Mushrooms are very popular around the world for their culinary uses. In the past, mushrooms were used by many ancient civilizations for medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians even called them the plant of immortality. In addition, they ruled the food a royalty food and banned commoners from purchasing mushrooms.
All mushroom are fungi. They produce spores, like pollen, which allows them to spread and travel the world just by wind. There are numerous types of mushrooms. Not all mushrooms are edible and can cause harmful effects if consumed. The more common edible mushroom species include button, oyster, or white mushrooms.
It is essential to avoid inedible mushrooms. These can cause stomach pain or vomiting. However, edible mushrooms have numerous health benefits due to their nutritional makeup.
Benefit #1: Contain Cancer Fighting Properties
Mushrooms may have cancer fighting properties. In a 2010 study, they researched five different mushrooms. These included maitake, crimini, portobello, oyster, and white button. They found that the consumption of these mushrooms was linked to significantly suppressing the growth of cancer cells, especially breast cancer.
In addition, shiitake mushrooms contain the lentinan compound. Lentinan is a sugar molecule which is associated with extending the survival rate of cancer patients. In Japan, a study found that the presence of the sugar molecule suppressed stomach cancer. The compound does not kill cancer cells directly, but it does boost the immune system, which aids in providing the body with a stronger defense line against cancer.