Do you eat mushrooms most days of the week?
If you answered a resounding “YES” to the above question, you’re definitely amping up your body with some great health benefits thanks to your regular consumption of mushrooms.
Research now shows that eating mushrooms regularly can influence your cholesterol, immunity and weight control. Plus, the good news is it is never too late to start eating mushrooms!
What makes mushrooms so special? It’s because they have a completely different nutrition profile compared to fruit and vegetables.
Although mushrooms are classified as a vegetable when talking about food groups, they actually evolved at a different time to plants altogether and contain many different nutrients.
Technically, mushrooms are not a fruit or vegetable.
They are rather part of a group called ‘fungi’. They should be eaten in addition to fruits and vegetables for some serious health benefits!
Packed Full of Nutrients
Mushrooms are home to a multitude of good nutrients and antioxidants that boost your health and vitality.
In fact, no vegetable can compete with the nutrient profile of the mushroom! Why?
- They contain good amounts of protein and fibre, have almost no fat and are very low in kilojoules (also known as calories).
- They’re armed with considerable amounts of all the B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin) as well as folate and minerals such as selenium and copper.
- They contain antioxidants which help to protect your body from cell damage that occurs during all bodily processes (commonly known as aging!), such as metabolising the food that we eat.
- In an Italian study, mushrooms ranked in the top five for antioxidant capacity when compared with 29 common vegetables.
- One of the antioxidants found in mushrooms, ergothioneine, appears to play a significant role in human health by protecting the haemoglobin in red blood cells as well as protecting cells from oxidative damage.
- In fact, recent studies out of America have found that this particular antioxidant may be an essential nutrient, and potentially a whole new vitamin.
- We must obtain 100% of ergothioneine from food as it is not made by our body. The best sources are oat bran, egg yolk, meat, some beans and onion, and of course mushrooms! It is not found in other vegetables.
Unique Savoury Flavour
Mushrooms have a unique texture and rich flavour that Japanese have affectionately labelled as “umami” (meaning “flavoursome”).
The taste and texture are largely due to the glutamates in the mushroom, which gives it that savoury flavour.
This means you don’t need to add any salt or artificial flavours to your foods.
Mushrooms are widely available in all parts of Malaysia and generally at a very affordable price. Farming of locally grown mushrooms in Malaysia is increasing too!
Did you know mushrooms also make up part of Malaysia’s Healthy Food Guidelines? Eating 100g (three small mushrooms or one flat mushroom) regularly will help you to meet the fifth guideline.
For best results, eat a variety of vegetables everyday and eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
Eating mushrooms regularly truly is a simple and tasty way to help improve our diets and our overall health. The superpowers of mushrooms are continually being uncovered today, who knows what scientists will discover next!
So, are you going to add mushrooms to your dinner tonight?
Here are two of our quick and easy (AND tasty) mushroom recipes if you are!
- Sweet Peas with Fresh White Shimeji Mushrooms and Wood Ear Mushrooms
- Stir-Fried Chicken Fillet with Shiitake Mushrooms
PS: As usual, keep everything balanced and eat in moderation. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you too!
Any favourite mushroom recipes to share? Leave them in the comments below or on our Facebook page!