Boost longevity with button mushrooms, an antioxidant-rich superfood that fights aging
06/26/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
Boost longevity with button mushrooms, an antioxidant-rich superfood that fights aging

White button mushrooms are some of the most commonly grown mushrooms in the world. These antioxidant-rich superfoods are eaten by millions of people and are found almost everywhere. They may not be as exotic as wild mushrooms, but their versatility and flavor more than make up for that.

Plus, white button mushrooms are incredible functional foods that can lengthen your life and slow aging. Researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine attribute those anti-aging effects to the high antioxidant content of these superfoods. They suggest that eating five white button mushrooms a day may protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s dementia, cancer and heart disease.

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White button mushrooms are rich in anti-aging nutrients

For their study, the researchers compared the amount of the antioxidants glutathione and ergothioneine in 13 mushroom species, including white button mushrooms.

“What we found is that, without a doubt, mushrooms are the highest dietary sources of these two antioxidants taken together, and that some types are really packed with both of them,” said study author Robert Beelman, a professor emeritus of food science.

Porcini mushrooms were found to have the highest antioxidant levels while common mushrooms tend to contain less. Despite that, button mushrooms still contained higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods, according to Beelman.

But why are glutathione and ergothioneine so good for our health? As antioxidants, both of these compounds neutralize harmful free radicals in our bodies. These are unstable molecules that can cause DNA damage and chronic inflammation.

Your body naturally produces free radicals, but environmental sources increase production. These sources include processed foods, cigarette smoke, toxic chemicals, sunlight, ionizing radiation and heavy metals.

High levels of free radicals are linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. A hypothesis, called the “free radical theory of aging,” also holds free radicals responsible for why our bodies age. It asserts that the cumulative DNA damage, protein linking and other changes caused by free radicals cause aging.

“The body has mechanisms to control [free radicals], including ergothioneine and glutathione, but eventually enough [free radicals] accrue to cause damage, which has been associated with many of the diseases of aging, like cancer, coronary heart disease and Alzheimer’s,” said Beelman.

This is why antioxidants are so important for our health – they help protect against age-related diseases by scavenging free radicals.

In fact, Beelman says that countries with a high intake of ergothioneine, such as France and Italy, have fewer cases of neurodegenerative disorders. Meanwhile, countries where diets are poor in ergothioneine, such as the United States, have a risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

“Whether that’s just a correlation or causative, we don’t know. But it’s something to look into,” he added.

But how many button mushrooms should you eat to reap their health benefits? Beelman says that the difference between countries with low rates of neurodegenerative disorders is around three milligrams a day. That translates to five white button mushrooms daily.

How to buy and cook white button mushrooms

According to Beelman, cooking white button mushrooms does not significantly reduce the amount of glutathione and ergothioneine since these antioxidants are “very heat stable.” At the same time, cooking destroys harmful compounds in edible mushrooms and enhances their flavor.

Here are a few tips for buying, preparing and cooking white button mushrooms:

  • Buying: Look for young mushrooms with unopened caps and no sign of bruising or sliminess.
  • Cleaning: Wash white button mushrooms under running water for a couple of seconds. Let them dry before cooking. Make sure not to clean the mushrooms for too long as doing otherwise will make them mushy.
  • Storage: Button mushrooms last around a week in the fridge. Store them in a paper bag instead of plastic.
  • Cooking: White buttons are highly versatile ingredients. Add them to soups, stews, stir fry dishes or use as toppings for meat and fish. You can also skewer and grill them or saute them in healthy cooking oil.

White button mushroom recipe

Incorporating white button mushrooms into most of your meals can help lengthen your life and delay aging. You can add them to different dishes or make a delicious dish out of them. This amazing sauteed button mushroom recipe, for example, can be eaten on its own or spread on different kinds of meat.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir the mushrooms, garlic, wine, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt and black pepper in the pan for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.
  2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
  3. Serve with brown rice or top it on chicken.

White button mushrooms are antioxidant-rich superfoods that increase your longevity and help protect against various age-related diseases. Eat more of these anti-aging foods as part of a balanced diet to age healthily.

Sources:

DailyMail.co.uk

ScienceDirect.com

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

VeryWellHealth.com

Mushroom-Appreciation.com

AllRecipes.com

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