Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them save money.
Are Mushrooms Good for You?
Many people think of mushrooms as vegetables. However, they actually belong to the fungi family. While they do not contain some healthy organisms such as chlorophyll or vascular tissue that are found in plants, this fungi is packed full of nutrients, and you might want to consider including them in your diet. Three healthy mushrooms to include are morel, reishi and portobello mushrooms.
Morel is an edible mushroom that grows best in very moist soil such as in woodlands and along river beds. This mushroom can be identified by its distinctive honey-comb like cap. These mushrooms are a great addition to any meal because of their great taste. They can be fried, sautéed or even used as an ingredient for many soups. While these mushrooms taste good, they are loaded with many nutrients. Therefore, eating morel is good for your health.
The Health Benefits of Morel Mushrooms
If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, morel is the way to go. These mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, manganese and magnesium which are all needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of these in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains all of these play a key role in reducing blood pressure.
Morel is considered to be a natural blood thinner because this mushroom contains terpenoids which help boost the circulation of blood. Since this mushroom helps lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your bloodstream and unclogs your arteries of fatty buildup, including morel in your daily diet not only lowers your blood pressure, but also helps promote a healthy heart.
Morels provide an antioxidant called selenium. Antioxidants play a role in preventing damaged cells from attacking healthy cells.
This mushroom is also high in zinc. If you want to maintain good eyesight and prevent conditions such as myocardial infarction include these mushrooms in your daily diet.
Morel provides over 30% of your RDA in copper. Eating this mushroom may prevent the premature graying of your hair. One of the reasons why some people get gray hair early in their lives is because they do not have enough copper in their diets.
Morel is rich in vitamin A. We need this vitamin for optimal health, good vision, strong bones, strong teeth and youthful-looking skin.
Morel is a major source of riboflavin or vitamin B2. This vitamin helps boost your immune system by building up immunity to illnesses and resisting diseases. This vitamin also aids in increasing the energy in your body as well as “maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function” (WebMD).
Morel is rich in vitamin B3 which is also known as niacin. This vitamin plays a role in turning our food into energy. In addition to this, it helps raise the level of good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein or HDL).
Morel is rich in vitamin D. We need this for strong and healthy bones. When we do not have enough calcium in our daily diets, vitamin D helps make up for what we are not getting. Not only for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis, but Vitamin D is also excellent for:
- Lowering Blood Pressure
- Lowering Bad Cholesterol
- Preventing Gum Disease
- Relieving Symptoms of Respiratory Diseases
Morels make excellent food for diabetics. It plays a role in both regulating blood glucose levels and lowering blood sugar.
Morel is excellent to include in your diet if you want to lose weight and or want to maintain your weight. Not only is it low in calories, but it is also an excellent source of protein. If you work out at a gym, you want to have protein in your diet. The protein is needed to build muscle mass and maintain it. When you have larger muscles, the body burns more calories. Even if you are not into bodybuilding, if you want to lose weight, including body toning exercises with your diet will help you burn off that body fat faster.
Morel mushrooms are an excellent source of dietary fiber. With almost three grams per serving, you are promoting excellent intestinal health when you include this mushroom in your daily diet. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it, eating morels helps keep you regular.
Morel mushrooms are a natural pain reliever because of their anti-inflammatory properties. Eating these mushrooms may help reduce pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as:
- Menstrual Cramps
- Muscle Spasms
- Arthritic Pain
- Gout Attacks
- Joint and Muscle Pain
Precautions For Morel Mushrooms
Many people collect morel from the wild. Even though this mushroom is easily identified by its honeycombed cap, if you want to go hunting for them get the advice of an expert since many wild mushrooms are poisonous.
Do not eat morel mushrooms raw. Before you cook them make sure that you wash them well.
Stop eating morel mushrooms if you start to break out. You may be allergic to these mushrooms.
