Like other foods, mushrooms are considered a superfood. Recently, a study concluded that mushrooms are useful for the prevention of certain types of cancer. Researchers believe that eating mushrooms is a very good idea, regardless of their variety.
Two mushrooms a day
The superfood list includes fish, sweet potatoes, wild rice, nuts, and garlic. We tend to forget this, but mushrooms fall into the same category. On the other hand, on the Internet, many publications, without always indicating their sources, extol the virtues of this food. But sometimes research comes out, as it did in the journal Advances in Nutrition on March 21, 2021. A group of researchers from the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania (USA) confirms that eating mushrooms is a good idea for maintaining health. They are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants. The study goes further, claiming that daily consumption of mushrooms can reduce the risk of cancer by half.
In fact, the American study is a meta-analysis combining the results of previous studies conducted between 1966 and 2020 and involving 19,500 cancer patients. According to scientists, the inclusion of mushrooms in everyday food reduces the risk of cancer. To be more precise, people who consume 18 grams per day-the equivalent of two mushrooms – have a 45% lower risk of contracting this type of disease than those who do not eat them.
In addition, it should be noted that this finding does not distinguish between varieties of fungi, although some of them contain more of the amino acids ergothioneine than others. Therefore, the authors of the study suggest eating opiates, morels, chanterelles, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, and other button mushrooms daily.
“Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine, which is a unique and powerful antioxidant and cellular protector,” said epidemiologist Jibril M. Ba, lead author of the study.
The strongest associations noted by the researchers were associated with breast cancer. According to the study leaders, this could simply be because most of the studies in the meta-analysis did not include other forms of cancer. Thus, more research is needed to explore this area. It will be necessary to determine the extent to which fungi can prevent cancer, as well as to distinguish between different forms of this disease.