By Julieanna Hever, Plant-Based Dietitian
Mushrooms are magnificent as they offer myriad health advantages and are one of the most nutritionally-dense foods groups on the planet. They are rich in bioactive immune-enhancing polysaccharides, essential amino acids, and minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and can be a good source of vitamin D when treated with UV light. Mushrooms provide extraordinary health properties, including cholesterol-lowering, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, liver protective, anti-diabetic, anti-viral, and antimicrobial properties, and also act as powerful prebiotics to positively impact the gut microbiome.
In this new episode of Science and Saucery (link is below), I had the distinct honor of learning from world-leading mycologist Paul Stamets, who shares so much inspiring wisdom and knowledge that I had to apologize to leafy greens because mushrooms have now become my favorite food group.
Fun facts about fungi:
- Consuming mushrooms helps “exercise your immunity so it is ready for when it is exposed to a stressor.”
- Mushrooms must be cooked for its nutrition to be absorbed and to destroy the hydrazines which can be carcinogenic.
- You can irradiate mushrooms yourself to enhance vitamin D by placing them out in the sun.
- They are culinary diverse and there are a plethora of delicious ways to enjoy them.