Certain fungi are potent disease fighters and a wise addition to your diet. Though some are more effective than others, we’ve sorted out which mushrooms pack the most powerful – and healthy – punch.
White button mushrooms: Studies have shown that this popular mushroom has been effective in preventing breast and prostate cancer in both animal and human cells. Not getting enough? Nix the chips or crackers for dips, and try using white button mushrooms to dip instead. They’re the perfect bite-sized substitution and can be easily found at any grocery store.
Crimini mushrooms: These mini-Portobello mushrooms have a delicious meaty flavor. If you’re trying to lose weight, blending crimini mushrooms with ground turkey is a great way to cut half the fat without losing taste. The high-fiber mushroom mixture works well for any meat-based dish — tacos, meat sauce, hamburgers and more.
Maitake mushrooms: Loaded with antioxidants and potassium, these hearty mushrooms have been known to lower the risks of high blood pressure and stroke. Also known as “Hen of the Woods,” Maitake mushrooms have a nutty, woodsy flavor that’s perfect for soups and sides. You can even drink them! There are mushroom-based coffees that taste the same as the regular stuff, but are packed with Maitake’s disease-fighting nutrients.
8 Types of Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits
There are many types of mushrooms that offer a long list of health benefits. Mushrooms are an odd looking group that goes by the name of fungi pronounced, fun gee or fun guy. Essentially it is neither a plant nor an animal it is a fungus, hence the group name. Although mushrooms may not be a number one menu favorite you may think twice about pushing them aside during your next encounter.
Note: If you have gout do not eat mushrooms.
White Mushroom for Weight Loss and Prostate Cancer Prevention- This category includes the familiar button mushroom, cremini and the Portobello. The white mushroom has a special carbohydrate that stokes the metabolic fire and maintains blood sugar levels. A strong metabolism means more burned fat. Three ounces per day for four to six weeks has been said to yield substantial weight loss (this does not mean that exercise and healthy eating is not required). These mushrooms are also high in selenium which not only aids weight loss but is showing to have positive effects on prostate cancer.
Shiitake Can Fight Tumors- These flavorful, meaty mushrooms contain lentinan which is a natural anti-tumor compound. It has been developed by the Japanese into a beneficial anti-cancer treatment. In turn, it is an excellent source of vitamin D and fighting infection. Four to five ounces per day is recommended.
Reishi: The Super Anti-‘Shroom- This mushroom that looks like a large brown and white flower made of wood, has the following properties: anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. In addition, reishi mushrooms contain gandodermic acid which helps reduce cholesterol which in turn can lower high blood pressure. A few ounces per day is a good addition to a meal.
Maitake Mushrooms for Breast Cancer- A half of a cup per day of maitake mushrooms is said to be able to sweep the system, find abnormal cells and cause them to self-destruct. At the same time, these trumpeting bushels can trigger the body to release killer immune system cells.
Oysters for HIV – Oyster mushrooms are being studied as a possible defense against HIV. Due to its high anti-oxidant compounds, these mushrooms can be a life saving ingredient.
Chanterelle: The Other Anti ‘Shroom – Looking like a single mini-trumpet this mushroom has been associated with anti-microbial, bacterial and fungal properties. They are also high in vitamin C, D and potassium.
Porcini for Anti-Inflammation- A meaty mushroom similar to the Portabello has been used as a successful anti-inflammatory. It contains the compound ergosterol which is capable of cytotoxicity which is the process of attacking enemy cells.
Shimeji Fights Tumors Asthma and More- These are the tiny capped, long stemmed species that can be found in many Asian soups or as a garnish. Be sure and pay close attention to this one as it contains beta-glucans. According to the National Cancer Institute of Japan this compound is a successful remedy for retarding and destroying growing tumors. Shimeji mushrooms can also help diabetes, asthma and certain allergies by enhancing the immune system and boosting its healing capabilities.