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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

 

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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)

 

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k10585735 Celery is often underestimated only as a negative-calorie diet food. Even though it is true that celery is low in calories, it definitely is not low in nutritional content. Full of vitamins A, B, C and K, high in magnesium, calcium and potassium, celery boosts your immunity and relaxes the nervous system, decreasing blood pressure and

soothing insomnia. Research has shown that celery has cancer fighting compounds and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. The stems, leaves and seeds can all be used for consumption

wellness

Blood pressure Celery contains phthalides, which relax the arterial muscles that regulate blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to expand and creating more space for the blood to flow. The magnesium, calcium and potassium in celery also help to lower blood pressure

Fights Cancer According to a study of Rutgers University in New Jersey, celery contains anti-cancer compounds, including Acetylenics which has shown to stop the growth of tumorous cells

Anti-inflammatory Apigenin, a highly active bioflavonoid found in celery, effectively stops inflammation. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, celery is an excellent food for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and gout

Immune System Rich in vitamin C, celery boosts the immune system

Lowers Cholesterol the phalides in celery have been found to lower cholesterol

Insomnia the minerals in celery, which include calcium, have a calming effect on the nervous system, helping you to relax and sleep

weight loss Diuretic the sodium and potassium in celery help the body get rid of excess fluids

weight loss

Low in calories as a negative-calorie food, you burn more calories when eating celery then you gain

Fiber high in fiber, your body needs to work to digest celery, making you burn calories The fiber also helps with healthy bowel movements

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oily skin celery water, applied to the face at night after cleaning, can greatly help against oily skin. Cut celery leafs in pieces, soak in hot water for half an hour and refrigerate

hair growth  for luscious and soft hair, boil a tea from celery leaves and stems, strain and add the juice of one lemon. Use it to rinse the hair after washing

cooking

Celery makes for a great snack 

Eat the stalks raw by itself, with a delicious low-fat dip, like hummus, a nut butter

Apple and celery salad, a match made in heaven. Toss in a mustard vinaigrette and top with walnuts for a delicious Waldorf style salad

A chunky vegetable soup with celery, carrots and potatoes, made with a good quality vegetable broth is both nutritious and warming on cold winter days

Detoxifying and refreshing, celery juice rehydrates and alkalizes the body. It is perfect for mixing with other vegetables and fruits, like broccoli, apple and carrots

Ricotta cheese and dried fruits make an delicious stuffing, or a vegan variation of tahini and raisins

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A great new piece of evidence has emerged about broccoli. A compound in broccoli, glucosinolate, produces a metabolite (a product of the metabolism) called sulforaphane that can significantly improve your blood pressure and kidney function. Indole-3-carbinol in the phytonutrients of broccoli  deactivates a metabolite which can become cancerous, this is something that chemotherapies cant do. The stalk has plenty of nutrient more vitamin C than the florets in fact it includes calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and  niacin

Wellness

Anti-Inflammatory  broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called Quercetin, its a powerful antioxidant

Detoxification  broccoli contains an unusual combination of three phytonutrients, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin which are a great combo for detoxifying the body

Nervous System potassium is responsible for maintaining a healthy nervous system

Blood Pressure again due to high potassium aswell as magnesium and calcium

Antioxidant thanks to all the vitamin c  they help fight nasty free radicals that damage our cells

Antihistamine helping allergy and hay fever sufferers, offers relieve from the common cold another benefit of vitamin c

Immune System is boosted and strengthened by beta-carotene, trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium

Osteoporosis and bone health can be avoided from high levels of both calcium and vitamin K

Heart Health carotenoid lutein found in broccoli can prevent or slow the arteries leading to the heart from thickening

Eye Health broccoli helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts,  assists low light and colour vision. Carotenoid lutein and vitamin A are the heroes here

Along with all the above it assist brain function and muscle growth. A reduced risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, breast, cervical and prostate cancer to add to the list

Weight loss

High Fiber  which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar

Low Calories making it a great weight loss snack

High in protein compared to rice or corn which helps you feel fuller longer

Powerful antioxidant the element indole-3-carbinol which assist the liver in turn can assist weight loss

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Sun Damage  it contains glucoraphanin which is converted into sulforaphane which assists the skin to detoxify and repair itself

Cooking

I cook the stems in soups, curries, braise,s and pot cooking or eat them as I would bamboo shoots, just slice raw in a salad with some cashew nuts, garlic, chilli, ginger, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar dressing

Its great in soups, salads, stir fries and puree,s as pasta sauces or vegetarian dish sauces

I love it steamed with butter, parmesan and toasted almonds for a simple no fuss meal

Tempura them in a rice flour batter and serve with a parmesan yoghurt dipping sauce or Pakoras with raita

“Love someone with a beautiful bowl of broccoli goodness today”