(WellnessPursuits.com) – Mushrooms. They’ve been used in medicine for hundreds of years. As far as eating them goes? Well, it seems like people love them or hate them — and a lot of people in the latter camp haven’t even really tried them, simply turned off by the idea of eating something categorized as a fungus.
Which camp do you belong to? If you’re in the latter camp, you may be missing out — from both a health and culinary perspective.
The Many Benefits of Mushrooms
Let’s clear one thing up before we get started. While there are a lot of things doctors do know about mushrooms, there are some things that are still unclear. You may see reports claiming mushrooms may be able to ward off heart disease, some forms of cancer, and even neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s.
The reality is that scientists just aren’t yet sure whether or not the mushrooms have a direct impact or if there is just a correlation with the reduced risk of disease and the generally healthy diets people who tend to like mushrooms usually eat.
That said, here are some things we do know mushrooms have to offer:
- Vegan Vitamin D – Whoa. What? You read that right. The majority of natural non-sun sources of vitamin D come from animals. Aside from fortified foods, which don’t contain much benefit, mushrooms are the only vegan option available. This is a great option, whether you’re truly vegan or are simply trying to eat a more varied diet.
- Calcium – The fact mushrooms contain vitamin D is extra beneficial, because it helps the body better absorb the calcium they also contain. Win-win! Getting enough calcium strengthens your bones, reduces your risk of fractures, and can even improve mobility and joint pain.
- Fiber Friendly Carbs – While mushrooms are high in carbohydrates (surprise), you’ll find they’re mostly from fiber. FFCs keep your gut healthy and regular consumption can lead to better weight management.
- Immune Support – Mushrooms are considered among the most antioxidant rich foods on the planet. This means they are capable of giving your immune system an occasional boost without adding expensive supplements to your routine.
- Umani Flavor – Umani is another word for a savory taste you find in broths or meat dishes. So while mushrooms do take on the flavor of the ingredients they’re cooked with, they have their own umani undertones that are also strengthened during the cooking process.
There are a lot of options when it comes to mushrooms. Try a couple of varieties to see how you like them in salads, soups, eggs, over steak, or even in your oatmeal.
Try them. Find out you like them? Great! Keep eating them. Just can’t get into them? That’s okay, too. There are lots of healthy options out there.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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