No, no, no… not THOSE ‘shrooms! I am talking about the vegetable! Come on, guys….
Up until a few years ago When I was little I was scared of mushrooms. They genuinely scared me. They were strange, popped up randomly in your yard, and they were a FUNGUS for goodness sake! Why on earth would ANYONE eat them?! Well… in this case… I am a hypocrite! Because now, I can’t get enough of the nasty things. Carley and I always make sure to have a good stock in the fridge.
Not only does adding mushrooms to a dish make it instantly taste 10x better, they also have tons of vitamins and minerals that provide positive health benefits.
Here are some things Mushrooms have to offer.
Mushrooms provide a good source of B vitamins which help to produce energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbs as well as playing an important role in the nervous system. Below are a few of the B vitamins found in mushrooms.
- Pantothenic acid helps with the production of hormones and also plays an important role in the nervous system
- Riboflavin helps maintain healthy red blood cells
- Niacin promotes healthy skin and makes sure the digestive and nervous systems function properly
Mushrooms also provide minerals….
- Selenium works as an antioxidant to protect cells from damage. The damage could lead to lead to heart disease, some cancers and other diseases associated with aging. It also functions to keep your immune system healthy and also for fertility in men
- Ergothioneine is another antioxidant that provides protection.
- Copper helps make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Copper also helps keep bones and nerves healthy.
- Potassium is a mineral that many people don’t get enough of. It is important in maintaining fluid and mineral balance which helps with blood pressure control. Potassium also ensures that nerves and muscles are working correctly.
Mushrooms are also one of the only sources of vitamin D in the produce aisle that is non-fortified. Vitamin D is also something that MANY people lack in their diet! Vitamin D aids in absorption of calcium and phosphorus which help maintain healthy bones and it also helps in keeping your immune system healthy.
And those are just a few of the ways that mushrooms can help out your diet! Now, because they have such high nutritional value they have been linked to other things such as….
- Lowering risk of various forms of cancer
- Reducing risk of gout
- Lower blood cholesterol
- Aid in weight control
Here is how I incorporated this little nutrition powerhouse into my lunch. I made a turkey and swiss panini with sauteed spinach and mushrooms.
It went something like this….
Pre-heat a skillet on the stove and spray a little non-stick spray on it. Add about 1/3 cup chopped spinach and a few sliced mushrooms to the skillet (I used mini-bella mushrooms, but any kind will do) Once everything is nice and limp remove the veggies from the heat and set them aside. Now take two slices of bread and put a few slices of turkey lunch meat and the vegetablse between them. Take your sandwich and place it in the hot pan until golden brown, about a minute or two per side. I added a little laughing cow swiss cheese to it after I removed it from the pan. (I was scared it would get soggy)
And there you have it! Pretty tasty if I do say so myself.