Mushroom nutrition is off the charts! They’re one of the healthiest, most versatile ingredients to add to your cooking, providing you with nutrients to support a healthy immune system, heart health and radiant skin. So all mushrooms are magical in their own way.
The humble mushroom is truly a superfood. While there are more than 10,000 different species of edible mushrooms pushing up dirt across the world, broadly speaking they’re all packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Mushrooms offer a unique bundle of nutrients, rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D, riboflavin and selenium, while being low in fat, sodium and kilojoules.
In addition to being cheap, easy and delicious, adding mushrooms to your cooking has so many health benefits. Here are just 5 reasons to eat more of these delightful little fungi in your day to day.
1. Mushrooms feed the brain
They’re rich in antioxidants (including ergothioneine and glutathione), which helps reduce inflammation often found to be a prime suspect in neurodegeneration, so are thought to prevent illnesses like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. They’re one of the only natural non-animal sources of vitamin D, a component necessary for brain and neuron health.
2. Mushrooms keep you looking young
With a super-high concentration of antioxidants (ergothioneine and glutathione), mushrooms help promote anti-aging in the body. Mushrooms are said to be the highest dietary source of these two antioxidants taken together, with wild porcini mushrooms containing the highest levels of any mushroom species.
3. Mushrooms give you energy
For a natural energy boost, mushrooms are packed with a range of B vitamins (riboflavin [B2], folate [B9], thiamine [B1], pantothenic acid [B5], and niacin [B3]) which help the body utilise energy from food consumed, producing red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout the body. Research has shown cordyceps in particular help boost energy levels. You can even use it in a concentrated version like the Cordyceps Mushroom Liquid Extract by Life Cykel in Byron Bay.
4. Mushrooms boost immunity
Known to help strengthen the immune system, mushrooms are a leading source of the powerful antioxidant selenium, which protects the body’s cells and tissues from damage that might lead to illness and chronic disease. Mushrooms also contain beta-glucan, a sugar found to help boost your immune system.
5. Mushrooms promote heart health
Mushrooms are super low in sodium but full of flavour, meaning you can achieve a savory, umami taste with no ramifications for your blood pressure or heart disease risk. They’re also a natural source of heart-healthy fibre, which not only helps facilitate smooth digestion but also supports heart health by lowering blood pressure.
How to cook with mushrooms: recipes
Mushrooms are incredibly versatile, and in Australia we’re lucky to have a bunch of different types readily available in supermarkets to use as ingredients for different dishes. They’re great as the hero of a dish, or to sneak into cooking creations for additional health benefits.
Here are just a few of our favourite recipes using mushrooms:
Shiitake mushroom wonton soup
The perfect winter warmer, this vegan shiitake mushroom wonton soup is fun to make (especially with a partner), easy to master, and delicious to taste. Check out this how-to video and learn how to cook and fold cute little wontons from Bodhi’s owner, Heaven Leigh, and Head Chef, Brooke Ng.
Miso cauliflower risotto with sautéed asian mushrooms
Need a pick-me-up in lockdown? Give this fancy pants miso cauliflower risotto a try. It’s a low carb, high fibre, high wow factor masterpiece combining cauliflower, edamame and mushrooms to make a filling and beautiful dish worthy of an Insta snap. This recipe was also featured in Nourish Magazine, so you know it must be good!
Warm winter mushroom salad
Salads don’t have to be summer-only! This is one of our favourite winter dishes, a warm mushroom salad packed with fresh herbs, greens and a variety of mushrooms, topped with a zingy Asian dressing. You can even up the quantities of mushrooms to really celebrate their textures and flavours!
Grilled eggplant with mushroom mince
Ok to be fair, this recipe is just as much about eggplant and tofu as it is about mushrooms, but it’s a great example of how you can incorporate mushrooms into just about any dish to add even more flavour and texture.