A seasonal food that we don’t think about enough, mushrooms have remarkable health properties.
Most mushrooms are 90% water. But the composition of the remaining 10% is quite extraordinary. Mushrooms contain protein, fiber and a small proportion of fat. As well as vitamins and minerals, including potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and zinc. They also contain many bioactive molecules including terpenoids, steroids, phenols and all essential amino acids. They are especially good sources of lysine and leucine. Mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, which have many beneficial properties, including:
It is easy to understand why mushrooms have been valued for centuries for their medicinal properties. In ancient Egypt, for example, mushrooms were thought to prolong life. We now know that this property could be due to the many beneficial phytochemicals and other compounds they contain.
Biomolecular and clinical aspects of reishi mushroom
A very studied mushroom shows very interesting medicinal properties, reishi. There is indeed data that demonstrates its beneficial effects on health, in particular its anticancer effects, its action on the regulation of blood sugar, its antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral effects, and protective effects against liver and gastric damage.
A healthier diet with mushrooms
Some antioxidants are even unique to mushrooms. One of them, ergothioneine, is beginning to be recognized by scientists as a “major antioxidant”. Mushrooms also provide valuable nutrients that many people lack, including B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Mushroom consumption was associated with higher quality diets and better nutrition. The beta-glucan found in mushrooms even plays a role in fat metabolism and may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.