Mushrooms are an undiscovered goldmine when it comes to providing health benefits. Egyptians have used mushrooms for centuries to improve health overall, and studies are beginning to show a link between increased mushroom consumption and decreased breast cancer occurrences. Read on to learn about some of the exciting promises that mushrooms may hold, and which ones to use for the best results.
In one recent study completed in Australia (University of Western Australia, Perth), scientists showed that those women in the study that ate at least ⅓ ounce of fresh mushrooms daily were 64% less likely to develop breast cancer. Although dried mushrooms do still provide some benefits, the most benefits were gained from eating the fresh options. Even more exciting is the fact that women that ate mushrooms regularly and consumed green tea consistently (mostly one cup every day) saw an 89% reduction in their risk for breast cancer.
So what is it about mushrooms that makes them so effective in fighting cancer? Mushrooms are able to fight cancer particularly because they inhibit a particular enzyme called aromatase. This enzyme produces estrogen, which is often a factor in the development of breast cancer. Several varieties of mushrooms can effectively inhibit the production of this enzyme, which can then prevent overproduction of estrogen and an increased risk of breast cancer. Mushrooms also prevent the growth of and increase in cancerous cells because of the special lectins that they contain; these lectins are able to identify cancerous cells and attack them.
Which Mushrooms to Eat?
There are hundreds of different types of mushrooms that exist, and it is important to eat the right kinds for the most effective cancer prevention. Some of the most popular mushroom types that have promising anti-cancer properties include:
- Turkey tail
All of these mushrooms contain crucial bioactive compounds that likely have potent cancer-fighting abilities. These mushrooms have also been studies for their effect on stomach, prostate, and colorectal cancers, in addition to breast cancer.
If mushrooms have the potential to decrease your risk of cancer, then there is no reason why you should not be adding them to your diet today. With the wide variety of mushrooms that are available and powerful in preventing cancer, you can enjoy different types prepared in different ways, and never get bored. Try adding some mushrooms to your pastas, spaghetti sauce, pizzas, salads, and more. Even better, substitute a beef patty with a large mushroom such as portobello for double health benefits.