“Culinary-medicinal mushrooms may play an important role in the prevention of many age-associated neurological dysfunctions, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”(1)
There are so many reasons you should be including mushrooms into your day, notwithstanding the delicious tastes and textures you can achieve in culinary delights. I remember a time when I loathed mushrooms, the look, texture and taste made me shiver, and I am not clear on when I started to eat them. However, mushrooms now feature in my family meals at least 2 or 3 times a week and are one of my absolute favourite ingredients.
Mushrooms have been suggested as being the queen of anti-inflammatory second only to greens!
Dr Joel Fuhrman states that they are excellent for arthritis owing to an ability to prevent DNA damage in his book super immunity (2). Therefore, it seems that mushrooms and greens are together a powerful cocktail, for preventing or fighting cancer!
Mushrooms have been used for their healing properties in oriental and folk medicine for centuries, therefore, it should come as no surprise that robust scientific studies have proven strong health claims. Within the last few decades, mushrooms have been discovered to be beneficial as antioxidants, anti-tumor, anti-cancer, anti-allergenic, anti-diabetic, immunity supporting and anti-microbial agents. For a simple ingredient, this is quite an impressive list and further to this more recently scientists have found that mushrooms may prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s which has led to further study of this amazing natural food.
So, which mushrooms are the best?
Surprisingly, the common white button mushroom was found to have one of the highest amortise activities – this means that it has strong properties found to suppress cancer growth (3,4 and 5). The portobello, cremini and reishi are suggested to have high anti-cancer activity, with chanterelle and shiitake thought to be mild in their response to cancer cell growth.
PassionAte recipe suggestions…
You can include mushrooms in, soups, stew, chilli, tomato based sauces, stir fries, with eggs for breakfast or stir-fried in coconut oil with hummus and rice cakes as a snack! The sky is the limit for this wonderful versatile ingredient.
My favourite mushroom soup is a simple onion and garlic start in a pan with a little olive oil, then all mushrooms added (approximately 200-300g of your choice/mixed mushrooms) to be fried off lightly. At this point, you can add a pinch of sea salt/Himalayan,black pepper and a pinch of paprika. Once the mushrooms and onion are turning golden add in a tin of coconut oil and a teaspoon of miso (mix with a little water before adding to the pan) until warm – then blend and serve.
I love a stir fry and at one point my daughter was begging to have one every night. She was obsessed – now this is a wonderful obsession for a teenager to have I think you would agree! The good things about a stir fry is it is quick and easy and you can change the ingredients dependent on what veggies you have. I always start with garlic, fresh ginger, fresh chilli – red/green with a little cold pressed/olive or coconut oil then add veggies, adding mushrooms last. I use Miso and Tamari to add flavour. These are fermented products which are fantastic for your gut bacteria. This is why I call this super healing stir fry:
Lots of love and health,
References and information links
2. Book: Super Immunity by Dr Joel Fuhrman
3. White button mushrooms suggested to inhibit aromatase activity and suppress breast cancer cell proliferation.
4. The natural aromatase-inhibiting qualities of mushrooms noted in preclinical studies has the potential to offer a dietary intervention that may help prevent recurrence of hormone-dependent breast cancers.
5. A video for you: