Mushies' health benefits brought to light

Study reveals myriad of health benefits from mushrooms

Horticulture
BETTER: A comprehensive, world-first literature review by Australian researchers has found mushrooms boast numerous health benefits.

BETTER: A comprehensive, world-first literature review by Australian researchers has found mushrooms boast numerous health benefits.

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A Nutrition Research Australia study has found mushrooms are ultra-healthy.

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FROM gut health to a stronger immune system, it turns out mushrooms are good for you; really good for you.

What's more, swapping the same volume of beef for mushrooms in a meal can help to lower calorie intake, with no difference to appetite.

Nutrition Research Australia has completed a systematic literature review on the many health benefits of mushrooms to humans.

The Hort Innovation-commissioned, and world first, review on the 'Agaricus bisporus' mushroom, investigated its key bioactive components and health effects.

Agaricus bisporus mushrooms are the most commonly consumed mushrooms and include button, portobello, cup, flat and Swiss brown varieties.

The review showed health benefits to include:

  • Beneficial effects on immune function
  • Improved gut health
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Increased vitamin D levels
  • Increased fullness and reduced hunger
  • Lowered risk of ovarian cancer and may help to manage prostate cancer
  • Improved cardiometabolic markers

The review also found UV-exposed mushrooms (such as mushrooms put in sunlight) can be as effective for increasing vitamin D levels as a vitamin D supplement.

In a cooperative boost for the olive industry, mushrooms cooked in extra virgin olive oil may help to improve markers of heart health.

Nutrition Research Australia chief executive officer, Dr Flavia Fayet-Moore, the research program involved screening more than 5000 studies across the globe.

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"The sheer volume of information that exists on the humble mushroom is astonishing," Dr Fayet-Moore said.

"This research really helped highlight the uniqueness of the mushroom.

"We think of them as vegetables, but they are actually their own kingdom. It was amazing to discover how they have bioactives that are generally found in whole grains, animal foods, and even nuts."

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