- Aging & Longevity
The Anti-Aging Properties of Mushrooms
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms have come to the forefront in the past few years as one of the superfoods and there's good reasons why.
Studies are showing more and more that mushrooms have some anti-aging properties inherent in them as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.
Of late, they're being used not only as nutritional supplements but also in other anti-aging products like skin creams and anti-wrinkle agents.
So what is it about mushrooms that make them so healthy?
Anti-Aging Uses of Mushrooms
Nu Skin have been using a Chinese mushroom known as Cordyceps sinensis to develop several products.
According to NaturalNews, mushrooms are being used in gene therapy and has shown great promise in terms of reversing the negative effects of aging.
More important than that, new research claims that rather than stopping the aging process as in having less wrinkles, mushrooms have been proven to reduce inflammation and reverse some of the harmful diseases that plague the elderly. This is far more important than keeping people looking youthful looking!
The theory behind the genetic research is that mushrooms have a significant impact on antioxidant levels by bolstering them thus impacting the damage done by free radicals--a known accelerator of cancers and other diseases of the elderly like heart disease.
As an anti-aging food stuff, mushrooms improve the metabolism of energy, decrease fatigue, ramp up endurance levels and can have a positive effect on lifespan.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
The lowly mushroom is but a fungus--but think of penicillin.
Mushrooms act as sponges and will absorb anything in their environment, so most health experts recommend if you can, go for organically grown mushrooms. You'll be doing your body an even bigger favor.
You can find mushrooms in many different varieties. It's said that the common mushroom you find in the store, the button mushroom, lacks many of the nutritional properties of many of the other mushrooms available.
Adding mushrooms to your weekly diet is recommended as a healthy adjunct to other fruits and vegetables. They can be used in many different ways and no matter if they're dried, fresh, or cooked into soups and stews, they still pack an incredibly nutritional punch.
Look to mushrooms for a good dose of potassium, fiber, and selenium, which is also being researched for its role in preventing hormone related cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Mushrooms are also extremely low in calories and have no fat.
Alzheimer's disease is also said to be showing signs of promise from mushroom products. Skin care products made of mushrooms reduce inflammation and redness.
There is also thought that mushrooms can be instrumental in treating diseases like arthritis, can lower cholesterol and have antiviral and immune-enhancing properties.
The button or cap mushrooms readily available in most supermarkets are claimed by some to not be as nutritious and in fact to possibly contain 1 carcinogen that does not break down even when cooked. They recommend opting for other kinds of mushrooms.
Storing and Caring for Mushrooms
- As in most cases and like other fruits and vegetables, mushrooms do best if used within several days of purchase
- Don't ever store mushrooms in plastic bags as they will develop slime
- If mushrooms don't get used and they dry out--that's fine--they can be easily rehydrated with liquid in cooking or by adding just a bit of water to them
- Store in paper bags and away from light
- Clean with a dry cloth or paper towel--or brush with a mushroom brush to remove particles of dirt and debris
- Avoid soaking mushrooms as they absorb water and become soggy quickly--dry is much preferred to slimy or soggy
- Dried mushrooms can be done easily in a food dehydrator or the oven
- Gather mushrooms but make sure you check your local nursery for kinds that are edible like chanterelles or morels
There are countless varieties of mushrooms that are edible and each part of the world has its own indiginous species.
Here are just some of the edible and cooking varieties listed at Cook's Thesarus of Cooking:
- abalone cap
- bear's head
- black trumpet
- cinnamon cap
- red oyster
- wine cap
- wood ear
- yellow foot