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The Magic in Mushrooms

You can definitely start to make a difference in your overall health by adding mushrooms to your diet.
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The Magic in Mushrooms

There is magical health benefit in mushrooms. They are full of proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotics and antioxidants as well as protecting you against diseases and infections.

You can definitely start to make a difference in your overall health by adding mushrooms to your diet.

Historians are not entirely certain about the exact time period in which humans first began cultivating mushrooms as food. Ancient civilizations like the Egyptian's thought mushrooms granted immortality and only the pharaohs were allow to consume them. Ancient Rome referred to mushrooms as food for the gods.

5 Health Benefits of Mushrooms

1. Mushrooms can help you sleep better. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to sleep disorders. Place your mushrooms in the sun for 60 minutes and allow them to soak up the vitamin D from the sun. One portion of sun-exposed mushrooms provides around 400 units. The Vitamin D Council recommends that healthy adults get 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Other natural ways to help get your daily dose of vitamin D is sit in the sun for 20 minutes, fatty fish and egg yolks.

2. A study done on mice and published by the American Society for Nutrition found that white button mushrooms boost your immunity function by increasing the production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells while they are trying to protect and repair the body's tissues. "If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial," said Percival, an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member. "We're enhancing the immune system, but we're also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces."

3. Mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants in general as they contain polyphenols and selenium. Per Penn State: The ORAC values found in the latest study indicate that mushrooms are potent anti-oxidant sources. The research revealed that, of the mushrooms tested, portabella mushrooms and crimini mushrooms have the highest ORAC values. Criminis, which are brown, are otherwise similar to the popular white button mushroom, the one mostly commonly consumed in the U.S. The white button mushroom has an ORAC value of 6.9, above tomato, green pepper, pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, and green beans.

4. Mushrooms give your metabolism a boost! B vitamins are important for turning food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body burns to produce energy. They also help the body metabolize fats and protein. Mushrooms contain loads of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin): 100 grams (31/2 ounces) of crimini have 44 percent and 30 percent of your daily recommended amount, respectively, white button have 36 and 30 percent, and oyster mushrooms have 32 and 39 percent.

5. Mushrooms are a good source of chitin and beta-glucan, fibers that lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. A laboratory animal study published in the 2012 issue of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms found that pink oyster mushrooms reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol and prevented arterial plaque formation. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.

A Few Words of Caution:
Mushrooms has offers an excellent source of health nutrition. Always buy your organic mushrooms from a local grocery store. Most species of mushrooms are not edible and are highly poisonous. Don't ever try picking mushrooms for consumption from the woods, your yard or anywhere you see them growing. Mushrooms will soak up the material that they grow on, either good or bad. Many mushrooms, when picked in the wild, are very toxic and can contain heavy metals along with air and water pollutants.

Slow-Cooker Wild Rice with Cranberries and Mushrooms
Wild rice has a wonderfully gluten-free nutty flavor. It has twice as much protein as brown rice, very rich in antioxidants, high fiber content, essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc, magnesium and folate, Vitamins A, C and E. In Chinese medicine wild rice is used as a treatment for diabetes for it might help to reduce insulin resistance. Dried cranberries has antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation. You can find this recipe along with many amazing recipes in the recently published book: A Survivors Guide to Kicking Hypothyroidisms booty.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
1 tablespoon Ghee or coconut oil, melted
¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup red onion, diced
2 cans (14 ounces each) vegetable broth
½ cup of white button mushrooms, diced
½ cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Directions
Rinse the wild rice in cold water in a mesh strainer. Sauté the onions in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee. Mix all ingredients except almonds and cranberries. Cover with lid and allow to cook on low heat setting 5 hours until wild rice is tender. In ungreased cast iron skillet, heat almonds over medium-low heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until they start to brown, once it begins to brown, keep stirring until golden brown and smelling wonderfully fragrant; Stir in almonds and cranberries into rice mixture. Cover and cook on low heat additional 15 minutes.

A.L. Childers is a writer, blogger and health journalist. She has created the website Thehypothyroidismchick.com. Where you can find great tips on everyday living with hypothyroidism. She has tried every diet out there -- twice. After pledging to give up yo-yo dieting and fad diets, she solemnly swore never to look back. She believes that everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy lifestyle. She has done the research and is giving you the blueprint to achieve your goals.

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