Here at The Optimist Daily, we are huge fans of mushrooms. As each year passes, more scientists are turning toward fantastic fungi to treat a range of mental health conditions and look to their impressive networks for inspiration in building complex computing devices.
Mushrooms have soared in popularity in recent years, though humans have been scouring the temperate hillsides of the world in search of these mycological treats for centuries. While they may just have been following their tastebuds, these plants supply humans with a whole range of health benefits.
Here are four reasons why you should be eating more mushrooms.
They protect you from disease
Mushrooms are an excellent dietary source of vitamin D, which helps protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain cancers. We usually associate vitamin D with sunshine, but we can also get vitamin D from food—with mushrooms being one of the few plant-based sources of vitamin D.
They boost your immune system
Packed with D-glucans, beta-glycosides, magnesium, zinc, and more, mushrooms are great for the immune system. The fungi are also a tremendous source of antioxidants that ward off free radicals.
Each mushroom also has its own individual concoction of immune-boosting supplements. For example, shiitake mushrooms can improve immune function by reducing inflammation and helping your body fight off invading microbes.
They can promote satiety
Portobello mushrooms often find their way onto the grill, and that’s because their robust flavor and substantial texture make them a great alternative to meat. They’re also high in dietary fiber, helping you feel fuller longer.
They are sustainable
Mushrooms are considered one of the most sustainably sourced foods in the U.S. These vegetables require fewer growing minerals, water, and energy compared to other types of crops.