How Mushrooms Keep You Healthy
This superfood fights off viruses, keeps your immunity up, and adds an extra layer of flavor to any meal.
Want to improve your health and enjoy some delicious food? Then pile on the mushrooms. Not only are they so desirable that people will hunt for hours to find rare ones and spend hundreds on a single ounce, ancient Chinese medicine has also been using them for thousands of years to prevent and cure numerous diseases. What’s more, they’re rich in umami—the uniquely savory fifth taste—without the sodium or MSG. And with around 14,000 varieties, mushroom flavors and benefits range from delicate to pungent, flu fighting to asthma reducing. So if you haven’t already, fight off winter colds by adding one, or all, of these mighty fungi to your plate.
Button and Portobello: Don’t dismiss these common mushrooms; the button and portobello varieties enhance your immune system’s natural killer-cell activity to prevent the flu and provide a healthy dose of antioxidants and B vitamins. Plus, they’re inexpensive and easy to cook. Try out some seriously good Portobello Burgers or make simple Marinated Mushrooms for your next meal.
Chanterelles: Prized by chefs worldwide, these golden goodies offer a delicate flavor perfect in dishes like Squash With Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing and Spicy Chanterelle Tofu Scramble. And if you’re interested in mushroom hunting, try looking at the base of oak, Douglas fir, and western hemlock trees, where chanterelles grow in a symbiotic relationship with the trees.
Reishi: One of the most commonly used mushrooms in Chinese herbal medicine, the reishi is available in syrup, tea, soup, and pill form. Especially beneficial for lung and liver health, this healing mushroom can also be used as a mood and spirit booster—perfect for dark, wintery days.
Morels: Their rich flavor make morels a prized food in French cuisine and a perfect meat substitute in savory dishes such as Wild and Walnutty Mushroom “Sausage” Pizza. Just remember to cook these honeycomb-like caps thoroughly, since some have low levels of toxins that cause gastrointestinal problems when eaten raw.
Truffles: The ultimate delicacy, rare truffles sell for thousands of dollars per ounce. Luckily for us non-millionaires out there, delicious Oregon truffles can be bought for around $20 a pop. Get your five-star chef on and awe all your foodie friends with Black Truffle Bowtie Pasta Salad or Onion Soup Gratineéd with Cream-Truffle Mashed Potatoes.
Maitake: Known as the King of Mushrooms, this medicinal species does it all—fights tumors, restores the immune system, increases production of proteins responsible for fighting infection, promotes healthy digestion… the list goes on! Reap the benefits and add maitake mushrooms to a hearty dish such as Creamy Pumpkin-Mushroom Casserole.
Shiitake: An all-time favorite mushroom in Asian cuisine, try warming your belly up with some Congee or Mushroom Miso Soup. Shiitake extract also contains lentinan, a powerful immune boosting compound, which has also been shown to delay the progress of viruses by increasing antibody levels.
Oyster: These babies are the most aggressive species, growing in giant clusters with their caps at up to twelve inches in diameter. Studies have also revealed that they lower unhealthy cholesterol and have anti-cancer properties. Eat them in a delicious soup or sauté such as Vegan Clam-less Chowder or Oyster Mushroom Stir Fry.
10 Foods to Help Get Rid of Stress
Dealing with stress? Chinese medicine expert Heather Lounsbury shares the best foods for optimal health.
Read More »
Vegan St. Patricks Day 101
Learn about St. Pattys Day parades, vegan food and drinks, and the man who started it all.
Read More »
The #1 Way to Make Sure You Eat Your Greens First
Find yourself in need of some healthy habits? Its a lot easier to train your brain than you might think!
Read More »
10 Creative Ways to Use Nut Butters
Forget peanut butter: this is 2015. Nut butter pro, Robin Robertson, shares 10 innovative uses for everything from cashew to walnut butter.
Read More »
6 Delicious Ways to Get Vitamin C
Vitamin C comes in more forms than just OJ. Here are six mouthwatering ways to get your cold-fighting fill.
Read More »
- 3 Raw Vegan Desserts
- Valentine's Dinner for Two
- 4 Mouth-Watering Vegan Super Bowl Recipes
- 6 Vegan Superfoods to Eat Now
- 7 Steps to Becoming a Healthier Vegan
- 31 Changes in 31 Days
- The Top 15 Vegan Instagram Photos of 2014
- The Top 15 Stories of 2014
- Israeli Army to Offer Vegan Meals and Leather-Free Boots
- Millennium Named "Restaurant of the Year"
- The Top 15 Vegan Recipes of 2014
- Earth Balance Named "Company of the Year"
- DIY Vegan Holiday Gifts
- The 2014 Veggie Awards
- 4 Easy Vegan Sides Your Entire Family Will Love
- Thanksgiving Salad with Cranberries, Apples, & Caramelized Pecans
- Robin Robertson: My Top 10 Vegan Dishes Around the World
- 3 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides from the Experts
- 10 Downright Delicious Dessert Thanksgiving Recipes
- 3 Simple Timelines for a Stress-Free Vegan Thanksgiving