The Many Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms. You either love them, or you fear them, which I've found is mainly a texture thing. If you are living in fear of mushrooms, then you're most definitely missing out on some incredible benefits.
In Ancient China, doctors were rewarded for preventing disease and punished when their patients got sick. Prevention over a cure. Would you believe that! What a way to handle things by being proactive. Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine as there are over 200 species of them found in China which are used for healing purposes.
Mushrooms have been known to boost libido, stabilize blood sugar, provide vitamin D3, support liver, and kidney function, protect against environmental toxins, defend against parasites, yeasts, and molds, as well as fight against growing tumors.
Shiitake mushrooms are known to boost health, prevent strokes and improve circulation. They've also have been used to treat cancer and the effects of chemotherapy.
Maitake mushrooms boost the immune system. People with diabetes should look into incorporating these delicious mushrooms into their diet as they can improve blood sugar levels as well as reduce high blood pressure. For those who are a bit emotional and stressed out, these amazing mushrooms can help manage hypertension. I use maitakes in many dishes. One to note is my maitake omelet with creamy goat cheese.
Reishi mushrooms are one of the most beneficial of them all. They serve so many purposes and are known for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory capabilities. For cancer patients, they enhance immune response, alleviate chemotherapy side effects like nausea and kidney damage and protect cellular DNA by raising antioxidant capacity. The Chinese use them to sharpen their memory, improve mood and boost longevity and youthfulness. Reishi are very tough with a bold woody flavor so are not ideal for eating. They are mainly ingested via tea or alcohol extraction.
I have fond memories is foraging for mushrooms in the woods from our house in Telluride. The most popular amongst the locals is the chanterelle with their buttery apricot notes that no mushroom lover can ever deny. One reason for their popularity is that they can be sold to local restaurants for a pretty penny. For me, I just wanted to collect some to bring home and make mushroom risotto.