Mushroom is used extensively in many cuisines worldwide like European, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. It is considered as meat in the vegetable world. Although they are neither meat nor vegetable, they have long been used as a source of powerful nutrients. High in demand, they come in wide range of varieties grouped in two categories: cultivated and wild. Mushrooms hold medicinal values to cure some health problems, including sleeplessness. Some of them are mentioned below.
Dietary fibre – Fibre is one of the dietary keys to lower cholesterol levels, risk of heart related diseases, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. In addition to this fibre makes the food more satisfying making an individual to eat less. It in turn helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Mushrooms offer both soluble and insoluble fibre which may have even anti-cancer properties and promote good bowel health.
Rich in potassium – Mushrooms have 98-376 mg of potassium per 84 grams of serving. Potassium help in maintaining mineral balance, controlling blood pressure and making sure nerves and muscles, including heart, function properly.
Packed with vitamin D – Mushrooms produce vitamin D naturally in significant quantity following exposure to the sun. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in building and maintaining strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Mushroom is one of the best source of vitamin D via diet.
Protection from type 2 diabetes – Fresh mushrooms are a low glycemic food as they contain very little carbohydrate. They help to control blood sugar levels and appetite. This way it lowers the likelihood of getting type 2 diabetes.
Contains a rare mineral selenium – Selenium is a mineral that is not commonly found in fruits and vegetables. Due to presence of this mineral, mushrooms help in detoxification of some cancer causing compounds in the body. Selenium also prevents inflammation and decrease tumor growth rate.
Rich source of antioxidants – Though mushrooms are neutral- hued, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity of this nutritious food is same as of colourful veggies like red capsicum. Rich in antioxidants, it helps fight free radicals resulting from oxidation in our body.
Full of B vitamins – Mushrooms are loaded with vitaminB2 (riboflavin) and vitaminB3 (niacin). B vitamins are very substantial to turn carbs into glucose which in turn is burnt by the body to produce energy. These vitamins also help body metabolize fats and proteins keeping us fit and energetic.
Benefit of choline – Choline is an important nutrient that helps in sound sleep, flexibility of muscles and sharpening the memory. It also helps in fat absorption and reduces chronic inflammation. Mushrooms contain this nutrient in good amount.
Although mushrooms are full of nutrients, when buying them from market, choose the ones that are firm and dry. Always store them in refrigerator. Wash and chop them just before using them so that its nutritional value remains intact. Also beware of wild mushrooms that are toxic and can cause severe illness and sometimes even death. Take a little precaution and include mushrooms in your daily diet for good health and sound sleep.