Following a healthy well-balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is a must to ensure you live a long and happy life, and to keep your body nice and strong - and if this is a resolve of yours in the future, you might want to make sure you throw a few mushrooms on your plate more often than not.
Why? Because mushrooms are incredibly good for you, of course! And they’re a very versatile little fungi so you’ll have a brilliant time sourcing all sorts of delicious recipes and trying them out in a range of different ways.
As well as being amazing sources of protein and fibre, mushrooms are also chock full of an antioxidant called selenium, which can help support your immune system and prevent cell and tissue damage. You can also find selenium in meat, fish and nuts, so if you follow a balanced diet you should be getting the recommended daily amount.
Mushrooms are also a great source of vitamin D. In fact, they are one of the very few non-animal sources of this particular vitamin out there, so if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, mushies make a very useful addition to your dishes.
It’s important that we get enough vitamin D in our diet as we need it to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies, which then helps keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy and in good working order. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets and bone pain (known as osteomalacia).
Other benefits of eating more mushrooms include potentially lowering your cholesterol and helping you to maintain a healthy heart and even protecting you against cancer, since mushrooms and their nutrient content can safeguard our cells against damage.
Here at Love Your Liver, we’ve included poria extracts in de-liver-ance, our liver detox supplement elixir. Poria is a mushroom that was used in ancient times as a treatment for a range of different conditions. In traditional herbal medicine, it’s believed that it strengthens the spleen and calms the spirit.
There are all sorts of ways you can cook mushrooms and, while you can eat them raw, it’s thought that grilling or cooking them in a microwave can actually increase their nutritional value. Cooking them for shorter amounts of time seems to help them retain more of their goodness, so bear this in mind when you’re in the kitchen!
Check out the BBC Good Food website for lots of delicious recipes that feature mushrooms as a key ingredient if you want to get started with your health goals immediately! You’ll find everything from roast mushroom gnocchi and mushroom stroganoff to slow cooker mushroom risotto. Enjoy!