Fungus: Health Benefits, Nutritional Values and Precautions

Photos: Collected

The fungus has always secured an interesting spot in the food industry. Its nutritional benefits aren’t shared as frequently as compared to the likes of food and vegetables. Mushrooms, for example, are commonly found in burgers, pasta, and soup but have been marketed as a flavor enhancer more than anything else - but the fungus has more than restaurants are letting on. Here are the nutritional values and health benefits of fungus.

Nutritional Values of Fungus

As a whole, fungus such as black fungus, mushrooms, and more contain a plethora of properties, with the standouts being Vitamin D, protein, and potassium. Because mushrooms assimilate organic matter rather than being able to photosynthesize like plants, carbohydrates are its main source of carbon and that presents a different set of nutrients to plants.

Glucose, xylose, sucrose, and fructose are some carbon-based nutrients. On a slightly smaller scale, some mushrooms contain magnesium, zinc, folate, vitamin B, and fiber. This is because fungi are parasitic in nature and contain nutrients from organic material it “infects”. Despite the connotation of fungi’s identity, it is a rising superfood that can nutritionally benefit many staple dishes.

Healthy Skin

There aren’t many foods out there that benefit skin health to the same degree as snow fungus. The food contains large quantities of polysaccharides that have been making waves in the skincare industry. This is due to its ability to keep skin hydrated by acting similarly to hyaluronic acid, the hydration it presents helps restore the skin’s elasticity while containing antioxidants as well.

High in Potassium

Particularly found in black fungus is a high count in potassium. This nutrient benefits in the long term by assisting in preventing kidney stone formations, hypertension and even strokes. Potassium also has more immediate benefits that include moderating blood pressure, establishing bodily PH balance, digestion improvement and heart health. A versatile nutrient that fungus has in spades when consumed moderately only.

Cancer Prevention

According to the National Cancer Institute, the antioxidants found in mushrooms can prevent different types of cancers such as lung, breast, and prostate for starters. Vitamin D is the main nutrient found in mushrooms that accredit this ability, proving that it can prevent and treat cancer, however, this is largely dependent on the patient’s specific reaction to it. Additionally, Choline is an antioxidant known to reduce the risks of cancer altogether, however, this is less substantial.

Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Not exclusive to mushrooms, its high fiber content does put it in the same league as vegetables in terms of its quantity - resulting in a solid range of choices that can reduce the risks of diabetes altogether, especially type 2. Unlike other nutrients found in fungus, fiber is best congested as a whole in a well-structured meal plan. Meaning beans, rice, vegetables, and certain types of bread perfectly complement the mushroom’s rich fiber count.

Good for the Heart

As mentioned, potassium and fiber are richly found in fungus, but they also do wonders for the body’s cardiovascular system. Adding vitamin C into the mix, these three can work almost immediately in reducing the risks of cardiac-related issues by moderating blood pressure.

The American Heart Association (AHA) states that uptake in potassium specifically can see a positive progression in the body’s cardiovascular health, while vitamin C on its own doesn’t do much for the heart, but a deficiency of it increases the risk of future heart problems.

Prenatal Boost

Few foods address the needs of pregnancy, but the fungus has a role in this department as well. Folate and folic acids are supplements essential to improve the health of a fetus and mushrooms contain approximately 16.3 micrograms of it per cup. It may not necessarily be the number one ingredient for the prenatal phase, but serves as a wonderful complement to essential ingredients like lean meat, whole grains, fish liver oil, and avocado-based recipes.

Helps for Weight Loss

Possibly the best motivator to get people to start eating more mushrooms is its ability to help lose weight. Its high fiber content and surplus in vitamin D are primary ingredients required to establish a healthy metabolism that allows the body to burn fat at a decent rate if the exercise plan is equally as solid. Once again, the fungus is a bonus ingredient that should be added into other ingredients to encompass an all-rounded dish that synergizes with weight loss.

Fungus Diet Precautions

By now, it is quite clear that fungus is a nutrient-stacked ingredient that is flexible in taste, suiting a plethora of dishes from across the world. From black fungus soup to truffle seasoning, its flexibility is some of the best in the market. However, like every other organic food, here are some precautions to consume Fungus that you need to look out for.

Eating them raw is a common mistake as its consumption of bacteria could present a few hazards for the body. This also applies when consuming decayed spots of mushrooms and other fungi.

Allergic reactions to fungus are relatively common, and identifying the extent of these allergies is critical before consuming mushrooms. If you are thinking of implementing it in your diet more, consuming small quantities first is a safe way to approach the super food.

  • Nutritional Values and Precautions
  • Fungus
  • Health Benefits

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