Wondering if mushrooms are good for you? Just how good are they? Mushrooms offer an array of healthy benefits but it’s important you do them right.
In this article you’ll discover all the reasons mushrooms are good for you, how to make them safe, which ones are best, and the dangers of mushrooms and how to avoid those.
Are Mushrooms Good For You? 13 Amazing Health Facts About Mushrooms
1. Lose Weight. Reishi Mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) have been shown to reduce obesity in mice studies (source).
3. Fights cancer cells. Inflammatory breast cancer cells in mice were reduced by 50% (source). Chaga mushrooms slowed the growth of cancer (source). Shiitake mushrooms were found to have anti-tumor effects (source).
5. Reduce Depression. Reishi mushrooms act similar to anti-depressants (source).
6. Better sleep. Reishi mushrooms were shown to extend sleep time in rat studies (source).
7. Speed Healing. Reishi mushrooms increased triterpenes which speed healing time for skin injuries (source).
8. Improves Brian Health. Lion’s mane mushrooms stimulate the product of nerve growth factor (NGF) (source). NGF is being studied for it’s role in preventing Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis. Mushrooms are high in B vitamins which have been linked to brain health.
10. Reduce Anxiety. A human study found lion’s mane extract reduced anxiety compared to placebos (source).
11. Lower LDL “Bad” Cholesterol. Chaga mushrooms lowered LDL cholesterol (source).
12. High in protein. Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) contain many of the same proteins as meat (source).
13. Improves Heart Health. Many edible mushrooms were found to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease (source).
Is It Healthy To Eat Mushrooms Everyday?
Absolutely. Mushrooms are teeming with health benefits. It’s important to eat them cooked though. As Dr. Andrew Weil points out, mushrooms contain small amounts carcinogenic compounds that are destroyed during cooking (source).
Dr. Fuhrman, inventor of the Nutritarian Diet, recommends mushrooms everyday as part of the 6 things you should eat daily – greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds (GBOMBs). He also recommends cooking them before you eat them to destroy carcinogenic compounds.
We love the nutritarian approach which essentially just urges you to eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies every day. If you want to see more, check out all of Dr. Fuhrman’s success stories.
So eat your mushrooms everyday, just be sure to cook them!
What Are The Most Healthy Mushrooms?
The most healthy mushrooms are the ones you eat! You can get tons of fiber, protein, and antioxidants even from the common button mushrooms.
The 13 health benefits highlighted above cover Reishi (medicinal mushroom), Lion’s Mane (food), and shiitake (food) mushrooms. Both Lion’s Mane and Shiitake have been studied to have tons of health benefits. You should definitely include both in your diet.
What mushrooms do you have access to? Cook those and eat them. Then when you can find them start adding shiitake and lion’s mane to your diet. Shiitake are commonly cooked into dishes at Japanese restaurants as well, which could be another place to find them.
Are Fried Mushrooms Good For You?
Yes and no. Fried mushrooms still count as cooked mushrooms. They just also included added breading and fats, neither of which will significantly increase the health benefits of mushrooms.
If fried mushrooms get you to eat more mushrooms at first then start there. Then move to stir-fried button mushrooms. Then move on to all the other wonderful mushrooms out there, especially lion’s mane and shiitake which we covered the health benefits above.
Why Are Mushrooms Not Good For You?
Some mushrooms contain carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds when fresh. This is why you should cook all mushrooms prior to eating them. Both Dr. Weil and Dr. Fuhrman, mentioned above, both recommend cooking mushrooms before eating them and both doctors recommend eating mushrooms often, if not daily.
Are Raw Mushrooms Good For You?
Raw mushrooms contain carcinogenic compounds for some mushroom varieties. These can be destroyed by cooking the mushrooms.
Mushroom Nutrition Protein
Button mushrooms contain about 1 gram of protein per 2 button mushrooms (source). Simply eat 40 cooked button mushrooms per day to not only add 20 grams of protein to your diet, but also includes fiber, antioxidants, and potassium.
Mushroom Benefits For Men – 6 Reasons mushrooms are good for men
1. Get More Healthy Protein – Mushrooms are high in protein (source). They add protein and fiber without adding fat.
2. Improve Heart Health – Mushrooms reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (source). They are also high in potassium which also reduces the risk of heart disease.
3. Sleep Better – Mushrooms improve sleep which aids in workout recovery (source)
4. Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk – Mushrooms are high in selenium which reduces the risk for prostate cancer (source)
5. Live Longer – Mushrooms may add years to your life improving the lower life expectancy of men (source)
6. Lose weight – Some medicinal mushrooms, such as Reishi, were shown to reduce obesity in mice (source)
Mushroom Benefits For Skin
2. Reduces Skin Cancer Risk. Mushrooms are high in selenium which has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk (source).
3. Reduce and Prevent Wrinkles. Again, mushrooms contain selenium which offers protection against wrinkles. Mushrooms were also found to contain a compound that protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation from the sun, also helping to prevent wrinkles (source).
4. Lightens Skin. Matsutake mushrooms have been used for skin lightening in Japan. Kojic acid found in shiitake mushrooms reduces melanin and the growth of dark spots (source).