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The Anti Aging and Health Magic of Mushrooms

Mushrooms and Aging


Updated May 08, 2009



Photo: Eising / Getty Images
Mushrooms may have anti aging and health magic that we are just beginning to understand. Here’s how I see it: A basic principle of healthy eating is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables because each fruit of vegetable contains different nutrients that your body can use in anti aging and disease prevention. Mushrooms are a whole different category of food that has different nutrients and substances that your body can use to keep you young. So adding mushrooms to your diet gives you low-calorie healthy nutrients (not to mention delicious).

Mushrooms, Health and Anti Aging

Mushrooms are a fungi and there are literally thousands of different kinds of mushrooms that people can eat. Overall, it can be said that mushrooms are a good source of potassium, a low-calorie way to flavor food, are a great source of fiber, are a good source of selenium (a mineral that is being researchers for its anti aging properties) and have some substances that are being investigated for their role in preventing hormone-related cancers (like breast cancer and prostate cancer).

Other Anti Aging Uses of Mushrooms

You'll find mushrooms showing up in all sorts of elixirs and face creams with claims of anti aging effects. As far as I know, none of these claims has been thoroughly researched, so you'll have to use your own judgment. On one hand, smearing mushroom cream on your face seems better than some of the chemicals found in most face creams -- but who knows for sure?

Toxic Mushrooms

The problem with mushrooms is that they are kind of like a sponge –- they soak up whatever they are growing in. If that environment has toxins and chemicals in it, the mushrooms will soak it up. In fact, mushrooms are mostly water, so mushrooms growers (and mushroom pickers) need to be careful about keeping everything clean and toxin-free. Stick with organic mushrooms whenever you can. There is a simple trick to tell if produce in the grocery store is organic. Each piece of produce has either a 4 or 5 digit code for the cashier to enter. All organic produce has a 5 digit code that starts with a 9. Look for those 9s and you know it is organic.

Mushrooms and Health Bottom Line

Basically, mushrooms are good for you, they provide nutrients without adding tons of calories, fat or other bad stuff. Make sure you clean your mushrooms well (with a damp cloth –- too much water will make them spongy) and go for organic mushrooms when possible. Try these mushroom recipes.

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World’s Healthiest Foods. Mushrooms . George Mateljan Foundation.

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