8 Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

A mushroom is a fleshy fruiting body of a fungus. It thrives on moist, ground and is cultivated as food. Mushrooms are considered as one of the most nutritious foods in the world. There are hundreds of different mushroom types, some are poisonous while others are used in cooking. Edible mushrooms have different nutritional value. In today’s post, we are listing down the health and healing benefits of 8 different type of mushrooms.

1. White Mushroom

The white mushroom is the most common types of mushrooms. It includes Portobello, cremini and button mushroom. White mushrooms are versatile because they have a mild flavor and chewy texture.

In general, the white mushroom is made of a special carbohydrate that increases the metabolic rate and regulates blood sugar level. It aids in fat burning, boosts weight loss and protects from cancer. Of all types of mushrooms, white mushrooms contain high levels of selenium. This nutrient aids in weight loss. It also cuts the risk of prostate cancer.

2. Shitake Mushroom

The shitake mushroom is often utilized in Asian cooking. It’s characterized by its dark, meaty cap and a distinct woody flavor. It’s a popular mushroom in Japan, Korea, China, and other Asian countries.

Shitake mushrooms contain a nutrient called lentinan. Lentinan has the ability to shrink tumors and prevent cancer cells from spreading. A team of Japanese scientists are developing lentinan from shiitake mushrooms as an anti-cancer treatment. Shitake mushroom is also a rich source of vitamin D. It helps fight infection and strengthens the immune system.

3. Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom is characterized by its large round brown cap and white flowers made from wood. For centuries, reishi mushroom has been used as a treatment for various diseases. It’s also taken as a tonic to energize the body.

Reishi mushroom have potent anti-cancer, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This type of mushroom protects from virtually all kinds of infections. It lowers cholesterol level, regulates blood pressure and even cuts the risk of cancer. Reishi mushrooms also contain antioxidants.

Maitake mushrooms are characterized by small, light brown caps and bundled up steps. This type of mushroom inhibits cancer cells from spreading. It also causes cancer cells to destroy themselves. At the same time, maitake mushroom strengthens the immune system.

5. Chanterelle Mushroom

The health and healing benefits of chanterelle mushroom rival that of reishi mushrooms. Chanterelle mushrooms contain anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. This mushroom is also packed with vitamin C and D plus potassium.

6. Porcini Mushroom

Porcini mushroom is known for its small, dark brown cap and meaty stem. It looks and tastes similarly to Portobello. Porcini is loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds. It protects from infections and inflammatory diseases. It also contains ergosterol. This compound protects from enemy cells.

7. Shimeji Mushroom

Shimeji mushrooms are often used as garnish or side dish in Asian cooking. A study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute of Japan found that Shimeji mushrooms are loaded with beta-glucans. Beta-glucans kill cancer cells. A diet rich in Shimeji mushrooms also cuts the risk of diabetes, cancer, and asthma.

8. Morel Mushroom

Morel mushroom has a distinct ridged cap and thick stem. It’s high in B vitamins and iron. It also strengthens the immune system and protects from most types of infections. However, some people are highly allergic to morel mushrooms. So take precautionary steps before consuming this mushroom.

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