Mushrooms For the Immune System
Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms are two of the more common mushrooms known to support the immune system, but there have been a couple of publications recently that show you don’t have to spend $20/lb to get benefit. (In fact at Whole Foods the other day I saw a $59.99/lb mushroom. Can it be that good…15 times as good as a $3.99/lb mushroom? )
Turns out the common white buttom mushroom can hold its own in terms of immune modulation and antioxidant status according to a recent study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture . Antioxidants are in the news quite a bit and are shown to help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases by protecting DNA from the damage we face daily. According to this article the white button mushroom does a pretty good job in terms of antioxidant, especially if you consider that it costs less than a quarter of the price of some of the lower end ‘exotic’ mushrooms.
I prefer the brown crimini mushrooms which are actually just an immature portabello mushroom. (apparently if you let the crimini grow for another few days it quadruples in size to a portabello!).
But always make sure your mushrooms are cooked! I’d avoid raw mushrooms on salad bars as mushrooms can contain certain celluloses that are hard for our digestion to break down as well as other phytochemiclas such as agartine which according to some people can be toxic. I’d rather not take a chance, besides I feel that cooked mushrooms taste better. Plus the fact that my Japanese teacher Kiiko Matsumoto always says that mushrooms should be cooked and I believe there is a lot of wisdom in traditional cultures. So how to cook? You can boil them for 20 minutes, saute them in oil or water saute them. Mushrooms and onions are great together.
So save some money and buy $3.99/lb mushrooms then you don’t have to steal just the tops of the more exotic mushroom like a friend I recently witnessed!
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!