Mushrooms May Help Healthy Blood Sugar

We like taking control of our health through our diet. It’s one of the best ways to make yourself feel great. You not only enjoy delicious foods, you feel good about doing it! Mushrooms are an odd food because they are edible fungus. But they have essential nutrients and can have many health benefits. Today we’re taking a look at why you should add more mushrooms into your diet.

While there are many, many types of edible mushrooms, they all have roughly the same nutritional values. A cup has around 21 calories, three grams of protein, three grams of carbs and one gram of fiber. The texture of mushrooms often makes them an excellent option to replace meat for vegetarians and vegans. While you can find mushrooms in the wild, don’t eat them! Many wild mushrooms can look like safe, known, delicious mushrooms but be poisonous. It’s better to be safe and buy them from the store.  

A study out earlier this year found that mushrooms can slow the progression of prostate cancer within as little as six days in a clinical setting. In the real world, outside of a hospital, they might not offer the same results. But low-calories nutrient-dense mushrooms are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. They are rich in selenium, vitamin C and choline.

A study found that shiitake mushrooms can boost the immune system. Over the course of four weeks, researchers tracked participants’ T-sells and inflammation levels and saw improvements in their immune systems. The people ate four ounces of cooked shiitakes every day.

Mushrooms also can aid blood sugar control. Mushrooms have a GI between 10 and 15 and a glycemic load of less than one. They won’t impact your blood sugar when you eat them. And they have bioactive compounds called polysaccharides that may lower blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity and lower damage to pancreatic tissue. And they have soluble fiber that slows the absorption of sugar into your body.  

Mushrooms can alter the gut microbiome for the better, according to animal studies. More research would need to be done in humans, but it seems that one reason mushrooms help blood sugar might be because they aid the flora in your digestive tract. In one study, researchers found button mushrooms fed and boosted the growth of the helpful bacteria that aid in the body’s glucose production in mice. The mice that had previously had problems regulating their blood sugar were recovered by the end of the study. While human studies would be needed, and while we shouldn’t expect the exact same results, the find is still worth exploring. We’re not mice, but it makes us want to eat more mushrooms!

They can be enjoyed raw in salads, thrown into stir-fries, in soups, stuffed and used in a million recipes. All in all, these delicious fungi should be a healthy part of your diet.

Banner image: Waldemar Brandt via Unsplash
May 06, 2021
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