Link

English: mushrooms

English: mushrooms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are laden with nutritional goodness including Vitamin D aka the “sunshine vitamin,” B vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin, Beta-glucans, copper, ergothioneine, good fibre content, potassium, selenium and long-chain polysaccharides 

WELLNESS

These astoundingly powerful little fungi are a perennial favorite in the produce aisle amongst health-minded individuals as they are practically limitless in variety, eager sponges to soak up flavor and have innumerable health benefits including but not limited to

Anti-cancer properties Mushrooms have been shown to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer.  Selenium has the ability to protect women from bladder cancer.  They also contain “aromatase inhibitors,” which may prevent the development of breast cancer in women.  In addition, mushrooms contain certain compounds, still being studied, that show promise in halting prostate enlargement and prohibiting prostate cancer in men

Bone health Copper and Vitamin D both help maintain strong and healthy bones less likely to lose mass as one ages.  Vitamin D, in particular, helps absorb calcium, which is critical for good bone health and can prevent osteoporosis

Diabetes help Mushrooms are incredibly low on the glycemic index and consuming mushrooms on a regular basis can help lower blood glucose levels

Digestive system health Niacin helps the digestive system function properly

Heart health Selenium is a mineral that works much like an anti-oxidant by shielding the body’s cells from harmful free radicals that could lead to coronary disease.  Potassium helps regulate blood pressure.  The relatively high insoluble fibre content in mushrooms can help lower and maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.  Anti-oxidant ergothioneine prevents atherosclerosis.  Mushrooms are cholesterol-free, virtually fat-free and low in sodium, all news to cheer about for those concerned about their heart health

Immune system health Mushrooms are known to have strong anti-biotic properties and such modern medicines as penicillin and tetracycline actually derive from this miracle fungus.   Because of their long-chain polysaccharides, selenium content and rare anti-oxidant ergothioneine, mushrooms have outstanding effects on the immune system such as fighting infections and decreasing inflammation.  Riboflavin maintains healthy red blood cells and Beta-glucans are natural immune system boosters

Men’s health Selenium has been said to increase fertility in men

Nervous system health Copper, niacin, pantothenic acid and potassium all work to ensure a well-functioning nervous system

Urinary system health Selenium does wonders in maintaining a healthy bladder

 

BEAUTYref344_i_20230751

Anti-oxidant properties Ergothioneine is a lesser-known anti-oxidant that protects the body’s cells from free radical damage.  Cremini and Portobello mushrooms, in particular, are extremely high in their anti-oxidant prowess.  Anti-oxidants will strengthen your hair follicles and make you less likely to experience split ends.  They make the skin more supple and elastic and the nails strong and resilient.

 

WEIGHT LOSS

 

Nutritional intake Mushrooms are extremely low in calories, ranging between 15 and 42 calories per cup, dependent, of course, on the variety of mushroom.  They are also completely fat-free, cholesterol-free and quite low in sodium.  Rich in fibre and readily absorbent of flavor, they are a fantastic means of sating your hunger and taste cravings while making your belly feel full.  Their decent fibre content, especially when cooked and rid of their water content, will keep your body flushed out on a regular basis, which of course means more regular weight loss

 

Metabolism Beta-glucans help metabolize fats and sugars in the body and B-vitamins are notorious for converting carbohydrates into much needed fuel to give you energy throughout your day.  B-vitamins also assist in successfully metabolizing fats and proteins

 

COOKING

 

Mushrooms come in such a wide gamut of varieties you can spend your whole culinary existence having fun experimenting with different shapes, textures and flavor profiles

Stuffed mushroom caps as an appetizer are always a big hit at parties or use big ones for a meal all on their own.  First, line a lightly oiled baking tray with your favorite fresh, stemmed mushrooms.  In a bowl, combine roughly cut cashew nuts, a few minced garlic cloves, a couple of turns of quality EVOO, a splash of lemon juice,baby spinach and finish with a dollop of persian fetta  Stuff the mushroom cavities and bake them in the oven for a good twenty minutes or so.

For a sumptuous appetizer, or even a meal in and of itself on a cold winter’s day, concoct a steaming pot of cannelini bean and mushroom soup.  All you need are cooked cannelini beans, tahini paste, some butter,  chicken or vegetable broth, as many of your favorite mushrooms, two minced garlic cloves, an onion, two ribs of celery, salt and pepper to taste.

Portobello mushroom and Lentil burgers are a popular favorite amongst vegans, vegetarians and carnivores alike as they are thick and meaty and stand up well to grilling.  Spice them as you would your favorite burger using lentil patties as the bread, thrown on a slice of grilled haloumi cheese, some avocado, fresh rocket and well grilled mushies, top with some homemade tomato relish, and you will be in savory burger heaven.

