Mushrooms are a super food containing a raft of different vitamins and minerals that contribute to your health and wellbeing. The benefits of these nutrients go from the hair on your head down to the bones in your toes. Some of the B vitamins (e.g. niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin) also help with other more general body functions such as reducing tiredness and fatigue.
Hair and nails
Mushrooms are a good source of biotin and selenium which your body uses to help keep your hair and nails healthy.
Brain and nervous system
The B vitamins in mushrooms, along with the minerals copper and potassium, are important for your brain and nervous system to function properly. Pantothenic acid for example helps your body produce neurotransmitters (the signals your brain sends) and contributes to mental performance. Biotin, niacin and thiamine contribute to normal psychological function – a big word that relates to how your brain processes information and how you behave.
Mushrooms are a good source of riboflavin which contributes to the maintenance of normal vision.
Mushrooms have the Heart Tick and are part of the 5+ a Day Programme. Mushrooms are categorised as vegetables for nutrition purposes and a diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and are good for all round heart health. Mushrooms are also important for the wider circulatory system as some of the B vitamins help with red blood formation and maintenance as well as heart function.
Mushrooms are a great source of a number of vitamins and minerals that keep your immune system functioning to help protect your body. These nutrients include copper, selenium and vitamin B6.
Potassium is important for proper functioning of your muscles.
Biotin, niacin, riboflavin and copper are all important for the structure and function of your skin and mucous membranes.
Bones and teeth
Calcium isn’t the only mineral needed for strong bones - phosphorus plays an important role too helping keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong.
Mushrooms for a Healthy Heart
Mushrooms have the Heart Tick and are part of the 5+ a Day Programme. Mushrooms are categorised as vegetables for nutrition purposes and a diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and are good for all round heart health.
There are many ways in which mushrooms contribute to a healthy heart:
A major risk factor for heart disease is atherogenesis, which is the formation of plaque on arterial walls. This can result in atherosclerosis, what is commonly termed hardening of the arteries. In laboratory studies button mushrooms have been shown to reduce inflammation in arterial cells and prevent white blood cells from sticking to the artery walls. These are promising indications of the role mushrooms may play in helping maintain a healthy heart.
Reference: Keith RM (2010). Both common and specialty mushrooms inhibit adhesion molecule expression and in vitro binding of monocytes to human aortic endothelial cells in a pro-inflammatory environment. Nutrition Journal 9:29.