Going meatless – even for a single meal – can feel like deprivation. But not if you have mushrooms on hand!  

With over 600 edible species of mushrooms and countless nutritional benefits, it’s easy to find a mushroom that you can use in your next meal to replace meat. 

Mushrooms are an enigma. The fungi, classified as a vegetable in the food kingdom, carry nutritional benefits in their cell walls. However, you can’t access those benefits unless they’re exposed to heat.  The nutritional benefits of mushrooms are amazing, but so are the health benefits. 

  • Helps fight cancer – They’re full of the antioxidants that fight free radicals in our body. Selenium is a mineral in mushrooms that helps detoxify certain cancer-causing compounds. Sunlight isn’t the only source of Vitamin D. Mushrooms contain the vitamin which regulates cell growth and prevents the growth of cancer cells
  • Heart Healthy – Mushrooms are rich in fiber, Vitamin C and potassium that help prevent cardiovascular disease.  Their high potassium and low sodium combination helps lower blood pressure. Cream of mushroom soup is used to help heartburn and acid reflux issues.
  • Prevents Inflammation – The powerful antioxidant, ergothioneine, helps prevent inflammation is found in mushrooms. There is a particular type, reishi, that has been used for thousands of years in Asia to battle disease, lower inflammation, reduce tumor growth and allergic reactions. 
  • Increases absorption of Iron – The copper in mushrooms helps properly absorb iron and facilitates proper utilization by getting it released from the primary storage spots in our body like our liver. Copper and ironwork together to fight anemia and keep our bones healthy.
  • Aids in weight loss – Mushrooms are high in proteins and fibers but low in carbohydrates and have no significant amounts of fat or cholesterol. The two types of fiber present in mushrooms, beta-glucans and chitin, keep you fuller, reducing your intake of calories.  

With so many different mushroom options and so many ways to utilize them, it’s easy to add this nutrient-rich food to your menu. Next week we’ll include a surprising recipe using the King of mushrooms. 

In the meantime, do you have a favorite mushroom recipe of your own?

Get Active