In the search for anti-aging solutions, recent research has pointed to a common ingredient that may work as a remedy. High in antioxidants, a factor in slowing the aging process, mushrooms may play a significant role in keeping us feeling younger.
Here’s how mushrooms are being used as an anti-aging remedy.
Mushrooms as an Anti-Aging Remedy
According to research, mushrooms may contain a surprising amount of two antioxidants that some scientists believe could help boost health and fight aging. These two antioxidants are known as ergothioneine and glutathione. Although mushrooms are considered the highest dietary source of both these antioxidants, the catch is that the amount of ergothioneine and glutathione varies greatly between mushroom species. The species with the highest tested amount of both antioxidants is the porcini mushroom.
But why are antioxidants so important in the fight against aging?
When the body transforms consumed food into energy, it also causes oxidative stress as free radicals are produced. Free radicals are oxygen atoms with unpaired electrons, which damage cells, proteins, and DNA as they make their way through the body in search of other electrons to pair up with. Based on many studies, replenishing antioxidants in the body may help fight this oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is harmful to the body because it has been linked to many diseases associated with aging such as cancer, coronary heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Other Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Aside from their high concentration of antioxidants, mushrooms also provide many other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving bone health, and increasing iron absorption.
Here are some benefits of having mushrooms in your diet:
Since mushrooms provide lean proteins, they have zero cholesterol or fat and are low in carbohydrates. The lean protein they provide helps to burn cholesterol as they are being digested. They also lower cholesterol levels because they contain fiber and certain enzymes. Having a good cholesterol balance is key to preventing many cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.
This condition is characterized by low levels of iron in the blood. It results in fatigue, headaches, reduced neural function, and digestive issues. Mushrooms are high in iron and are absorbed well into the body to form red blood cells and keep people healthy and strong.
Mushrooms have low levels of carbohydrates, high protein content, lots of water and fiber, and many minerals and vitamins. They also contain natural insulin and enzymes which help break down sugar and starch in food. They help vital organs function properly including the liver, pancreas, and other endocrine glands. These benefits make mushrooms part of an ideal low-energy diet for diabetics.
Boost Immune System
Ergothioneine, an antioxidant and amino acid found in mushrooms, contains sulfur, which many people lack in their diets. This amazing antioxidant can boost the immune system, eliminate free radicals, and work like antibiotics as it inhibits microbial growth and other fungal infections. Mushrooms also have vitamin A, B-complex, and C, which strengthen the immune system.
Ways to Incorporate Mushrooms in Your Diet
While many avoid mushrooms in their diet, calling them “boring” and “bland,” there are endless ways to spice them up or include them in tasty dishes that will have you going back for seconds. Here are some quick and easy ways you can prepare mushrooms in your diet:
· Sauté them with onions and garlic to make a tasty side dish
· Top off any salad with raw sliced cremini mushrooms or white mushrooms
· Fill and stuff portabella mushrooms with your favorite ingredients (cheese, eggs, peppers, green onions, etc.) for a delicious snack
· Add sliced mushrooms to your breakfast omelets, scrambled eggs, or quiches
· Grill portobello mushrooms and add them to sandwiches or wraps
There are many ways to incorporate mushrooms into your diet, but if you are constantly on the go or don’t have the time to cook a unique mushroom dish each day, there are other options available.
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