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Mushrooms safeguard against Cancer

Updated on May 24, 2011
Button Mushrooms
Button Mushrooms | Source

Types of edible mushrooms

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Enokitake MushroomKing Oyster MushroomShiitake MushroomsBuna Shimeji MushroomChanterelle MushroomBoletus edulis Mushroom
Enokitake Mushroom
Enokitake Mushroom | Source
King Oyster Mushroom
King Oyster Mushroom | Source
Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms | Source
Buna Shimeji Mushroom
Buna Shimeji Mushroom | Source
Chanterelle Mushroom
Chanterelle Mushroom | Source
Boletus edulis Mushroom
Boletus edulis Mushroom | Source

Safe to eat mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruiting bodies of numerous species of fungi. They belong to the macro fungi, because their fruiting structures are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. They can appear either below ground or above ground where they may be picked by hand.

Here are some of the many health benefits of mushrooms:

Vitamin D is known as sunshine vitamin because it is created in the body when it is exposed to sunlight. It is commonly found in foods such as egg yolk, fish, fish oil, some cheese, beef liver and some types of grain. Mushrooms are the only vegetable resource of this vital vitamin . Like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when in sunlight. Osteoporosis Canada recommends that adults under 50 should get 400 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Vitamin D deficiency may cause the major risks for prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a major cause of cancer death among males. Similarly vitamin D is very important when it comes to cancer prevention in women; the types of cancers we’re referring to are breast cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and colon cancer . When it comes to pregnant women, we already know how important vitamin D is for the fetus and later it plays incredibly important role when it comes to growth and development of the child.

Many varieties of mushrooms contain selenium. Oyster mushrooms are a good source of iron and selenium. Plus, they're low in calories, for example, six medium white Oyster Mushrooms only have 22 calories. A few health benefits of selenium are that there is no more extensive body of evidence for the cancer preventive potential of a normal dietary component than there is for selenium.Higher the level of selenium, as measured in blood serum and toenails, the lower the risk of bladder cancer.

White button mushrooms may promote immune 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. Mushrooms promoted the maturation of immune system cells, called dendrite cells, from bone marrow. Mushrooms have direct effect against RNA viruses like influenza, measles, polio, hepatitis B & C, and HIV.

Vitamins B are vital 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 and vitamin B3.

Other than these mushrooms have:

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cream of Mushroom Soup | Source

Cream of Mushroom Soup


2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cans (435 ml each) chicken or vegetable Stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add mushrooms and sauté 7 minutes or until tender.

In a small bowl, whisk flour into a small amount of stock until smooth, then stir into pan. Add remaining stock; bring to boil, and cook, stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in salt and pepper. Simmer cream of mushroom soup uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Mushroom Pizza
Mushroom Pizza | Source

Mushroom Pizza


1 (12-inch) pre-baked pizza crust

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

3 shallots or mild onion, thinly sliced or minced

1 pound assorted exotic mushrooms, sliced or chopped (if using shiitakes, remove inedible stems)

1-ounce gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

8 ounces fontina cheese, grated or thinly sliced (this is easier to do if cheese is cold)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pizza stone or pizza pan


Put pizza stone in oven and heat to 425 degrees. While stone is heating, brush olive oil evenly over shell and bake 5 to 7 minutes or until oil bubbles. (If using thin crust pizza, you can eliminate pre-baking of the pizza crust.)

While shell bakes begin cooking the mushrooms. Heat sauté or fry pan on high heat; add the oil, garlic and shallots and quickly sauté for approximately 30 seconds. Do not allow the garlic/shallot mixture to burn.

Add mushrooms to hot pan, sauté quickly until most of the mushroom juices have evaporated (3 to 5 minutes). Continue to sauté until wine completely evaporates and mushrooms have turned a darker shade or brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove mushroom mixture from heat.

Remove shell from oven (leave stone in oven to keep it hot) and allow to cool slightly. Spread the gorgonzola cheese evenly over the warm crust so that it melts slightly. You can dip your fingers in olive oil to spread the gorgonzola. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the crust. Add the Fontina cheese, distributing it as evenly as possible. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place on hot stone in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. Cool and cut into small rectangles for hors d'oeuvres or into pie-shaped pieces for first course or main course portions. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 2 to 3

Mushroom Sauce for Pasta
Mushroom Sauce for Pasta | Source

Mushroom Sauce for Pasta


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

2 medium celery ribs, diced

1/2 medium onion, diced


Fresh ground black pepper

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 lb mushroom (it can be any mushrooms you want, chopped)

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (optional)

1 1/2 cups beef stock or 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 (15 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce or 1 (15 ounce) can puree

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme


Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 1 cup of very warm water and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter and keep the liquid. Do not use a metal mesh strainer for this step - it is not fine enough. Chop the mushrooms.

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in a large pot in the olive oil with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Let the vegetables cook for about 8 minutes, on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved porcini mushroom liquid. Simmer, uncovered, for about an hour to an hour and a half, until the sauce has reduced down and a lot of the liquid has cooked off - cook until you like the thickness of the sauce. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning.

Preparation time: 90 minutes

Serves 3 to 4

Whatever your favourite—crimini, enoki, oyster, portobello, shiitake or white button—all mushrooms are loaded with essential nutrients


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    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 

      5 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      I love mushrooms on pizza. The more, the better. I like it when the top of the pizza is completely covered with mushrooms. Sometimes I will complain to the waitress that my pizza has fungus on it.

    • Aamna Aamad profile imageAUTHOR

      Aamna Aamad 

      7 years ago from Pakistan

      well JT Walters, i am sorry about your mom but as all all drugs does not suit everybody maybe your mom was immune to mushrooms

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi Aamna Aamad,

      I just lost my Mom to cancer in January and she ate mushroms all the time but it is a great article and I really enjoyed it.


    • Aamna Aamad profile imageAUTHOR

      Aamna Aamad 

      7 years ago from Pakistan

      I am very optimistic that the consideration of mushrooms under these healthy aspects and efforts to spread this knowledge can significantly increase mushroom consumption. Increasing mushroom consumption, especially fresh (canned mushrooms lose up to 75 percent of their nutritive value), will also positively influence mushroom production. Such development would particularly benefit the farms that are located near markets so they could supply consumers with fresh products.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi, i just wanted to ask that if fresh mushrooms are not available, the canned or tinned mushrooms also prove to be benifical?


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