There are many benefits to eating mushrooms, not the least of which is their ability to positively impact your gut health.
They are one of the few plant-based sources of insoluble fiber and prebiotic fibers (beta-glucan), which help feed your beneficial bacteria.
Reducing inflammation, managing stress, getting more probiotics and prebiotics, and upping your intake of whole foods rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are all ways to support a healthy gut.
It’s impossible to eat your way to a healthier gut; you need to ensure that what you’re ingesting is supporting this goal.
There are some foods that can make a big difference in this department – mushrooms being at the top of that list!
What is a Prebiotic?
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These are found in foods like asparagus, artichoke, chicory, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens and leeks.
The intake of prebiotics helps balance your microflora, which leads to improved gut health and better overall health.
Prebiotics are indigestible food ingredients that are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. The prebiotics used in food products are derived from natural sources, such as foods rich in inulin and oligosaccharides. These microbes help with digestion, provide nutrients, prevent disease and may even affect your mood. All of your nutritional and health goals depend on having a strong and healthy gut.
More benefits of mushrooms
Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, niacin and riboflavin. They are also a good source of vitamin B-6, iron, copper, and zinc.
Mushrooms are low in calories and contain virtually no fat, 0% cholesterol, and are a good source of protein.
They are an excellent source of antioxidants that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which are linked to chronic degenerative diseases.
Also, these fungi contain ergothioneine, a naturally occurring compound that is believed to increase the body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself.
Not to forget, they contain potassium, which may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and selenium, which may help protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
7 Mushrooms That Are Super Beneficial for Your Gut Health
1. Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi, also known as Ganoderma, is a rich source of polysaccharides known as beta-glucan. This component of the mushroom has been linked to lowering blood pressure, improving blood glucose levels and increasing the number of good bacteria in the gut.
The polysaccharides found in reishi have also been linked to boosting the immune system. The beta-glucans in reishi are also believed to help boost the body’s production of natural steroids.
Reishi is believed to benefit the heart, brain and immune system.
2. Chaga Mushrooms
The polysaccharides in chaga have been shown to encourage the growth of probiotic bacteria in the gut. They have also been linked to lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and reducing the risk of certain cancers.
The antioxidants in chaga may also help protect against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Chaga is used to treat a wide variety of health issues, including high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver disorders, and cancer. It is also used as an anti-aging agent because of its ability to reduce wrinkles and promote healthy, younger-looking skin.
3. Cordyceps Mushrooms
Cordyceps has been shown to boost the immune system and support blood flow. It may also reduce the risk of certain cancers and help with the management of type 2 diabetes.
Cordyceps is used to treat many conditions, including asthma, bronchitis and cancer. It is also used to boost athletic performance and enhance sexual drive. It is believed to increase energy and improve endurance during exercise.
4. Oyster Mushrooms
The oyster mushroom is the world’s most popular edible mushroom. It is a rich source of beta-glucans, which help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body.
The oyster mushroom also contains a compound called eritadenine, which has been shown to increase the body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself.
Oyster mushroom is used to prevent and treat many ailments, including high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver disorders, and some types of cancer. It is also used as an anti-aging agent because of its ability to reduce wrinkles and promote healthy, younger-looking skin.
5. Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane is believed to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, support the immune system, and help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
It also contains a compound called eristadenine that may help the body to naturally detoxify itself.
6. Shiitake Mushrooms
The shiitake mushroom is a rich source of beta-glucans, which help reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body.
How to Incorporate Mushrooms in Your Diet
Mushrooms are a tasty and nutritious addition to many meals. You can sauté them and use them in stir-fries, soups or salads.
You can bake them as a side dish or add them to casseroles and rice dishes. You can stuff them with cheese or add them to a vegetable omelet.
There really are very few foods that are as versatile and adaptable to so many different meals and culinary styles.
Mushrooms have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years.
They are low in calories and fat, yet they are high in dietary fiber, minerals, and B vitamins. Mushrooms also contain large amounts of protein and no cholesterol.
Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, niacin and riboflavin. They are also a good source of vitamin B-6, iron, copper, selenium and zinc.
They contain ergothioneine, a naturally occurring compound that is believed to increase the body’s ability to naturally detoxify itself.
Also contain potassium, which may help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Overall, the named mushrooms are great for your gut health.