Many people think of mushrooms as vegetables. However, they actually belong to the fungi family. While they do not contain healthy organisms such as chlorophyll or vascular tissue that are found in plants, this fungi is packed full of nutrients where you might want to consider including them in your diet. One of the most widely used type of mushroom is the Agaricus bisporus which” is an edible basidiomycete mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America” (Wikipedia). When this mushroom is immature it has two colors which are brown and white. These immature mushrooms go by different names such as common mushroom and button mushroom. When the mushroom is brown in color with its cap opened, it is considered to be a Portobello mushroom. Cultivated in over 70 countries throughout the world, this is one of the most common forms of mushrooms.
Not only are Portobello mushrooms low in fat, they are also high in fiber. With almost five grams per cup, you are promoting excellent intestinal health when you include passion fruit in your daily diet. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it, eating these mushrooms helps keep you regular. The fiber also helps your bile ducts move the cholesterol out of your body more effectively.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure go hand in hand. Eating foods that aid in lowering your cholesterol also has a direct impact of lowering your blood pressure. The American Heart Association states that food that contains high fiber content plays a key role in reducing blood pressure. The fiber found in Portobello mushrooms helps absorb fat and cholesterol and helps remove it from the body. This fiber also fills you up and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. Since these mushrooms are also high in potassium, they are excellent if you are watching your blood pressure since it, along with the fiber, plays a role in lowering blood pressure.
Portobello mushrooms contain an antioxidant called selenium. Antioxidants play a role in preventing damaged cells from attacking healthy cells. This mineral is necessary if your want to protect yourself from getting heart disease. Selenium plays a role in forming prostaglandins which helps prevent abnormal clotting of your blood. Eating Portobello mushrooms is an excellent way to prevent the likelihood of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Portobello mushrooms contain several B vitamins. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, helps “helps the body’s cells change carbohydrates into energy” (medlineplus). This helps speed up metabolism and the rate in which we lose weight. Riboflavin-Vitamin B2-helps boost your immune system and increase the energy in your body as well as “maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function” (WebMD). . Vitamin B3 (2% RDA)-or niacin-also plays a role in turning our food into energy. In addition to this, it helps raise the level of good cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein or HDL). Vitamin B6 is necessary in reducing the chances of getting heart disease, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, unclogging arteries and “reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease “ (WebMD). Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots.
The glycemic index or glycaemic index (GI) is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level(Wikipedia). If a specific type of food has a higher number, people with diabetes should avoid that type of food. That is because that food can cause an unhealthy rise in blood sugar. Portobello mushrooms fall below 55 on the glycemic index. This is considered to be a low number. Therefore, they will not cause a spike in blood sugar and help keep it in the healthy range. If you are diabetic, eat these mushrooms as a healthy snack.
Most grocery stores and health food stores sell Portobello mushrooms. You may even find them at your local farmer’s market when they are in season. When you are shopping for them, check out the caps and make sure they are firm and smooth. Also make sure that these caps so not have any wet patches or feel slimy since they will spoil quicker. To make these mushrooms last, put them in a paper bag and store them in your refrigerator.
Avoid eating Portobello mushrooms if you are allegic to fungi.
Unless you are knowledgeable about mushrooms, do not try to collect Portobello mushrooms from the wild. You can easily confuse these safe mushrooms with poisonous ones.
Always talk to your doctor is you are including Portobello mushrooms to treat any health ailments or conditions.