What Can Mushrooms Do For Your Health?
Don't judge a book by its cover... and don't judge a mushroom by its appearance!
These funny-looking fungi may not be the most attractive item in the market but recently have been getting some much-deserved attention from the scientific community, citing many of their health benefits. Specifically looking at what mushrooms can do for our immune system; this is why you will find mushrooms emerging in various health and wellness formulations.
September is National Mushroom Month, so now's the time to learn more about our favorite fungi!
Mushrooms have a unique lifecycle
Unlike plants and animals, mushrooms begin as spores that dig deep into the soil. They don't come from seeds, and they're not born looking like mushrooms at all. If the spores land on fertile soil (or even a tree bark), they then sprout roots that scavenge nutrients produced by decomposition. When the roots mature, a mushroom emerges, which then spreads spores to continue the lifecycle.
You can't just grow mushrooms like vegetables
Small groups of mushrooms are found everywhere but mass-producing them is not as easy. To mass-produce mushrooms, you need controlled conditions, which means you have to be equipped to farm them indoors. You have to control heat, humidity, and airflow, among other things. Mushrooms grown for human consumption also have to be cultivated in a very sterile environment to prevent contamination.
Mushrooms don't need light to grow
Because mushrooms gather nutrients from the soil or decomposing trees, they don't need light to grow at all. However, ultraviolet light from sunlight can make mushrooms produce vitamin D. Some of the more popular mushrooms like maitake, portabella, and crimini mushrooms are excellent sources.
Mushrooms are nutrient-dense
Mushrooms are fat-free, low-calorie, low-sodium, and cholesterol-free. On top of that, they're also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Some essential nutrients are antioxidants, beta-glucan fiber, copper, B-vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
Beta-glucan, in particular, is getting some scientific attention due to its benefits in improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health.
Mushrooms are one of the most sustainable food sources
Mushrooms can very well be the future of food.
- Mushrooms can be grown in limited space, with many experts saying 1 acre of land can produce up to 1 million pounds of mushroom every year.
- The growing medium can be used as compost, which further adds to their sustainability and renewability potential.
- Mushrooms don't need that much energy to grow and be mass-produced. You just have to meet the right conditions and maintain them. And again, they can be grown in the dark, which means farmers get to save on their electricity bills.
- They're not water-dependent, unlike most crops. They say it only takes 1.8 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of mushrooms. In contrast, it takes about 100 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of a typical vegetable crop. That's a lot of water saved!
Try this easy Butterfly Garlic Mushroom recipe!
Mushrooms can be amazingly delicious, so try them out yourself with this delectable Butterfly Garlic Mushroom recipe.
- Four tablespoons unsalted butter
- One tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 an onion chopped (optional)
- 1 pound (500 g) Cremini or button mushrooms
- Two tablespoons dry white wine* (optional)
- One teaspoon fresh thyme leaf chopped
- Two tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Four cloves’ garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Mushrooms are one of the most fantastic living organisms on the planet. They're sustainable, low maintenance, but generally difficult to mass-produce. However, the benefits of mushrooms outweigh the drawbacks of growing them, especially regarding health.
Take advantage of mushrooms by trying AHCC®-Kinoko Platinum. AHCC® contains a particular mushroom cited to strengthen immunity and make our immune system more responsive against harmful microorganisms.*