- Vitamins & Supplements Center – Nutritional, Herbal, Dietary, and More - WebMD
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- Mushrooms, raw, morel: nutritional value and analysis
Mushrooms, raw, morel: nutritional value and analysis
The use of reishi mushroom dates back thousands of years and is considered to be a traditional Chinese medicine. It is considered to be a spiritual plant because it has been used to heal the spirit and used as a good luck charm. It was said that this mushroom made an individual strong and healthy and allowed him to live a long time. Even today the reishi mushroom is recognized for its numerous health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms
If you want to protect your heart from diseases, keep reishi mushrooms in your refrigerator since they are natural blood thinners. They play a role in making the platelets less sticky, thus keeping the arteries from getting clogged with fatty buildup. Since your heart does not have to work as hard to move the blood through the arteries, you will have safe blood pressure levels and have a reduced risk of stroke and heart attack.
Reishi mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants which we need to protect our bodies from free radicals or damaged cells. These damaged cells will attack the good ones and damage them as well. These antioxidants play a key role in destroying the bad cells before they cause any further damage.
Reishi mushrooms play a major role in improving liver function by removing the toxins from your body. It even removes kidney stones and prevents crystals from forming in the urinary tract because of its diuretic properties. Reishi mushrooms contain choline which belongs to the vitamin B-complex group. This gives overall health to the body. It is an essential vitamin in preventing liver disease, especially hepatitis and cirrhosis.
Reishi mushrooms are a major source of Riboflavin or vitamin B2. This vitamin gives the immune system a major boost. If you have a cold or the flu, eating these mushrooms can help fight the symptoms. You can even prevent yourself from getting sick in the first place by including reishi mushrooms in your daily diet.
Reishi mushrooms also contain expectorant properties. A tea made with these mushrooms helps with respiratory problems such as:
- Sore Throat
Reishi mushrooms are natural pain relievers because of their anti-inflammatory properties. People who suffer from headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, muscle spasms, toothaches, arthritic pain, gout, sprains and joint and muscle pain can find fast relief by including these mushrooms in their diets because they reduce inflammation within the body.
Reishi mushrooms contain antiviral properties. If you are suffering from the stomach flu, eating these mushrooms may help relieve you of vomiting and diarrhea. If you include these mushrooms in your daily diet, the antiviral properties of this herb may protect you from catching the stomach flu and other viral infections.
Reishi mushrooms contain infection-fighting properties. These are effective in preventing cuts, scrapes, burns and insect bites from getting infected.
Reishi mushrooms increase energy by improving the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system. This also gives people, especially athletes, more energy and stamina. This also helps if you have a hectic schedule and are feeling fatigued. These mushrooms give you the edge to get through the day.
Precautions For Reishi Mushrooms
Some of the side effect of eating reishi mushrooms include upset stomach, diarrhea, skin rash and dry mouth
If you are allergic to mold or any type of fungi avoid reishi mushrooms.
If you take blood thinners avoid these mushrooms.
Do not try to collect these mushrooms from the wild unless if you are experienced in this field. There are many poisonous mushrooms out there.
- Reishi Mushroom: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning
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One of the most widely used types of mushroom is the Agaricus bisporus which is "an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America" (Wikipedia). When this mushroom is immature it has two colors which are brown and white. These immature mushrooms go by different names such as common mushroom and button mushroom. When the mushroom is brown in color with its cap opened, it is considered to be a Portobello mushroom. Cultivated in over 70 countries throughout the world, this is one of the most common forms of mushrooms.
The Health Benefits of Portobello Mushrooms
Not only are Portobello mushrooms low in fat, but they are also high in fiber. With almost five grams per cup, you are promoting excellent intestinal health when you include Portobello mushrooms in your daily diet. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it, eating these mushrooms helps keep you regular. The fiber also helps your bile ducts move the cholesterol out of your body more effectively.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure go hand in hand. Eating foods that aid in lowering your cholesterol also has a direct impact on lowering your blood pressure. The American Heart Association states that food that contains high fiber content plays a key role in reducing blood pressure. The fiber found in Portobello mushrooms helps absorb fat and cholesterol and helps remove it from the body. This fiber also fills you up and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. Since these mushrooms are also high in potassium, they are excellent if you are watching your blood pressure since it, along with the fiber, plays a role in lowering blood pressure.
