By Lucy Gornall
They’re great in soups, risottos and pies – to name a few – but are mushrooms good for you? The short answer is yes, those tasty mushrooms are actually a powerhouse of health benefits.
From keeping wrinkles at bay to easing sugar cravings – if you’re not including mushrooms in your diet, then now’s the time to make a change, especially when there are so many great, easy mushroom recipes online. Dr Naomi Beinert PhD answers our question: are mushrooms good for you?
Are mushrooms good for you?
The short answer to the question, are mushrooms good for you, is yes. Dr Naomi Beinert revealed to woman&home the 5 health benefits of mushrooms...
1. Mushrooms support your natural defenses
Bored of missing out on nights out due to too many colds? Mushrooms could be your answer. They’re high in beta glucans – natural substances, which have been found to help ‘prime’ our immune system, making sure it’s ready for action to fight off bugs and germs. Certain types of mushroom such as reishi, shiitake and maitake are especially rich in the most powerful beta glucans. So, getting a daily dose of these mushrooms could be beneficial at times when we need extra support, such as over the cold season.
2. Mushrooms boost energy and help you cope with stress
Certain mushrooms are traditionally used as a mood tonic or ‘adaptogen’. Adaptogens are natural substances said to help the body adapt to stress and protect against some of its negative effects, such as fatigue and poor sleep. The bonus: more energy! Maitake and reishi are among the mushrooms said to have adaptogenic qualities. We love this vegan-friendly Mushroom Plus complex, which contains 4 different adaptogenic mushrooms.
3. Mushrooms keep blood sugar in check
When blood sugar levels get out of control it can affect everyday energy as well as increase the risk of other problems such as diabetes and weight gain. Maitake mushrooms have been found in animal studies to help bring blood sugar down by improving sensitivity to insulin – the hormone that triggers cells to take up glucose out of the blood. They may also help protect the pancreas, which actually produces insulin.
4. Mushrooms help you look young!
Mushrooms such as shiitake and reishi are rich in youth-boosting antioxidants. These include polyphenols, like those found in fruits and vegetables. But mushrooms actually have the upperhand on so many other vegetables. Firstly, because their powerful beta glucans can also have antioxidant activity. Secondly, mushrooms are a great source of the minerals copper and zinc, used by our body to make its own powerful antioxidants. All this means that they can have anti-ageing and protective activity for our skin, as well as our heart, brain and liver. Why not try Pukka's Mushroom Capsules - they contain acarefully selected formula to bring you the full potential of mushrooms.
5. Mushrooms can ease your joints
Inflammation around the joints can be a major concern for many people, especially those with arthritis or joint damage. Mushrooms can have anti-inflammatory activity, helping to ease pain and discomfort, or prevent it happening in the first place. Reishi and shiitake mushrooms in particular could be helpful – reishi has been shown to ease symptoms in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Lucy Gornall is the former Health & Fitness editor at Future and a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal exercise.
Potato milk: the new dairy alternative that's dividing opinion
Could potato milk be your next dairy alternative of choice?
By Laura Harman •
Former X Factor contestants celebrate show's cancellation as ITV confirms axing
Some former X Factor contestants are happy to see the show go
By Laura Harman •
The best women’s walking shoes and boots—whether you need lightweight, breathable or waterproof styles
These best women’s walking shoes and hiking boots will allow you to go the distance
By Faye M Smith •
Why kegel exercises are so important—plus, the key movements you need to know about
Leading experts weigh in on the importance of kegel exercises and how to do them at home
By Emilie Lavinia •
The best running shoes for women—for casual jogs, long runs and beautiful trails
These best running shoes for women also look good, too. Win, win!
By Faye M Smith •
Calling all golf fans! Take part in our survey for a chance to win a £250 or $300 Amazon voucher!
Tell us what kind of golfer you are in our latest YOU & YOUR GOLF survey, for the chance of winning an Amazon voucher
By Rylee Johnston •
A third of all midlife people have one of these chronic health conditions
A new study has found that one in three middle-aged people in Britain suffer from at least one chronic health issue
By Emma Dooney •
The best Nectar mattress deals and sales to shop right now—featuring large discounts and free gifts
Meet your one-stop destination for Nectar mattress deals across models
By Dominique McIntee •
Immunity supplements—the vitamins and minerals you need to stay well
These key immunity supplements will help supercharge your body
By Natalia Lubomirski •
Salomon Supercross Blast GTX W review: Will these new laces help to revolutionise your running?
These almost do the hard work for you!
By Faye M Smith •