Top 8 Health Benefits of Mushrooms


Nature’s hidden treasure, mushrooms, are not just delicious but are also very beneficial for our health. They are a type of fungus that come in diverse shapes, sizes, and colors. Mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrients that benefit the body in many different ways. From lowering blood pressure to boosting the immune system and lowering the risk of cancer, these mushrooms have taken an important place in our meals. An average American eats 3 pounds of mushrooms in a year to fulfill their nutrients and vitamin requirements.

There are many types of mushrooms, like Button Mushrooms, Boletus edulis, Flammulina velutipes, Hericium erinaceus, Amanita muscaria, etc. Besides them, there are many hidden and undiscovered mushrooms, and scientists and researchers are continuously studying mushrooms to know their medical benefits and their usage in the healthcare sector. This guide will delve into the enthralling world of mushrooms and their health benefits.

1. Protect Brain Health

Some studies have suggested that some species of mushroom have a neuroprotective effect on the brain which can support cognitive function. Many mushrooms have ergothioneine and glutathione that save you from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Amanita Mushrooms are among the most common types of mushrooms that help in improving brain health by fighting depression, migraine, epilepsy, hypertension, insomnia, and low appetite. Besides that, psilocybin is a component found in mushrooms that aids in treating depression and PTSD. Researchers have proved that eating the required number of mushrooms reduces the chances of depression due to the ergothioneine present in them.

2. Boost Immune System


Some mushroom varieties like Blue meanie mushrooms are famous for supporting the immune system and helping fight common diseases like cold and flu. A healthy immune system is extremely important for fighting infection, allergies, and diseases and protecting the body. They contain some antioxidants and fibers like beta-glucans, selenium, etc, that boost the immune system. Researchers have found that Beta-glucans have the power to fight cancer cells and lower the cancer risk.

3. Supply Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the basic necessity to maintain a strong and healthy body. Most people still rely on direct sunlight or medicines to fulfill Vitamin D requirements. However, mushrooms are one of the greatest natural sources of vitamins, especially vitamin B and Vitamin D. Proper intake of Vitamin D is important to keep the bones and muscles strong and intact. It reduces the chances of muscle injuries and helps in curing them if they happen. Mushrooms are the only natural vegetable that, when survive in extreme sunlight, become a great source of Vitamin D, which we generally get from sunlight. To get the most benefit, it’s always suggested to keep the mushroom in direct sunlight before eating.

4. Help in Weight Loss

Mushrooms have a combination of dietary fiber, low calories, and high-water content, which aids in weight loss. Mushrooms contain fiber that slows down digestion, which results in less hunger in frequent intervals. They are a great source of copper that aids in metabolizing fat and reducing weight. It minimizes the effect of calories and fats and reduces the cholesterol level in the body, which is one of the main reasons for obesity. However, weight loss is a process that requires physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, consuming mushrooms alone will not work if you live an unhealthy lifestyle and follow a poor diet.

5. Improve Heart Health


Mushrooms are a useful and valuable food item for people with heart problems. They are rich in dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and enhance heart rate. They contain potassium and some antioxidants that aid in blood pressure regulation. They are an excellent substitute for red meat for non-vegetarians who want to maintain a healthy heart. Mushrooms have minimal calories, sodium, salt, and cholesterol that are present in excess in red meat, which increases the risk of major heart problems. However, the important thing is you don’t have to compromise with the taste, as mushrooms have a natural, delightful taste.

6. Improve Gut Health

Our gut contains microbiomes, i.e., fungi, bacteria, and viruses, that are harmful to our health. They reduce the immunity and tolerance level of the human body. Mushrooms contain all the components and substances, including polysaccharides, that reduce the harmful microbiome and aid in the growth of good bacteria. They are high in protein, beta-glucan, dietary fiber, minerals, fluids, and micronutrients, all of which are helpful to your gut. The substitution of harmful bacteria with good bacteria ensures that the food you intake keeps you healthy and fit. The more diverse healthy bacteria present in the gut, the stronger your immune system.

7. Lower Blood Pressure

Sodium is one of the major reasons behind high blood pressure. Mushrooms can lower blood pressure, which is extremely important for good health. They have low sodium, which prevents excess fluid retention and reduces blood pressure. They are rich in potassium, have antioxidants, and dietary fiber, which neutralizes the negative impact of sodium in the body and ultimately controls blood pressure easily.

8. Reduce the risk of Cancer, Anxiety, and Depression


Many mushrooms have bioactive compounds that have cancer-fighting properties and reduce the risk of cancer by at least 45%. They contain compounds like ergothioneine, an amino acid, an antioxidant, polysaccharopeptides, polysaccharides, triterpenes, D-fraction, etc. In laboratory experiments, it has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties that also protect against cellular damage. Besides that, it is a good source of vitamin B6 which works as a catalyst to promote brain functioning. The serotonin present in mushrooms helps to regulate mood, sleep, mind, and appetite, which ultimately helps in fighting anxiety and depression. Moreover, they boost the memory and sharpen the brain, which ultimately leads to a healthy brain free from stress and depression.


The health benefits of mushrooms have no limit, but the benefit particularly depends on the type of mushroom and the procedure used to cook it. They can work as a substitute for supplements, direct sunshine, red meat, and drugs to balance body hormones and fulfill requirements. According to researchers, an average individual should consume 1 to 2 cups, i.e., 150-300 grams of cooked mushroom every day, to maintain a healthy body and sedentary lifestyle. There are many companies and websites selling mushrooms in raw form or in the form of gummies, chocolate, capsules, tablets, powder etc. It’s up to you how you want to intake this powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.

Written by Kan Dail