We can’t overestimate the numerous mushrooms health benefits! Luckily, today, it is the very time when many go to the forest to look for mushrooms. Why? In order to get emotional relaxation, to escape from the ubiquitous problems, and just to breathe in the fresh forest air. They arm themselves with a basket, a folding leg, and go “hunting.”
In the silence, which is occasionally diluted with birds singing and the rustling of autumn foliage under your feet, you walk looking for mushrooms, and when you find it, so much joy appears in you, so many pleasant emotions!
For many, one day in the forest and a basket of mushrooms as a trophy bring a lot of pleasure! And after all, not only a person gets moral satisfaction from mushrooms, but also benefits for physical health!
In this article, we will talk about the incredible mushrooms health benefits and possible dangers. We will introduce you to some of the mushrooms medicinal properties and tell you how to cook them.
Let’s move on!
Main Mushrooms Health Benefits
Mushrooms are very useful. There is no doubt about that because this is a product created by nature. Many centuries ago, our ancestors collected and ate mushrooms. Let’s figure out how this gift of the autumn forest is useful for the human body.
In terms of their nutritional value, mushrooms are on par with meat, vegetables, and fruits. Mushrooms are 90% water, and the remaining 10% contain a lot of nutrients.
They are a source of proteins, carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, PP, antioxidants, fiber, and also contain calcium, potassium, sulfur, zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and iodine.
Moreover, mushrooms contain only 1% fat. The calorie content of fresh and boiled mushrooms, on average, ranges from 15 to 30 kcal / 100 g. The huge advantage of mushrooms is that they do not lose all these useful substances during cooking!
Mushrooms are a valuable source of protein – they contain twice as much protein as chicken eggs.
The 18 amino acids found in mushrooms have a positive effect on mental activity, “actively fight” against atherosclerosis. Chitin, which is a part of mushrooms, absorbs toxins and heavy metals, facilitating their excretion from the body. Antioxidants help our bodies fight the aging process.
Vitamins and Trace Elements in Mushrooms
Mushrooms contain more B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B9) than vegetables and grains. These vitamins are responsible for the condition of the skin, hair, nails and also have a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin PP (nicotinic acid) in the composition of mushrooms is necessary for blood diseases. In mushrooms, it is contained in the same amount as in the beef liver. Fresh mushrooms contain fat-soluble vitamins A and D.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), known for its immunomodulatory effects, is also found in mushrooms, albeit in small amounts.
The microelements that make up the mushrooms contribute to the normal metabolism in the body, reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, and prevent the occurrence of viral infections.
Mushrooms contain an almost optimal ratio of phosphorus to calcium. It is stored in the same amount as in fish. Lecithin controls the accumulation of cholesterol in the body.
Mushrooms are very useful for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension.
Mushrooms Medicinal Properties
All edible mushrooms contain many benefits for the human body. Moreover, different mushrooms are characterized by their own medicinal qualities. So, chanterelles are very useful for the normal functioning of the liver, and in addition, they have an anthelmintic effect. Boletus mushrooms stimulate metabolic processes in the body, help fight tuberculosis. Milk mushrooms help cleanse the body and help in the fight against urolithiasis. Medicinal extracts are created from some mushrooms to combat helminths to treat tonsillitis, stomach ulcers, bronchial asthma, allergic diseases, and tuberculosis.
Of course, scientists could not pass by such a useful product as mushrooms, and recent studies have shown that the composition of mushrooms contains beta-glucans – polysaccharides that regulate the immune system.
They not only carry out phagocytosis, that is, “remove” foreign organisms, but also the synthesis of elements that regulate the immune system.
When mushrooms are consumed, the immune system, using beta-glucans, generates 6 times more interferons, which fight foreign proteins in the body.
Thanks to this discovery, Japanese scientists have developed a number of fungal-based anticancer drugs. At present, about a third of all anticancer drugs and immunocorrectors are made on the basis of fungi.
Mushrooms Side Effects
In this huge barrel of mushrooms benefits, of course, there is an unfortunate fly in the ointment. So let’s take a look at the potential harm mushrooms can do to our health.
First of all, I would like to remind you of the famous black humor: you can eat all mushrooms, but some only once.
Indeed, everyone probably knows that not all mushrooms can be eaten. Some of their types are extremely dangerous to human health. That is why, if you go on a “quiet hunt,” fill your basket with only those mushrooms in which you are 100% sure. In the event of a mistake, the harm of inedible mushrooms can be fatal.
During their growth, fungi adsorb harmful substances from soil, air, and rain moisture. They can accumulate hazardous substances – vapors of heavy metals, radioactive compounds.
You should know how ecologically clean the area where you go to pick mushrooms is.
Also, the place where you will pick mushrooms should be at least a few kilometers away from the motorways.
In addition, the older the mushrooms, the correspondingly higher the content of harmful substances in them.
Therefore, it is advisable to collect only young mushrooms. For the same reason, you should not buy mushrooms on the market (this is not anti-advertising but for advice), because you cannot know where they were collected.
The Chitin Role
Chitin, which is found in huge quantities in mushrooms and performs a very useful function, cleansing the intestines, however, is practically not absorbed by the human body.
This is what is meant when they say that mushrooms are a heavy food. To “facilitate” it, in the sense of making the mushrooms more digestible, experienced housewives use a completely simple method – you need to cut the mushrooms as small as possible, especially the legs since they contain the most chitin.
Due to the fact that mushrooms are “heavy” food, it is advisable for children under 12 not to include them in the diet. Well, adults should not get carried away with this product before bedtime, physical activity, etc.
How to Cook and Save All Mushrooms Health Benefits
You also need to be able to cook mushrooms properly. Before cooking (frying, marinating, salting), it is necessary to boil the mushrooms several times in clean water for 15-20 minutes.
This treatment destroys botulinum toxin, a poison found even in edible mushrooms.
The safest way to store boiled mushrooms is in the freezer.
Adhering to simple rules for collecting, preparing, and eating mushrooms, you can get great benefits from these gifts of the forest.
Enjoy the gifts of autumn, and be healthy!
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