Mushrooms seem to me to be an understated food. I had no idea how great they are until just recently.
I know they taste great sautéed in a little butter, pinch of salt and pepper, on a piece of wholegrain toast. Yummy.
Which brings back memories of autumnal afternoons spent foraging for chanterelles in the woods back home. Then off home to cook them… But I digress.
Mushrooms are… wait for the drum roll… the only plant food to produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. And vitamin D, as we know, helps keep ’em ole bones strong.
And for those calorie-conscious folks out there: six medium-sized button mushrooms contain roughly 22 calories.
Being a fan of antioxidant-rich foods, mushrooms must surely come with some of those. And they do. Namely Ergothioneine. Or ET, for short.
If asked to name foods with antioxidants in them, most of us will say things like: berries, citrus fruits, peppers, green tea, etc. The usual suspects.
But mushrooms. Who knew? Let’s just say they’ve gone up more than a notch in my estimation. But there’s more.
Remember my last post on aging and free radicals? And I spoke about mitochondria, our little cellular power plants where energy from the food we eat is turned into a form the body can use.
Well, listen to this: ET is one of two antioxidants that can get into the mitochondria. And once inside, it helps clean up some of the mess caused by oxidation. How cool is that?
There’s so much more to tell you, so I’ll post a Part 2 on this topic shortly.