Mushrooms are the gifts of the forest and enrich various culinary preparations, from spaghetti to side dishes and even pizza. Mushrooms are tasty but they are also healthy, even capable of combating obesity and extending life expectancy, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cellular degeneration. Today we are talking about this based on two very recent scientific researches.
Mushrooms reduce the risk of disease, the study
The first research was published in the journal Food and Function by a Korean team (Jung et al, Food Funct, 2023). The scientists relied on data regarding the health and eating habits of 152,828 volunteers, all adults over 40 and participants in a large study called the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. Based on this information, it was possible to extrapolate how many portions of mushrooms were consumed per week. Then, the volunteers were followed up for 20 years in order to keep their health under control. What emerged is that a low to moderate consumption of mushrooms, namely one to three portions per week, was protective for health, reducing the risk of diseases with a fatal outcome compared to those who did not consume mushrooms. Among men, the consumption of mushrooms, always from 1 to 3 servings a week, was found to be able to reduce cardiovascular risk.
Mushrooms combat obesity, the study
The second study was published in the prestigious journal Science by a team of American scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (Kim et al, Science, 2023). The research is still preliminary, as it was carried out in the laboratory on a population of mice and has yet to delve into the effects on humans, but in the meantime what has been observed is truly noteworthy. Research has shown that a fiber contained in mushrooms, as well as in the exoskeleton of insects and in the shell of crustaceans, called chitin, when ingested through foods that contain it is able to activate an immune response, in turn capable of reducing body weight gain, even in the presence of a high-fat diet.
Mushrooms are a delicious and healthy food, they provide proteins, fiber, vitamins and essential amino acids. From today we know that a moderate consumption of mushrooms, from one to three portions a week, is a health elixir, reducing the risk of disease and extending life. Not only that, mushrooms combat overweight and obesity and, in men, also protect heart health. All excellent reasons to include mushrooms in our diet. The advice is to avoid do-it-yourself collection, especially if you are not an expert, as the risk of confusing similar mushrooms is very high, not distinguishing between good mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms. It is always better to buy mushrooms in specialized and well-known shops, whose quality we know. And then we can indulge ourselves with the recipes, the Healthy Eating section of the app offers you some ideas such as the delicious pasta with king oyster mushrooms, linguine with mushrooms and curry or even the mushroom cutlet with cabbage salad.