The world is growing more and more health conscious as time goes on. This is evident in the growing number of health and wellness movements which are sweeping the world. Especially in the developed world which stagnated in the area of health, there is a resurgence in taking care for oneself and eating healthy. It is therefore imperative that consumers and businesses have the latest up to date knowledge of various food groups which can improve their overall health.
One of the most ignored foods, mushrooms are readily available all over the world. This seeming lack of interest in this wonder food stems from the mushroom’s poisonous history and its unsightly appearance. But make no mistake, it is a magical plant.
The mushroom is low in calories, fat, a valuable source of dietary fibres and rich in over a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and B-vitamins.
Observational studies have found that speciality mushrooms like yellow oyster, shiitake, maiitake have far higher concentrations of both ERGO and GSH. Porcini mushrooms have the highest amount of ERGO followed by yellow oyster mushrooms.
When it comes to their mineral content the most significant element present in them is selenium, something not found in most fruits and vegetables. Selenium is believed to prevent cell damage and plays an important role in reducing chronic inflammation.
Interestingly mushrooms are the only plant based source of vitamin D, a key ingredient most of us don’t get enough of. Since vitamin D is linked to lower rates obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart diseases and some forms of cancer, it is advisable to make mushrooms a regular feature in one’s diet. Vegans must note that mushrooms are the only plant based source of vitamin D.
This fungal beauty has therefore penetrated into almost every brand – tea, coffee, elixirs, blends and hot cocoa mixes. The mushroom extract is created by isolating and spray drying mushroom’s key constituents. The resulting powder is said to contain the wild fungi’s health promoting compounds in a highly concentrated form.
Furthermore mushroom supplements in form of capsules have been developed to target specific health issues like IBS, low-immunity, high-cholesterol and premature-ageing treatments.
Mushrooms have moved past ancillary use and have entered the mainstream where they are revolutionising the food industry and are slowly gaining reputation for their health benefits.