The compounds in
mushrooms, which boost the
immune system, help to
prevent cancers, infections,
and auto-immune diseases
such as arthritis and lupus.
Most of the mushrooms that we buy are the young, white-skinned button mushrooms and the older, darker gilled flat mushrooms, but there are several others, such as Chinese shiitake mushrooms, Italian porcini, and wild mushrooms. While the amount of beneficial compounds varies according to their variety and age, (older, darker ones have more benefits), most mushrooms are rich in plant chemicals, which help boost the immune system. An active component of mushrooms that may be beneficial is glutamic acid, a naturally occurring form of monosodium glutamate. Mushrooms are also a useful source of protein.
- Contain compounds that can help prevent cancers and auto-immune diseases.
- Ideal source of healthy protein for vegetarians and dieters.
- Rich in the anticancer antioxidant mineral selenium.
- Good source of B vitamins, including folate and niacin, which has cholesterollowering properties.
Store mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag rather than a plastic bag, to help them breathe. Most mushrooms shouldn’t need washing but if any compost clings to them, gently wipe with paper towels. Don’t peel or remove the stalks—these contain much of their goodness.
DID YOU KNOW?
You should not pick mushrooms from the wild unless you get them checked for safety by a fungi expert. Several varieties look harmless but are poisonous.