Mushrooms May Help Burn Fat and Boost Weight Loss
Mushrooms are widely used for food and medicine because they are nutrient-rich and have medicinal properties.
This article will detail their potential advantages in weight loss and fat burning.
According to a 2018 study, edible mushrooms have an anti-obesity effect on the body. They contain bioactive compounds, antioxidants, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, this is why they could play a vital role in keeping the body healthy. Edible mushrooms also have fiber and hold water, keeping a person satiated for a longer period, thus reducing overeating.
According to Peter Horvath, an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Science at the University at Buffalo, regular consumption of edible mushrooms can help with blood sugar regulation.
Fluctuations in blood sugar levels may affect hunger and stimulate appetite, resulting in an increase in calorie intake, thus, putting a person at risk for unnecessary weight gain. By regulating blood sugar, insulin levels stabilize. Insulin is an important hormone that plays a role in both weight loss and gain.
Mushrooms as Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Immune Boosters
Mushrooms are known for their analgesic, antioxidant, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties. Research shows they reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to many health problems. Obesity promotes chronic inflammation.
Mushrooms contain a phytonutrient called ergothioneine, a naturally occurring amino acid found in mushrooms. Ergothioneine is a powerful antioxidant that defends against tissue damage. Mushrooms also contain glutathione, another vital compound with many antioxidant properties.
Ergothioneine and glutathione contain properties that help fight free radicals that create oxidative stress in the body. While there are different definitions of oxidative stress, in simple terms, it occurs when the number of free radicals exceeds the number of antioxidants. High levels of oxidative stress are dangerous because they inflict cell damage which creates a negative domino effect throughout the body.
High levels of oxidative stress/damage in the body are linked to accelerated aging, cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Some factors that increase oxidative stress/damage in the body include diets low in antioxidant-rich foods, industrial vegetable oils, cigarettes, mental stress, environmental toxins, excess sugar, and excess alcohol consumption. Others include sleep deprivation, infections, sedentary lifestyles (i.e., lack of exercise or physical inactivity), and iron overload.
According to a researcher who conducted a study at the Penn State Center for Plant and Mushroom Products, one species of mushrooms called Boletus edulis (porcini mushroom) has the highest concentration of both ergothioneine and glutathione. While other species have these as well, only Porcini has the highest amount.
Obesity Increases Oxidative Stress in the Body
Various studies, including one published in 2004 stated that obesity increased oxidative stress in the body.
Researchers from the study wrote:
“Obesity is a principal causative factor in the development of metabolic syndrome. Here we report that increased oxidative stress in accumulated fat is an important pathogenic mechanism of obesity-associated metabolic syndrome. Fat accumulation correlated with systemic oxidative stress in humans and mice.”
Researchers from another study, published in 2015 wrote:
“… obesity is also characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation with permanently increased oxidative stress (OS).”
Consuming edible mushrooms regularly may reduce a person’s oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the body.
Because obesity promotes chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, their consumption could be even more beneficial for those on a weight-loss journey.
The most-recommended mushrooms include the white button, Chaga, cordyceps, portobello, porcini, shiitake, maitake, reishi, oyster, lion’s mane, turkey tail, Mesima, and wood ear.
Many online resources can guide a person on properly choosing, storing, and cooking mushrooms. They are also available in supplement or powder form.
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Mushrooms: The Nutrition Source; https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/mushrooms/ Ergothioneine – a diet‐derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential; https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/1873-3468.13123 Ergothioneinein Mushrooms-Nature’s Best Source of a New Human Vitamin?; https://plantpath.psu.edu/mushroom-industry-conference/52-mushroom-industry-conference/Bob%20Beelman.pdf Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551541/ How does oxidative stress affect the body?; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324863
Mushrooms: The Nutrition Source; https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/mushrooms/
Ergothioneine – a diet‐derived antioxidant with therapeutic potential; https://febs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/1873-3468.13123
Ergothioneinein Mushrooms-Nature’s Best Source of a New Human Vitamin?; https://plantpath.psu.edu/mushroom-industry-conference/52-mushroom-industry-conference/Bob%20Beelman.pdf
Oxidative Stress: Harms and Benefits for Human Health; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551541/
How does oxidative stress affect the body?; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324863