In the United States mushrooms have been under appreciated as food and as medicine, but they are gaining in popularity. It seems Americans are learning what other cultures have known for thousands of years. Mushrooms are a very powerful ally when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Some Japanese people have been willing to travel hundreds of miles to collect wild Reishi mushrooms because of their value in treating cancer and regenerative diseases. According to Christopher Hobbs, mushrooms may be the perfect food for staying trim and healthy because of their nutritional makeup. (1) Studies are being conducted on the benefits of mushrooms on cancer, HIV, tumor growth and the results have been very exciting. Many people have become aware of the medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, cordyceps, and turkey tail, but remain unaware of the tremendous benefits that come from the ones we can commonly find in the grocery store such as shiitake, maitake, button, and oyster. My hope is that you will be inspired to start adding these gems to your diet after reading this.
First mushrooms are extremely low in carbohydrates, only 2 grams in a whole cup! They also offer a modest 3 grams of protein and are wonderfully filling. They are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals. (1) Most have a mild flavor that goes well with a myriad of different dishes. They are good in soups, salads, omelets, casseroles, you name it. But the best thing about mushrooms is the benefits you can’t readily see.
Common button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus
- Can decrease the fat levels in the blood (2)
- Helps rid the respiratory system of excess mucus (2)
- Has antibiotic properties (2)
- Increases white blood cell count (2)
- Shows Anti-tumor activity (2)
Shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes
- Induces an immune response against cancer and viral diseases
- Decreases fat and cholesterol in the blood (2)
- Helps shrink existing tumors (3)
- Reduce blood pressure (3)
- Prevents spread of HIV in body (3)
Maitake mushroom, Grifola Frondosa
- Works synergistically with chemotherapy to be highly effective against hormone driven cancers such as breast, prostate, and endometrial cancers (3)
- Deters formation of new tumors (3)
- Lowers blood glucose (1)
- Researchers document anti-obesity, anti-hypertension (1,3) and anti-hepatitis activity with maitake mushrooms (3)
Oyster mushroom, Pleurotus Ostreatus
- Prevention of high cholesterol (1)
- Excellent blood builder (1)
- Contains a highly active antibacterial substance (1)
As you can see mushrooms are something you should be adding to your diet tonight!
Grilled portobello caps
- 1 Large portobello cap per person
- Olive oil
- Spices you like, salt , pepper, cumin, and garlic are all good choices
- Remove stem, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with desired spices and grill for 10-15 minutes.
Stuffed pesto mushroom caps
- 1 pkg cremini mushrooms
- 1 c Spinach, wilted
- Pesto sauce
- Remove stems and chop finely. Chop spinach and mix with mushroom stems. Fill caps with mixture. Top with pesto sauce and bake at 350° for 10 – 15 minutes.
Mushroom stir fry
- 1/4 c maitake mushrooms
- 1/4 c shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 c button mushrooms
- 3/4 c cauliflower rice
- 4 oz protein of your choice (can be adjusted based on program)
- Coconut aminos to taste
- Avocado oil
- Saute protein in oil until nearly done. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until done. Sprinkle with coconut aminos to taste.
- – Hobbs, Christopher. Medicinal Mushrooms, An exploration of tradition, healing, and culture. Botanica Press. 1995.
- – Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. North Atlantic Books. 2002.
– Page, Linda Phd. Healthy Healing 14th Ed. Healthy Healing LLC. 2011.