Here’s why mushrooms are a beneficial item to add to your diet.
Daily protein intake is a vital part of a healthy diet. Proteins are an important nutrient as they play a significant role in ensuring the growth and renewal of cells, tissues and muscles to keep our bodies healthy and in motion. Here are five reasons delectable mushrooms are a great protein source.
1. Mushrooms are nutrient-rich
Not only are mushrooms rich in protein; they also contain an enormous amount of fibre, vitamin D, and antioxidants such as selenium.
Many of us run the risk of being deficient in vitamin D during colder months. Fortunately, adding mushrooms to your diet can help combat that. According to Mushroom Info, mushrooms naturally contain vitamin D. Mushrooms also contain selenium, an excellent antioxidant. These edible fungi also provide a high amount of fibre, which is not only necessary to support gut health, but can also assist in weight management and weight loss.
2. Mushrooms are flavour-packed and versatile
Mushrooms are loved for the umami and depth of flavour they add to any dish. Over and above their nutritional value, one of the reasons mushrooms are a firm favourite is because they can be prepared in so many ways: grilled, sautéed, baked or boiled. They can also be served as a snack, starter or main meal. Although they’re delicious on their own, these tasty fungi can easily be incorporated into almost any meal.
In addition, mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, from shiitake to button and king oyster mushrooms. Some can even be eaten raw – the possibilities are limitless.
3. Mushrooms can help you manage your weight
Due to their high water and low calorie content, mushrooms are fast becoming a protein source for those looking to manage their weight.
The high fibre content in mushrooms may assist in weight loss as fibre is necessary to help improve gut health and regulate digestion. Mushrooms contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, both of which are essential in maintaining overall health. According to SFGT Healthy Eating, “adults require a total of 25 to 38 grams of fibre a day for women and men, respectively, to maintain optimal health. Fibre not only promotes regular and normal bowel movements; it contributes to keeping your appetite, blood sugar levels and blood cholesterol under control. A cup of cooked mushrooms can provide 9 to 14 per cent of your daily fibre requirements.”
4. Mushrooms are an excellent meat substitute
If you want to reduce your intake of animal protein, or if you’re looking for meat alternatives or new ways to enjoy mushrooms, these edible fungi are not only packed with flavour, but have a mouth-wateringly natural meaty texture.
Replacing meat with mushrooms could not only dramatically reduce your fat, calorie, cholesterol and sodium intake, but could also lower your risk for cancer.
5. Mushrooms have a strong link to cancer prevention
In addition to their immune-enhancing properties, protein-rich mushrooms have a strong link to cancer prevention. When eaten daily, their anti-inflammatory properties could help prevent certain cancers.
Studies done by the Beckman Institute at the City of Hope Cancer Centre in California and The University of Australia in Sydney found that mushrooms contain phytochemicals that are found to specifically suppress breast and prostate cancer.
According to Mushroom Info, it was also found that “the occurrence of breast cancer in China was five times lower than in developed western countries. Whilst also bearing other factors in mind, it is a fact that China is a world authority when it comes to mushroom consumption. And it was the huge mushroom consumption per capita that sparked the research.”
Versatile, delicious and nutritious, there really are no disadvantages to eating mushrooms.
What are your thoughts on mushrooms as a protein source? Let us know in the comments below!