From thousands of years there have been some foods that work as a key to good health. Mushrooms are one of them, used for centuries in form of food and medicine to maintain fine health. There are many types of mushrooms and each has his specific work and quality. All mushroom are full of nutrients, and top of all they are low in calories, which makes them an ideal food for calorie conscious people. There are over 14,000 varieties of mushrooms in the world, out of which about 3,000 are fit for human consumption, and about 700 have known therapeutic properties. Some of the benefits of mushrooms are:

• Mushrooms have very less calories and contain approximately 80 to 90 percent water. At the same time, they have low sodium, carbohydrate and fat content and high fiber content. This is the reason why mushrooms are considered good for those aiming for weight loss.
• Mushrooms are said to be useful in strengthening of veins and relaxation of the tendons.
• Mushrooms are rich in copper, a mineral that has cardio-protective properties. A single serving of mushrooms is said to provide about 20 to 40 percent of the daily needs of copper.
• Mushrooms are believed to help fight against cancer. They are an excellent source of selenium, an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
• Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium. In fact, it is said that there is more potassium in a mushroom than a banana. Since potassium helps lower blood pressure and diminished the risk of stroke, mushrooms are recommended to people suffering from hypertension.
• White button mushroom have been found to restrain the activity of aromatase, an enzyme involved in estrogen production, and 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.
• It has been found that mushroom extract helps stop migraine headaches and is beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses, like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
• White button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. In fact, extract of white button mushrooms has been found to help in diminishing cell proliferation as well as tumor size.
• Shiitake mushrooms comprise of Lentinan, a beta-glucan that has been associated with stimulation of the immune system and thus, is believed to be helpful in fighting against AIDS. It also helps fight infection and exhibits anti-tumor activity.
• Being rich in fiber, protein and Vitamin B, mushrooms help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Some mushrooms can cause allergies, so if you are eating mushrooms for the first time should take appointment of an allergist or Immunologist first. Check if you have mushroom allergy or not. Mushrooms, along with asparagus, fatty meats and some fish, are high in purines. When the body breaks down purines, a substance called uric acid is produced. In some people, this uric acid builds up in the joints, causing a condition called gout. For those with this condition, mushrooms and other high-purine foods should be consumed in moderation.

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