Health Benefits of Cremini Mushrooms

Cremini or crimini mushrooms are considered to be one of the healthiest foods as they are packed with vitamins and minerals. This Buzzle article elaborates more on the benefits of including cremini mushrooms in your diet.
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Health benefits of Cremini mushrooms
Did You Know?
Cooked mushrooms are more nutritious than raw mushrooms. Moreover, cooking does not result in a loss of antioxidants, like selenium, that are present in cremini mushrooms.
Cremini mushrooms are a type of mushroom that have long been known for their impressive nutritional value. They are popular for their earthy texture and flavor and have become an integral part of a wide array of Asian dishes. Cooked mushrooms can definitely add a beautiful flavor to your meals, but more importantly, from a nutritional standpoint, they deliver much more than expected. So, apart from a lending a good taste, they also contribute to nutrition in a big way. Following are some of the health benefits of cremini mushrooms.

Act as an Anti-cancer Agent
Including cremini mushrooms in your diet may help reduce the risk of breast cancer considerably. As we all know, the hormone estrogen, predominantly found in women, is known to stimulate proliferation of breast cancer cells. The mushrooms contain substantial amounts of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)―a type of fatty acid. According to studies, CLA exhibits antiestrogenic activity, which suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells. CLA's ability to inhibit circulation of estrogen may provide protection against breast cancer.

Boost the Immune System
Cremini mushrooms contain a number of nutrients that can have a positive impact on the immune system. 1-3 Beta-D-glucans, p-tolyl-hydrazine, and fucogalactans are some of the compounds found in these mushrooms that can help to enhance the function of the immune system. So, inclusion of cremini mushroom in your diet can contribute to the strengthening of the immune system, in turn protecting you from a wide range of ailments and infections.

Lower High Cholesterol
According to animal studies, a diet containing cremini mushrooms may provide a cholesterol-lowering effect. When laboratory animals were fed a diet containing cremini mushrooms for around 2 months, it led to reduction in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides―a type of unhealthy fat that can be harmful to your heart. Thus, one can say that consuming cremini mushrooms regularly may prove beneficial to heart health.

Protect Cardiovascular Health
Cremini mushrooms are an excellent source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which can provide plenty of cardiovascular benefits. Zinc, selenium, and manganese present in cremini mushrooms have high antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants with their free radical fighting properties are able to inhibit the wear and tear of blood vessels. They repair the oxidative damage inflicted by free radicals on the blood vessels. On the other hand, the anti-inflammatory nutrients in the mushrooms keep the blood vessels safe from chronic inflammation. All this helps to improve blood vessel function and prevent heart ailments. No wonder, consuming high antioxidant foods, such as cremini mushrooms, has been strongly correlated with decreased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Regulate Blood Pressure
Apart from displaying excellent antioxidant properties, these mushrooms are also found to be an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. High blood pressure patients are often advised to follow a diet that contains adequate potassium. Potassium tends to reduce the blood pressure-raising effect of sodium. So, including natural sources of potassium, such as cremini mushrooms, in the diet can certainly help regulate blood pressure and further reduce the chances of getting a stroke or heart attack.

Are an Effective Weight Loss Food
Cremini mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine. Vitamin B is a vital to promote conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. It is the key nutrient that speeds up the metabolic rate as well as the fat-burning process. In simple words, vitamin B plays a crucial role in reduction of body fat. So, intake of vitamin B-rich foods, such as cremini mushrooms, can certainly help burn fat and maintain weight. Moreover, a cup of cremini mushrooms contain only 23 calories. Low in fats, cremini mushrooms are certainly a good choice for dieters.

Experts caution that cremini mushrooms should be consumed in moderation as they are high in certain chemical compounds known as purines, which can increase the chances of developing joint problems. However, a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine has shown that the purine effect from meat and plant sources is not the same. The study has pointed out that purines obtained from meat sources are the main culprit in raising gout risk. On the other hand, vegetable sources of purines, such as cremini mushrooms, do not contribute to increasing gout risk. So, you can safely eat these mushrooms to your heart's content without worrying about their purine content.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.
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Published: July 19, 2014
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These are my favorite mushrooms. - NANCY PHILLIPS [July 23, 2014]