It might interest you to know that, when it comes to DNA, we actually have more in common with mushies than we do with plants... Mushrooms are a part of the fungi family, and, like us, have their own immune systems. So perhaps it's of very little surprise that good old mushies have the power to help us harness our own health.
I M M U N E B O O S T
Eating a whole food diet can improve our immunity in general...but mushrooms have some super impressive super powers! White button mushrooms have been shown to enhance both our natural immune response to baddies, but also our natural killer cells (the immune cells that battle those baddies...to the death). Meanwhile, mushroom extracts have been proven to decrease inflammation, assist our gut bacteria in solving infection, and to increase our anti-cancer response. In fact, even CSIRO admitted the impressive immune-enhancing effects of mushrooms in a variety of diseases a couple of years ago.
C A N C E R F I G H T I N G
Researchers have started using mushrooms and their extracts in cancer research, and have some interesting findings...
There are 14,000 cases of new breast cancer diagnosis each year, with 3,000 women having their lives claimed by the disease annually. However, three international studies found that even 10g of mushrooms daily (we're talking half a button mushroom per day - pretty doable!) lowered the risk of breast cancer by 65%! Now there are several studies confirming the link between including mushrooms in the diet regularly and lowering the risk of breast cancer. It is believed the compounds in mushrooms are to thank - they suppress and reduce proliferation of breast cancer.
W E I G H T W A T C H E R S
Eating mushrooms could help you to manage your weight. We're talking a reduced waist circumference of 7cm on average over 12 months according to one study. Not only are mushies low in kilojoules (only 13kJs in 100g's worth), but they also seem to reduce how much we eat. This is one of the reasons they're such a valuable meat replacement (shout out to my fellow veggos!) - when replacing meat with mushrooms over just four days in a week, people found meals more filling despite them containing far less calories.
B L O O D Y G O O D
Mushies can work wonders for our blood health. The fibre found in mushrooms is considered to have blood cholesterol lowering capabilities, and research from the University of Western Sydney show that mushrooms help to lower blood glucose too. Powdered mushroom has been proven to reduce the blood glucose response following a meal, especially for young women.
Time to start boosting your mushroom intake? I think yes!
What are your favourite mushroom recipes?
References: ANTA's The Natural Therapist magazine.