Discover The Health Boosting Magic Of Mushrooms
Oxygen|July - August 2019

Move over bone broth, ancient grains and kimchi — a not-so-new food is stealing your crown.

Jill Schildhouse

At first glance, mushrooms might seem unimpressive, but apparently they are the new “it” food and are good for more than just mealtime. “Mushrooms have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries,” says Bart Wolbers, MS, researcher at Nature Builds Health. “Though each variety has its own unique properties, they are generally known for promoting heart health, well-being and immunity.” Here’s what you can expect from a few popular varieties.

Shiitake

This mushroom adds a distinct flavor to spaghetti, stir-fry or salads, and recent research shows it can aid in heart health and help decrease blood pressure. Shiitake also can help reduce cholesterol because of the presence of compounds called sterols and beta-glucan, according to a Japanese study. “Beta-glucans are a fiber that makes the gut lining thicker,” Wolbers explains. “That thicker lining prevents the dietary absorption of cholesterol.”

Mushrooms can serve as a flavorful meat substitute in plantcentric meals, and their inherent umami or savory essence makes them a great addition to many dishes.

Reishi

Because of their woody texture and bitter flavor, reishi mushrooms are typically found only in supplement form. This variety is reputed to reduce inflammation and help prevent the onset of certain cancers by acting as an antioxidant when ingested, scavenging for and disposing of free radicals that can cause cellular damage. A study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications determined that reishi may even inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells.

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