioxidants in mushrooms protect our body from many inflammatory diseases, like, cancers and Alzheimer’s.

      5. They are also rich in beta-glucan, selenium nutrient and alpha-glucan, which aids the body in fighting against any infections and boosts immunity.

      The Final Say

      After learning all about the healing fungus we know as mushrooms, we can conclude that medicinal mushrooms are a rich source of innovative biomedical molecules. Many pharmaceutical companies have shown their curiosity to use mushrooms as a therapeutic source for various health conditions.

      There is a wide variety of mushrooms! Some species are edible; some are not. The ones you can consume are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. 

      They can strengthen your immune system and reduce the risk of ailments. This magical fungus offers a long list of benefits to the human body!


      1. Can certain mushrooms be toxic and harmful?

      Yes, some mushrooms like Amanita mushrooms can cause chronic liver necrosis, in which you have sleepiness, vomiting, nausea, and yellowing of your skin.

      2. How should one cook mushrooms to be able to retain all their nutrients? 

      Mushrooms are an element people love on their plate of food for their texture and flavours. According to research, grilling and microwaving are the best methods to cook mushrooms to retain their nutrition and health benefits while enjoying their taste.

      3. What kind of mushrooms are edible?

      There are more than 10,000 species of mushrooms available worldwide, most of them edible, whereas some are non-edible. While most wild mushrooms are considered poisonous, certain types of wild mushrooms are safe to eat but only when properly cooked. Edible mushrooms are Shitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, portobello, oyster mushrooms, morel mushrooms, and cremini mushrooms. 

      4. What can I eat instead of mushrooms if I am allergic?

      If you are allergic to mushrooms, you can consume tempeh, eggplant or tofu as alternatives because they have similar tastes and textures. Seeking medical advice is always recommended!

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