“I am… a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.” ~John Ford

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Link

Onions on a neutral, mostly white background

Onions on a neutral, mostly white background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health Benefits of Onions

 

Onions are filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients including Vitamin B, Vitamin C, chromium, flavonoids like quercetin, fibre, folic acid, iron, phytochemicals, which magnify Vitamin C’s effectiveness, polyphenols, potassium, and sulfur compounds

Onions may make you weep, but those tears should be ones of joy, for these potent veggies in the allium family have remarkable health benefits including but not limited to

 

Anti-cancer properties Due to powerful anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and quercetin, consuming onions on a regular basis can reduce your risk of breast cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer laryngeal cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer and ovarian cancer.  Quercetin has also been found to stall tumor growth

Arthritis Vitamin C and quercetin are both anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants, which can alleviate the uncomfortable inflammation often associated with osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Bites & Bee Stings Applying onion juice directly on a bee sting or mosquito bite is said to relieve the pain, itching and burning

 

Bone and teeth health Onions have been studied and shown to ward off the age-related progression of osteoporosis, or loss of bone mineral density, which can make bones fragile and more prone to fractures.  Vitamin C also repairs cartilage, ligaments and tendons, and is a must-have for healthy gums

 

Brain health Some findings have indicated that eating onions regularly may prevent memory loss as we age

 

Digestive health Consistently consuming onions can lessen your chance of developing stomach ulcers.  Onions also improve the digestion process as a whole by increasing the secretion of important digestive juices

 

Heart health Raw onions, in particular, stimulate the production of HDL aka “good cholesterol” and reduce LDL aka “bad cholesterol.”  Vitamin C helps to lower high cholesterol and combat atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Potassium prevents arrhythmia and can lower and regulate high blood pressure.  Onions are a cholesterol-free and fat-free food item

 

Immune system health Onions have powerful antibiotic, antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help you steer clear or lessen the symptoms of everything from infections to the flu to food-borne illnesses to the HIV virus.  Onion juice combined with honey is a not-as-widely known home remedy for assuaging fever, relieving a cough and soothing a sore throat

 

Type 2 Diabetes Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels

 

Women’s health Purportedly, consuming onions a few days before your menstrual cycle can help relieve some of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms

 

BEAUTY

 

Anti-oxidant properties The anti-oxidants in onions (namely flavonoid quercetin and Vitamin A) fight off cell-damaging free radicals and protect our bodies from the oxidative stress that often causes premature aging including fine lines and wrinkles.  These anti-oxidants also strengthen the hair and nails

WEIGHT LOSS

Fibre One medium-sized onion has 2 grams of fibre and any added fibre to your diet will help flush out your system and lead to more regular weight loss

Nutritional Intake One medium-sized onion is only an approximate 44 calories and is virtually devoid of fat, which makes it a terrific veggie to use in a wide variety of recipes, guilt-free

COOKING

 

A tantalizingly tasty appetizer sure to please health-or-weight conscious guests  is a batch of oven-fried onion rings.  Simply set your oven on high and cut 2 large sweet onions (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla) into 3cms thick slices.  In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of paprika and 2 teaspoons of salt.  In a second bowl, mix together 2 cups of buttermilk and 4 eggs.  Add 1 cup of the flour mixture into the buttermilk and egg mixture.  In a third and final bowl, whisk together 3 cups of Panko breadcrumbs, 4 tablespoons of EVOO and 2 teaspoons of salt.  Dredge the onion slices first into the flour and seasoning bowl, then into the buttermilk, and finally into the Panko mix.  Arrange them in a single layer on a cooking-spray coated baking sheet and bake in oven for 15 to 20 minute until golden brown.

For a rich, deeply satisfying and yet healthier version of a classic French Onion Soup, just saute 8 cups of red and/or yellow onions in 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.  Spoon in a ½ teaspoon of sugar, a ½ teaspoon of pepper, and a ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Bring heat down to medium now and let the mixture cook for a good 25 minutes, stirring often.  Add ¼ cup quality white drinking wine (preferably something dry) and let the alcohol burn off for one minute.  Then add 8 cups of lower sodium, reduced-fat beef broth and a ¼ teaspoon fresh chopped thyme, cover and put on a slow simmer for 2 hours.  When the soup is up, ladle one cup each into oven-proof crockpots, top with a thin slice of French bread, a 1 ounce slice of reduced-fat Swiss cheese and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is all bubbly and browned.

 

Or as  snack marinate in rapardsa sugar and cider vinegar, mix in your salads on just eat raw  Voila!

“It doesn’t matter how precisely the onion is cut as long as the person chewing it is happy.”  ~Padma Lakshmi

 

Onion_8174068

Onion_8174068 (Photo credit: SoraZG)