Four health benefits of mushrooms and how to incorporate them into your meals

·Contributor
·2-min read
Variety of raw mushrooms on dark background. Vegan food cocnept. Top view, flat lay, copy space
Health benefits hidden in these unassuming mushrooms (Photo: Gettyimages)

Mushrooms might not be considered a superfood, but studies have shown that mushrooms have a plethora of health benefits to offer.

Nutritional benefits vary with the kinds of mushrooms you are consuming, but even the basic types, like button, enoki, and oyster, which you can easily get at the supermarket, are loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Yahoo Life SEA has put together four health benefits that mushrooms provide and ways to easily incorporate them into your diet.

1. Preventing cognitive decline

A Singapore study in 2019 had looked into the association between mushroom consumption and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and concluded those who had more than two portions of mushrooms weekly has lesser odds of MCI compared to those who consumed less than a portion.

2. Lowering cancer risks

Study has shown that higher mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer, especially breast cancer. Rich in a type of antioxidant called selenium, research has shown that it helps to protect the body from damaging free radicals that can cause cancer and other health conditions such as heart diseases.

3. Boosting heart health

Found mainly in oyster and shiitake mushrooms is beta-glucan, a form of soluble dietary fibre that is linked to boosting heart health and improving cholesterol levels in individuals. Along with the antioxidant selenium, which in this study shows a 24% reduction of heart diseases with a 50% increase in selenium intake, can help to boost your heart’s health in the long run.

4. Blood sugar control

Mushrooms, especially white and oyster mushrooms, have been studied and concluded to help improve insulin resistance and assist in blood sugar control. This can potentially help those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and “be a valuable choice for diabetic control.”

Incorporating mushrooms into meals

Easy to prepare, mushrooms in general are highly nutritious, with a healthy amount of fibre, antioxidants, and various vitamins in every serving.

Mushrooms can be easily cooked and added to your meals, even substituting meat and seafood products in dishes thanks to their umami flavours. Add them to stews and soups to boost the overall flavour of your dishes, or air-fry enoki mushrooms for a crunchy side dish.

For a simple side of mushrooms, you can quickly sauté them in olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper, adding a dash of herbs for additional flavour. To start the day right with a healthy breakfast, cook mushrooms with scrambled eggs or as a filling for an omelette.

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