Champignon the superfood

Popular press materials, spa and health media describe some foods and food groups as a “super food”. Of course, this trend has its nutritional basis but some analisis often exaggerate.   Currently, the following foods are named as superfood: olive oil, red wine, fish, most of the vegetables and fruits and soy. Now the different versions of the cultivated button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus), the white and brown button mushrooms and Portobello are listed among the superfoods based on  several paralel researches. Based on the results of these research results, this honorable title is justified because button mushroom has many beneficial properties which have beneficial effect on human health. In recent years, biologically active substances have been proven which can help in the fight against cancer and cardiovascular system diseases.

The Beckman Research Institute, the City of Hope A Duarte, California have found that button mushroom contains substances which reduce the activity of aromatase enzyme which increases the estrogen level. The excessive estrogen production of the body increases theh risk of breast cancer. In the first phase of the research there were examined seven different plants – onions, celery, carrot, bell peppers, broccoli, spinach and button mushroom. The largest concentration of aromatase inhibitors have been found in the white button mushroom. In the second research phase, different mushroom species were examined such as Portobello, shiitake, brown mushroom, oyster mushroom, enoki, Jew’s ear/wood ear, chanterelle mushrooms and white button. Based on the research results, the largest concentration of aromatase inhibitors have been found in the white button mushroom.

In the research of City of Hope Medical Center, the relationship between mushroom and the development of prostate cancer was investigated. It was found that two substances are presented in button mushroom which inhibit the the function of two enzymes (steroid 5-alpha-reductase and aromatase) related to the development of prostate cancer.

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At the State University of Pennsylvania, the presence of L-ergothioneine in mushrooms was investigated under the direction of Professor Robert Beelman. The L-ergothioneine is a very powerful antioxidant. Earlier it was thought that the best sources of this material are the chicken liver and wheat germ. It has been found that mushrooms contain more L-ergothioneine. Most of them can be found in shiitake, maitake and oyster mushrooms. In button mushroom there are four times more as in chicken liver and twelve times more as in wheat germ. The L-ergothioneine is not damaged during cooking which doesn’t influence the variety of the methods of preparation of the dishes.

Several studies have shown that regular consumption of mushrooms as part of the low-cholesterol diet, can prevent cardiovascular system diseases. In the white mushroom lovastatin was found in significant concentrations, which actively prevents the function of the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol.

Selenium in an appropriate concentration in the body is indispensable for the physiological function of the immune system, the latest research results have even pointed out the effect of preventing cancer of this trace element. The button mushroom is a significant source of selenium. Selenium intake has become so important in the recent years because the majority of the inhabitants of several countries, for example Great-Britain suffer from chronic selenium deficiency suffer.

Most fof the mushrooms are also excellent sources of riboflavin, potassium, copper, thiamin, niacin and folic acid. Because of this, mushrooms are counted right to become a superfood and mostly button mushroom because of its popularity.

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