Mushroom Nutrition New Albany IN
By Dorothy Foltz-Gray
I’ve always loved mushrooms—not just for their rich, smoky flavor but also for their mystery, their spring from the dark, and their reach back to ancient cultures. Some scholars believe that the ambrosia of Greek literature was actually intoxicating mushrooms, the secret behind the Eleusinian Mysteries. Egyptian pharaohs prized the fungi so much they declared them exclusively royal food. And for thousands of years, the Chinese have used them not only to enhance meals but also to heal bodies, a wisdom Americans are finally picking up on. Since the early 1990s, sales of exotic mushrooms—which experts believe offer the biggest health boost—have doubled in the U.S.
Nutritionists have long known that many types of mushrooms have plenty of health perks to recommend them. They’re full of B vitamins, which are important for brain and nervous system connections and for healthy skin and hair, says nutritionist Felicia Busch, author of The New Nutrition. A single cup of the raw vegetable packs the fiber of a whole-grain slice of bread. And mushrooms offer a healthy dose of selenium, an antioxidant linked to reduced risks of cancer and heart disease. To top it off, they’re easy on the waistline—about 20 calories in five medium-sized ones.
But recently, studies have begun to show that some of the exotic varieties—shiitake, maitake, reishi, oyster, and enoki—can do much more. These fungi have been shown to boost immune activity, lower blood fats, and halt the growth of cancer cells, changing the mushroom’s status from that of mere steak décor to one of our diet’s most powerful health-promoters.
“The gold is in the beta glucans,” says Harry G. Preuss, professor of physiology, medicine, and pathology at Georgetown University Medical Center and author of Maitake Magic. Hidden in the cell walls of the more unusual mushrooms, these sugar molecules boost immune activity in a variety of ways and with different effects. In one Japanese study last year, for instance, an extract of maitake mushrooms activated helper T cells, thought to fight both cancer and infection, and upped the output of interferon and interleukin, chemical substances that help regulate immune responses. And in a study of cancer patients, beta glucans were shown to suppress tumor growth and soften the effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Preuss is also discovering that maitakes have beneficial effects on blood pressure and insulin levels in diabetic mice and rats. Within six hours of sipping an extract, the test rats responded with a 25 percent drop in blood pressure, and within days, insulin levels fell by the same amount. Preuss speculates that the mushroom extract works by increasing the number and sensitivity of insulin receptors or by sharpening the message from the receptors to the cells.
Mushrooms also impress Shiuan Chen, a professor of biological science at the City of Hope Cancer Center in Los Angeles. When Chen and his colleagues studied seven common v...
Author: Dorothy Foltz-Gray
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|Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms||
|Written by Laura Klein|
These grilled shiitake mushrooms are great for Meatless Mondays! They can replace any burger with their rich, earthy flavored meat or serve them as a side dish to just about any meal. Research has confirmed mushrooms as a power food for their cancer fighting properties . The bonus, they are super easy to make!
Start your weekend grilling off with a quick and satisfying meal. Grilled shiitake mushrooms are a great way to liven up your favorite pasta dish.
4 - 6 large shiitake mushrooms ∗ - stems trimmed and brushed clean with a paper towel
Watch the Grilled Shiitake Mushrooms Recipe video
In a small food processor or blender, puree the lemon juice, olive oil and anchovies. Transfer to a bowl and stir in fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place marinade and mushrooms in a large bowl so marinade will cover the mushroom caps and marinate for at least 20 minutes and or up to 1 hour.
To Grill Mushrooms:
Place mushrooms over medium low heat on grill, gill side up. Grill mushrooms, until marked and softened about 4 minutes. Turn mushrooms and grill about 1-2 minutes (be careful as to not char the gills), until fork tender. Serve immediately.
∗Use Portobello mushrooms if you can't find the large shitakes. Portobellos, depending on their size, will probably take longer to cook.
Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavors and nutrition while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
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