Mushrooms provide numerous health benefits because they are rich in antioxidants. They help stimulate the immune system, manage blood pressure, strengthen muscles, and offer protection against certain types of cancer.
Aside from its health benefits, did you know that mushrooms also play a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight? Packing on a few pounds may not be too alarming until it starts affecting your health, or when you’re unhappy about how they look on you.
How do Mushrooms Help You Lose Weight?
To lose weight, you need to slow down on calories, but this does not mean that you should deprive yourself of food. You only need to focus on healthy foods with fewer calories but are full of nutrients—and mushrooms are precisely that. When added to your meals, mushrooms make you feel full because they contain a high fiber content without adding excessive calories.
Mushrooms also contain macronutrients that keep you feeling full for extended periods, keeping you away from snacking on foods with high-calorie content. In addition, mushrooms increase your water intake, which is good for gut health.
Mushrooms As Superfood
Mushrooms are considered a superfood, and with good reason, because mushrooms have dense antioxidant content that is not found in other types of foods. The antioxidant components in mushrooms are found in the fruiting body of the mushroom anatomy. This is comprised of the spores, stem, cap, ring, and gills.
Antioxidants are important in our diet because they help fight free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals are molecules that can cause damage to cells—affecting the skin and overall health. Briefly explained, free radicals are unstable atoms with a missing electron that makes them highly reactive.
Free radicals are formed in our bodies during different metabolic processes. In high quantities, they become disease-causing agents that damage cells, causing various ailments and hastening the aging process. Free radicals can also result from excessive alcohol consumption, vitamin deficiencies, air pollution, unhealthy diets, high blood sugar, stress, and certain medications.
Mushrooms And Antioxidants
Free radicals compensate by removing electrons from normal body cells when they come into contact. Oxidation or cell damage occurs when body cells lose electrons to free radicals. Antioxidants protect our healthy cells by providing the missing electron that free radicals need to become stable atoms.
Free radicals can be found anywhere—they can be through pollutants in the environment or from an unhealthy diet. Fortunately, antioxidants offer high-level bodily protection, and mushrooms are a good source of these.
Antioxidants in mushrooms are also found in the mycelium, a stage in some mushroom types. The mycelium has critical bioactive components, including carotenoids, polysaccharides, phenolics, ascorbic acid, ergosterol, and tocopherols. All these components play important health-promoting and preservation roles.
Mushrooms are also believed to be the highest dietary source of ergothioneine and glutathione antioxidants. Ergothioneine contains sulfur and prevents cellular stress. It also protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Glutathione, on the other hand, is believed to improve insulin sensitivity and offers anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits.
Mushrooms are also rich in critical nutrients like Beta-glucans, Copper, B Vitamins, and Potassium. For instance, Beta-Glucans are vital in maintaining good heart and gut health. Potassium promotes muscle strength and endurance, maintains kidney and bone health, and lowers the risk of stroke by aiding the removal of sodium from the body.
There are different types of mushrooms, although the types believed to have the highest concentration of antioxidants include:
- White button
- Lion’s mane
The Special Factor About Antioxidants Found In Mushrooms
The most significant advantage of the antioxidant components in the fruit bodies or mycelium is their ability to produce active compounds quickly. It’s possible to extract the antioxidants from mushrooms by processing fruit bodies or mycelium, to produce functional mushroom supplements.
Manufacturers are aware of this unique factor, and that’s why they make mushrooms readily available by processing and turning them into capsules, energy tinctures, gummies, and powders. In whichever form, mushroom additives extend the same benefits of preventing cellular damage caused by oxidative stress.
Mushrooms are natural sources of antioxidants with critical bioactive components that are instrumental in improving life quality by maintaining good health and offering anti-aging benefits. Mushrooms are also unique because their antioxidant components can be extracted and packed as supplements.
If you haven’t been consuming mushrooms because they’re not readily available in local grocery stores, worry not. You can still consume them as capsules, tinctures, powders, or gummies and enjoy all their health benefits, including weight loss.