The Health Benefits Of 5 Common Mushrooms
So in the last few articles I’ve written, I’ve covered some more exotic mushrooms. By that I mean they are either from different countries or, they’re not commonly found in grocery stores.
So in this article, I’ll cover the kinds of mushrooms that you’d find at your local supermarket.
Many people overlook these kinds of mushrooms as having any significant health benefits, but the fact is these mushrooms aren’t just good for helping round out recipes, they can help positively transform your health.
Today I’ll show you how 5 of the most common mushrooms in America could positively augment your health.
How Porcini, Crimini, Button/White, Portobello, and Shiitake Mushrooms Can Boost Your Health
Each of the mushrooms I’ll focus on here have unique health-boosting (and taste) profiles.
Don’t ask me to tell you which to add to a spaghetti sauce, I’m not sure what does what.
However, if you want to experience the benefits of these mushrooms - and feel like, after reading this article, they should be a part of your diet, read on.
1 - Shiitake Mushrooms:
Years ago I wrote an article about how if you baked shiitake mushrooms they’d taste a bit like bacon.
Today that remains unchanged.
The good news about shiitake mushrooms, either baked or raw, is they continue to be a health-supporting powerhouse. Shiitake mushrooms are known to help support immune function, improve cognition, help to reduce body fat, and can also fight cancer.
The shiitake mushroom is easily found in most grocery stores but is one of the most expensive mushrooms on the list.
2 - Porcini Mushrooms:
Depending on where you live in the US these should be available to you as well. They’re on the higher-end price-wise, too.
These mushrooms are quite popular in restaurants and from what I know, impart nice earthy tones to dishes.
But what can they do for your health?
Aid in helping with healthy weight loss, help fight inflammation, and some studies have implicated porcini mushrooms in helping to fight colon cancer.
They're also high in free-radical neutralizing antioxidants, are filled with gut-healthy fiber which can improve digestion, and are even a source of protein (not many mushrooms can say this).
3 - Cremini Mushrooms:
The cremini mushroom is a smallish brown mushroom that has an earthy, mild taste. They are in the same species as portobello mushrooms and are sometimes known as baby bella, mini bella, or portobellini mushrooms.
They taste good, and they’re good for you as well.
They may help prevent cancer thanks to the fact they have something known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in them. Other studies indicate that creminis can help build cardiovascular health and even help mitigate the risk of people developing Metabolic Syndrome.
Other benefits include helping to fight fatigue, restore gut health (thanks to the kind of fiber), and they’re high in the essential electrolyte, potassium.
4 - White/Button Mushrooms:
White mushrooms, AKA button mushrooms, are one of the most common mushrooms on the planet (and on grocery store shelves), which is great because they’re easy to find and they’re inexpensive to boot.
Turns out, they’re also not a slouch when it comes to imparting health benefits.
Like helping fight cancer.
Multiple antioxidant compounds, including polyphenols, polysaccharides, ergothioneine, glutathione, selenium, and vitamin C, are believed to be behind mushrooms’ potential cancer-fighting properties.
These antioxidants help combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress, which leads to cellular damage that can accelerate aging and increase the risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers.
The main phenolic compounds in white mushrooms are flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have the potential to act both as antioxidants and pro-oxidants.
As antioxidants, they help improve cell survival, while as pro-oxidants, they lead to cell death to prevent tumor growth.
What’s more, polysaccharides — one of the white mushrooms’ main bioactive compounds — may likewise have potent anticancer effects.
One specific type of polysaccharide is beta-glucan. It stimulates your immune system to activate macrophages and natural killer cells, which protect the body from infection, harmful organisms, and diseases, including cancer.
Other benefits of white mushrooms are that they can positively impact heart health, and blood sugar regulation as well as improve gut health.
5 - Portobello:
Another incredibly popular and easy-to-find mushroom, portobello mushrooms are incorporated into all kinds of recipes and taste pretty good too.
They’re one of the “beefier” mushrooms out there. Not necessarily in terms of taste, but in texture and how they stand up to all kinds of food.
They’re wonderful for helping support great health as well.
One thing they’re good at is helping people lose weight. As they are filled with a healthy amount of fiber, and also loaded with water (most of the portobello mushroom is water), eating several ounces of this mushroom will help you feel full, and longer, which can help curb appetite.
They’re also filled with tons of healthy minerals.
“Portobello mushrooms are rich in minerals. Each serving provides 15 percent of the DV (daily value) for potassium, 16 percent of the DV for phosphorus, 24 percent of the DV for copper and 38 percent of the DV for selenium”.
And like the Cremini, they may also help reduce cancer risk because they have CLA in them. CLA has been indicated in programmed cell death for cancer cells and portobellos happen to have some of the highest levels of CLA, as well as one of the only plant-based sources of CLA on the planet.
Lastly, their antioxidant content including offering L-ergothioneine (ERGO), is sky-high which can help reduce levels of inflammation that may lead to cancer.
Mushrooms For Every Meal?
It’s clear to see in this series that mushrooms are awesome for your health.
It doesn’t mean you need to eat them at every meal, but there’s no good reason to avoid them.
And if you don’t like how they taste, bake them in olive oil. That helps transform all kinds of mushrooms into something that tastes amazing.