Mushrooms are widely considered to be one of the most versatile and nutritious vegetables on the planet. Containing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals—mushrooms can be used in numerous recipes ranging from soups to burgers. The popularity of mushrooms has increased substantially in recent years as people are even using them as bread substitutes.
Did you know that mushrooms are in fact a type of fungus?
As a low calorie food that’s both nutritionally dense and high in antioxidants—mushrooms can be incorporated into diets in a number of different ways. Research has even suggested that mushrooms may be one of the best foods for preventing various types of diseases and ailments. Let’s take a more in-depth look at mushrooms and why you should consider incorporating them into your diet.
What are Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are reproductive structures produced by some types of fungi (1). What differentiates mushrooms from fruit are the seeds it produces. These microscopic spores originate in the gills or pores beneath the mushroom’s cap. Each of these spores may be blown into the wind or spread by animals.
As fungi that belong in their own separate kingdom—mushrooms obtain their nutrients differently from other plants and animals. Unlike other plants that utilize photosynthesis to create their own food energy—mushrooms use their mycelium to secrete enzymes before absorbing digested nutrients.
Although many people believe that mushrooms are vegetables, they are in fact fungi composed of three separate parts: stem, cap, and gills. Numerous types of mushrooms exist in the world, but approximately only 20 varieties can be readily consumed by humans.
Benefits of Mushrooms
Known for their low-calorie, nutrient dense structure—mushrooms are high in a number of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants. Mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D—an important component of bone and immune health. They’re also high in zinc which helps improve immune system function.
Some of the other benefits of mushrooms include:
- Boosting immunity: mushrooms act as an anti-inflammatory that improves efficiency of the immune system. One study looked at 52 healthy adults ranging from age 21 to 41. They consumed one 4-ounce serving of mushrooms daily over the course of four weeks. Results showed that researchers experienced better functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins (2).
- Lowers blood pressure: research has indicated mushrooms may help improve blood pressure. Forty mature rats consumed mushrooms over the course of four months. Findings suggested that certain varieties of mushrooms may lessen age-related hypertension and could lead to longer lifespans (3).
- Improve cognitive function: mushrooms may help protect brain functionality as we age. One study researched 663 chinese adults over the age of 60 during a six year period. The study found that people who ate more than two servings of mushrooms per week decreased their chances of developing cognitive impairment by about 50% (4).
- May lower cancer risk: one study found that higher mushroom consumption was associated with lower risk of breast cancer and total cancer rates. The correlation between mushroom consumption and cancer incidence indicates mushrooms may play a role in potentially lowering cancer risk (5).
If you’re thinking about what side item to cook or you’re simply making a salad—consider adding mushrooms to your next meal. As a food rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants mushrooms provide several healthy dietary benefits.
How Can You Add Mushrooms to Your Diet?
Mushrooms can be added to nearly any meal you can think of. Whether it be a pizza topping, a burger addition, or simply a side item to your main course—mushrooms can be incorporated into a limitless number of dishes. Whether you eat them raw, sauté, or throw them on the grill—there are numerous ways you can cook mushrooms.
The problem is not everyone has time to cook daily. If you’re looking for alternative ways to add mushrooms to your diet look no further. Ambrosia has created a revolutionary new pre-workout known as Kinetic. Infused with mushroom additives Kinetic provides all the benefits of traditional mushrooms while helping you to power your workout.
If you would like to learn more about Ambrosia Kinetic please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for additional information and support. We’re here to help guide you on the path towards health, happiness, and prosperity.