10 Amazing Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Most cultures around the world have taken mushrooms as food for centuries.

Mushrooms are of many varieties according to research done by scientists. There are approximately 140,000 different varieties of mushrooms and research shows that there is a variation of between 300 and 2000 on the edible species and only 10 are known to be grown commercially.

Some of the edible mushroom species include:

  • Oyster
  • Button
  • Chanterelles
  • Shiitake
  • Maitake
  • Porcini

One has to be careful before taking any mushroom because not all are edible. They can cause stomach pains and even vomiting if eaten.

In some cases, they can also cause death. Mushrooms have many health benefits to the body of an individual (source). 

Below are 10 amazing health benefits of Mushrooms:


Mushrooms are packed with numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide outstanding health benefits. Discover more about this emerging superfood through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.

<img src="https://media.mercola.com/assets/images/infographic/mushrooms.jpg" alt="Mushrooms" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Mushrooms are packed with numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that provide outstanding health benefits. Discover more about this <a href="http://www.mercola.com/infographics/mushrooms.htm"><strong>"emerging superfood"</strong></a> through this infographic. Use the embed code to share it on your website.</p>

1. Fighting cancer

According to some research on mushrooms, there are varieties that have been found to suppress breast and prostate cancer cells from growth and reproduction.

Among these varieties include crimini, maitake, portabella, white button and oyster.

Also, the shiitake mushrooms are known to contain lentinan which is a type of sugar molecule.

The lentinan is known to extend the survival period of patients who have been attacked by cancer when used with chemotherapy.

It simply boosts the immune system and does not kill the cancer cells directly.

There is some evidence that mushrooms can be beneficial in the management and treatment of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. 

2. Boosting the immune system

The lentinan component in mushrooms is known to boost the immune system of the body.

Mushrooms have another sugar called Beta-glucan which is also known to boost the immune system.

Lentinan is majorly found in shiitake mushrooms whereas beta-glucan is found on majority of the varieties. 

3. They help in lowering cholesterol

Mushrooms are known to be cholesterol free and are a good source of beta-glucan and chitin which are fibers that lower cholesterol.

According to research, the pink oyster mushrooms are known to reduce cholesterol.

The shitake mushrooms also contain a certain component that majorly helps the liver to process cholesterol and get rid of it from the main blood stream.​

They also have some therapeutic properties that lower cholesterol especially in overweight people and also phytonutrients which help to prevent cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. 

4. They have high levels of Vitamins B and D

Mushrooms are among the few sources of food that provide vitamin D which is a fat-soluble vitamin that people’s bodies can make through exposure to sunlight.

Criminis and the button mushrooms are particularly the varieties that have high levels of vitamin D.

The criminis mushrooms are also high in vitamin B 12. The B vitamins are vital simply because they convert food into fuel for our bodies.

The D vitamins are helps our bodies to absorb calcium and enhance bone growth.

5. Rich in selenium

The selenium content that is found in mushrooms is a beneficial element that is majorly overlooked.

In most cases, its primary source is the animal proteins, however, the classification of mushrooms as fungi that feed on plant and animal matter, they are the best way to obtain the necessary selenium amounts.

The selenium is beneficial in bone health and is known to add both bone strength and increased durability.

It also strengthens hair, teeth, and nails. Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant that rids the body of an individual of free radicles and majorly strengthens the immune system.

The bioavailability of this essential nutrient differs on species although research shows that most of the edible varieties have significant levels of the nutrient. 

6. Treatment of anemia

People suffering from anemia are characterized possessing low levels of iron in their blood stream which results in headaches, fatigue, digestive issues and even neural function.

Most edible varieties of mushrooms are good sources of iron and upon being taken; over 90% of the nutritive iron value can be absorbed easily by the body and promotes the formation of the red blood cells.

This keeps individuals healthy and functioning normally to their full capacities. 

7. Weight loss

Recent studies show that substituting red meat with mushrooms and majorly the white button variety can help in weight loss.

The study used some obese participants with an average age of 48 who just ate one cup of mushrooms in a day instead of meat.

The other control group took the normal standard diet without mushrooms. After some time, those who ate mushrooms had lost an average of 3.6% of their starting weight.

This clearly shows that mushrooms have the ability to reduce weight and show some improvements such as having a reduced waist circumference. 

8. They have Anti-inflammatory properties

Research shows that the edible mushroom varieties have a powerful antioxidant known as ergothioneine, which lower inflammation throughout the body.

In particular, the reishi mushroom varieties which are found in Asia have also significant anti-inflammatory effects. 

9. Prevents diabetes

For people with diabetes, mushrooms are one of the best sources of low energy diet.

They have no cholesterol, fats, and also have a high level of carbohydrates. Mushrooms also have natural insulin and enzymes that help in the breakdown of the sugar or starch if food.

They also possess some compounds that help in the proper functioning of body organs such as the liver, pancreas, among other endocrine glands which promotes the formation of insulin in the body and properly regulating it in the entire body. 

10. Nutrient absorption

It is relatively rare to find vitamin D in vegetables. Most mushrooms varieties have it and is very essential in facilitating the absorption and metabolism of both calcium and phosphorous. 


In conclusion, these are among the top health benefits of taking mushrooms.

If you need to get the above health benefits, giving a try to some calories of mushrooms is the best option since they have been proved through many researches conducted worldwide.

The storage of mushrooms can sometimes become an issue. What is the best way to store mushrooms?

It should be understood that mushrooms can begin to deteriorate very quickly. If you decide to buy loose mushrooms, then you need to store them in a paper bag or a container that is wrapped in plastic.

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