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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Is fungus the new superfood? Dietitian reveals the six surprising benefits of eating mushrooms - and how it can be as effective as vitamin D supplements

 A dietitian has revealed the six surprising nutritional benefits of eating mushrooms - and why the fungus should be hailed as a superfood.  

Jemma O'Hanlon said not only are mushrooms incredibly versatile in dishes, they offer good gut health, keep you fuller for longer, eliminate bad breath and increase vitamin D status when exposed to UV light. 

'Mushrooms are such a versatile way to add flavour to your meals, and we now know there are a host of health benefits associated with eating mushrooms too,' she said. 

She suggested adding a variety of everyday mushrooms in your diet, including Button, Cup, Swiss Brown, Flat and Portobello mushrooms. 

'Add them to any meal and they will boost it, think soups, stews, risottos, bolognese, even pizza,' she said.

A dietitian has revealed the six surprising health benefits of eating mushrooms - and why the fungus should be hailed as a superfood

A dietitian has revealed the six surprising health benefits of eating mushrooms - and why the fungus should be hailed as a superfood

In a new study, conducted by Nutrition Research Australia, researchers found the most commonly consumed mushrooms contain a range of bioactive compounds, found not only in vegetables but also some meats, whole grains and nuts. 

Here, the experts listed the health benefits of eating everyday mushrooms: 

VITAMIN D 

Eating mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight increases vitamin D levels - and can be as effective as taking a vitamin D supplement, research has shown.

'To reap the vitamin D rewards, leave your mushrooms to tan in the sun with the gills facing up for 15 minutes - it's an easy trick that multiplies the vitamin D content of mushrooms by up to 10 times,' Ms O'Hanlon said. 


'You should also use every part of the mushroom in your meals - caps and stems. Many people don't realise but there is so much goodness found in mushroom stems, so don't waste them.'

FULLER FOR LONGER

Eating mushrooms has been linked to increased feelings of fullness, reduced hunger, and a lower food intake during the rest of the day, making mushrooms ideal for a healthy diet and those watching their weight.

Jemma O'Hanlon said not only are mushrooms incredibly versatile in dishes, they offer good gut health, keep you fuller for longer, eliminate bad breath and increase vitamin D status

Jemma O'Hanlon said not only are mushrooms incredibly versatile in dishes, they offer good gut health, keep you fuller for longer, eliminate bad breath and increase vitamin D status

GUT HEALTH

Want to keep your gut health in check? Mushrooms contain special prebiotics that feed your good gut bacteria, and can reduce bad breath.

IMMUNITY SUPPORT

Mushrooms are abundant in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals and support immune function.

LOWER CANCER RISK

Regularly consuming mushrooms has been associated with a reduction in the risk of ovarian cancer and the progression of prostate cancer.

BETA BENEFITS

The cell wall of mushrooms contain beta-glucans, a soluble fibre commonly found in oats that has cholesterol lowering properties and may boost heart health.

Eating mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight increases vitamin D levels - and can be as effective as taking a vitamin D supplement, research has shown

Eating mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight increases vitamin D levels - and can be as effective as taking a vitamin D supplement, research has shown

Nutritionist shows how to get daily dose of vitamin D with mushrooms
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Why are mushrooms worthy of a superfood status?

Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore, CEO of Nutrition Research Australia, who led the analysis said the results make a strong case for positioning mushrooms as a genuine superfood.

'Mushrooms are their own food kingdom and research from around the world, spanning more than 20 years, has given us reason to regard them as such,' she said.

'They are biologically distinct to both plants and animals, yet contain unique bioactive compounds found in both categories, making them a valuable food choice for anyone looking to support their health.

'The body of scientific evidence shows that mushrooms have a remarkable profile of bioactive compounds that may support immunity on a cellular level and positively affect gut microbiota too.'

The research published in the October issue in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry is the first ever systematic review on the human health benefits of the popular Agaricus Bisporus mushroom variety.

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