How Mushrooms Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Good Source of: 

  • Riboflavin – 17%
  • Niacin – 13%
  • Pantothenic Acid – 10%

Also a Source of:

  • Thiamin – 4%
  • Vitamin B6 – 4%
  • Vitamin D – 3%
  • Folate – 3%

Minerals

Good Source of: 

  • Copper – 11%

Also a Source of:

  • Selenium – 9%
  • Phosphorus – 6%
  • Potassium – 6%

Other

Also a Source of:

  • Protein – 4%
  • Fiber – 3%
  • Antioxidants – Flavonoids, Phenolic Acids, Polysaccharides, Selenium
  • Prebiotics

*All nutritional information found at (1)

How Mushrooms Prevent Chronic Disease

How Mushrooms Prevent Cancer

  • Mushrooms are exceptional at preventing cancer cells from reproducing. They are great for minimizing damage caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress is often the cause of metastasizing cancer, cancers that spread to various parts of the body. (2)

  • Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidant compounds, specifically polyphenols, polysaccharides, selenium, and vitamin C, all of which play a potent role in neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals cause inflammation and oxidative stress. (3)

  • Vitamin C has been shown to prevent several cancers by increasing white blood cell counts. White blood cells help eradicate free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. (4)

  • Other primary compounds found in mushrooms are flavonoids and phenolic acids. These antioxidants cause cell death of cancer cells and prevent tumor development through apoptotic abilities.

    • Flavonoids have been shown to prevent breast cancer and lung cancer. (5, 6)

    • Phenolic acids have been shown to prevent colon and gastric cancers. (7, 8)

  • Polysaccharides have been shown to have potent antioxidant effects as well.

    • Mushrooms are specifically rich in beta-glucan, a polysaccharide that activates the immune system, engaging natural killer cells and macrophages. These immune response compounds help prevent a number of diseases, including cancers.
  • Mushrooms are also rich in glutathione and ergothioneine. Glutathione is able to eliminate cancer cells, as well as other harmful agents. To prevent oxidative stress, ergothioneine protects DNA from free radical damage. (9, 10)

  • Lastly, mushrooms are rich in selenium. Similar to vitamin C, selenium is responsible for producing immune cells. Specifically, selenium helps produce natural killer cells, which reverse free radical damage and eradicate free radicals. (11)

How Mushrooms Prevent Diabetes

  • Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, which can help reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is often developed through high blood sugar levels. Foods that have a high glycemic index and are high in sugars can lead to significant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels after a carb-loaded meal.

  • However, as mushrooms are high in polysaccharides and have a low glycemic index, they are able to reduce your risk for diabetes.

    • Polysaccharides have been shown to prevent type 2 diabetes by improving insulin resistance and lower your blood sugar levels. (12)

How Mushrooms Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

  • Mushrooms have been shown to reduce your risk of a number of heart disease conditions through the activity of, specifically, beta-glucan and ergothioneine. (13)

  • Typically, heart diseases is caused by a buildup of bad LDL cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol is found in excess, it will clump together and form plaques that cut off blood flow in blood vessels. Eventually, this buildup can cause cardiac events like heart attack and stroke.

  • Now, as mentioned above, mushrooms are rich in beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It helps lower LDL cholesterol by trapping it and preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. These fibers help the body excrete LDL cholesterol through digestion. (14)

  • Similarly, ergothioneine has been shown to reduce absorption of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

    • There have been studies showing the combative effects of mushrooms on blood triglycerides. One study showed that consuming mushroom powder as part of a meal can significantly reduce levels of blood triglycerides. (15)
    • Ergothioneine has also been shown to inhibit arterial plaque development. Plaque buildup can develop into atherosclerosis and cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases risk of heart diseases. (16)

Mushrooms Promote a Number of Health Benefits

How Mushrooms Promote Gut Health

Mushrooms have also been shown to improve overall gut health. The polysaccharides found in mushrooms act as prebiotics. Prebiotics are essential for improved gut health because they support the good bacteria in the gut. Beneficial bacteria assist the body in digesting food properly. (17) Gut health has been shown to influence other areas of health, including the immune system and cognition and mood. (18, 19)

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