Mushrooms can rank in the ranking of superfoods, along with broccoli and blueberries, experts say.
Consumption of mushrooms can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Mushrooms are not as common as they seem, says nutritionist Dr. Sarah Schenker.
Mushrooms do not contain fat, sugar or salt and are a valuable source of dietary fiber. They contain five of the important B vitamins, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folic acid (B12), as well as the main minerals: potassium, copper, phosphorus, iron and selenium.
Selenium is a chemical element used to prevent dandruff, hair loss and various eczema. It is rare, contained in a limited number of foods.
There are more than 2,500 different varieties of mushrooms in nature, but research is focused on exotic species.
- Lentinula edodes contains an active antiviral compound, lentinan, which supports the body's immune system. Consumption of Lentinula edodes can help reduce blood cholesterol and the harmful effects of saturated fats.
- Grifola frondosa is rich in beta-glucans, which have antitumor activity.
- Auricularia auricula-judae even in small amounts can help thin the blood and prevent clots - the cause of cardiovascular problems and stroke.
- A handful of Agaricus bisporus has 12 times more beneficial effect than the most powerful antioxidant. The effect is due to large amounts of L-ergothioneine, say researchers from Pennsylvania State University. L-ergothioneine is responsible for binding free radicals in the body. In this way, the body's DNA is protected from damage.
A serving of 80 grams of mushrooms can replace the mandatory consumption of fruits and vegetables for the day, says Dr. Schenker.