Portobello mushrooms contain an antioxidant called selenium. Antioxidants play a role in preventing damaged cells from attacking healthy cells. This mineral is necessary if your want to protect yourself from getting heart disease. Selenium plays a role in forming prostaglandins which helps prevent abnormal clotting of your blood. Eating Portobello mushrooms is an excellent way to prevent the likelihood of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Portobello mushrooms contain several B vitamins. Thiamin, or vitamin B1, helps “helps the body's cells change carbohydrates into energy” (medlineplus). This helps speed up metabolism and the rate at which we lose weight. Riboflavin-vitamin B2-helps boost your immune system and increase the energy in your body as well as “maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function” (WebMD). Viamin B3 (2% RDA)-or niacin-also plays a role in turning our food into energy. In addition to this, it helps raise the level of good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein or HDL). Vitamin B6 is necessary for reducing the chances of getting heart disease, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, unclogging arteries and “reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease “ (WebMD). Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots.
The glycemic index or glycaemic index (GI) is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food's effect on a person's blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level(Wikipedia). If a specific type of food has a higher number, people with diabetes should avoid that type of food. That is because that food can cause an unhealthy rise in blood sugar. Portobello mushrooms fall below 55 on the glycemic index. This is considered to be a low number. Therefore, they will not cause a spike in blood sugar and help keep it in the healthy range. If you are diabetic, eat these mushrooms as a healthy snack.
Precautions For Portobello Mushrooms
Avoid eating Portobello mushrooms if you are allegic to fungi.
Unless you are knowledgeable about mushrooms, do not try to collect Portobello mushrooms from the wild. You can easily confuse these safe mushrooms with poisonous ones.
Always talk to your doctor if you are including Portobello or any other type of mushrooms to treat any health ailments or conditions.
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- Agaricus bisporus - Wikipedia
Where to Purchase the Above Mushrooms
It may be hard to find morels at your local grocery store. However, you can check out your local farmer's market and even health food stores. Other than fresh you can also purchase these mushroom dried.
Reishi mushrooms can either be found as dried or fresh. However, they have a bitter taste and are not normally eaten. It is better to purchase products that have these mushrooms diluted. You can find a variety of products at your local health food store as:
- Dried Mushrooms
Most grocery stores and health food stores sell Portobello mushrooms. You may even find them at your local farmer's market when they are in season. When you are shopping for them, check out the caps and make sure they are firm and smooth. Also, make sure that these caps do not have any wet patches or feel slimy since they will spoil quicker. To make these mushrooms last, put them in a paper bag and store them in your refrigerator.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Lois Ryan
Lois Ryan (author) from Binghamton NY on April 03, 2019:
I didn't like mushrooms when I was a kid. I guess it was because it was something new. I think I was about 12 or 13 when I started to like them. I do prefer them cooked over eating them raw.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 03, 2019:
Just a shout out to you. Thanks! I am learning so much from you. My son thinks your stuff is yucky but loves the results. How wonderful to deal with ailments naturally in a small child. Knock on wood but we have not used an "antibiotic" in years.
Lois Ryan (author) from Binghamton NY on March 30, 2019:
I love swiss cheese on my portobello.
I did write a hub on headaches
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 30, 2019:
Fantastic! I am a Portebello junkie myself. I will expand thanks to you. I just love them in a tomato, Kale, Onion, carrot, Purple Cabbage, Beet greens ++ whatever is on hand. Make a chili with these instead of beef and yummy.
Thanks for expanding my joy of cooking. (just a question; do you have a place of yours where I can type in "headache or cramps" and get your advice?)