Why eat Fungus?

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If you are like millions of weight watchers, with a fat-phobia and counting calories, here is an interesting weight losing tip!  Make room for mushroom and it is definite that you can maintain a pretty decent, healthy weight.

Mushroom – to lose weight? 

In the game of weight loss, the pretty & tiny sponge like mushroom is one of the powerful player.  Mushroom substituted for meat, aid in weight loss!  Sounds great. Isn’t?

Yes, 100 g of mushroom has only 25 kcal when compared to a grilled – lean beef of same weight that provides 175 kcal!

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A one-year randomized clinical trial by researchers at the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that substituting white button mushrooms, for red meat can be an useful strategy for enhancing and maintaining weight loss.

Increasing intake of low-energy-density foods like mushrooms, in place of high-energy density foods, like lean ground meat, can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake, while feeling full and satiated after the meal.

Lets make room for mushrooms, for their prominent flavor and health benefits. You can definitely make a difference in your health from this dainty mushrooms’ copious supply of favorable nutrients.

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Many think mushroom is not good for health because it is not green.   Surprisingly,  It has more potassium than a banana, which helps to maintain the rhythm of our heart!  It’s really a very valuable food for diabetic and heart patients, for its least quantity of carbohydrate and fat.   A tiny yet exquisite, is a wise addition to your plate!

The glutamic acid found in mushroom, is an amino acid, a natural flavor enhancer that entice even the most fussy eaters, to relish this low-energy- density fungus.   It is also formed naturally in the body, from other amino acids that you consume through a balanced diet.  Dairy products, meat, fish, eggs and cocoa are the other natural foods that are good sources of glutamic acid.

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Broccoli, mushroom with garlic

If you do not eat enough protein foods, you may not be able to get sufficient amount of glutamic acid.  Glutamic acid with glucose is one of the principal fuels for the brain. It helps get rid of ammonia, a metabolic by-product that is  toxic to both brain and muscle cells, from our body.Aviary Photo_130298985520354896

Mushrooms are available in different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors!  Portabella, shitake, enoki, oyster mushrooms are very common that are available in the grocery stores.

Mushroom, not only aids in weight loss, as a super food it helps prevent cancer and heal infection, too!  Studies have proven that Shitake mushroom will lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and heal infections. 

Mushroom is packed with selenium, copper and zinc. A real powerpack!

Selenium a powerful antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and prevents the body from chronic diseases.  Along with vitamin E, selenium aids in the prevention of skin damage, too!  

The absorption of iron in the body relies on copper.  Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all cells in the body.

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Zinc supports the metabolic rate, the speed at which our body creates and use up the energy.  Shitake and Crimini  mushrooms are good sources of zinc. 

I know that you are already convinced to have a room, for this tiny, cute mushrooms………………………..

 

Mushroom is great for what it is. Low in calorie and good for weight loss!  At the same time, it is low in protein also!  It has only 3-4% protein when compared to beans, 8-13% and red meat, 25-35%. However, this is easy to compensate.  Combination of mushroom with beans (like red kidney beans, black beans, soybeans), lean red meat, poultry and fish will provide one of the best tasting protein!  

Black bean with mushroom is heart healthy!  How about a bowl of brown rice with mushroom & kidney bean curry, for lunch? Sounds great!  

To conclude, I’d like to say that mushroom is highly nutritious, low in calorie that aids in weight loss and at the same time would also like to emphasis on exercise that is equal to diet when it comes to losing weight.  Aerobic exercise has important cardiovascular and metabolic implications.  The age-old advice, “Eat less and move more to lose weight, still holds true!

References:

  • Boston University Medical Center (2013, April 22). Mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130422132801.htm
  • Leslie M Klevay, MD, SD in Hyg: “Lack of a Recommended Dietary Allowance for Coppermay be Hazardous to Your Health,” J Am Coll Nutr August 1998 vol. 17 no. 4 322-326
  • D. Craig Willcox, PhD, Bradley J. Willcox, MD, Hidemi Todoriki, PhD, Makoto Suzuki, MD, PhD: “The Okinawan Diet: Health Implications of a Low-Calorie,Nutrient-Dense, Antioxidant-Rich Dietary Pattern Low in Glycemic Index,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 28, No. 4, 500S–516S (2009)
  • www.medicalnewstoday.com
  • http://www.eatright.org
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Vitamin C for bone healing!

Fractured your bone? Don’t worry…. you still can improve the strength of your bone.

When you break a bone, your body takes immediate action to repair the damage. The healing is a continuous & energy intensive process. So, good nutrition is necessary to ensure perfect and speedy recovery. You may have to work harder to build bones regardless of your current bone status. Healing requires good blood circulation and adequate nutrition through variety of food.

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When you think of bone health, milk is the first food that comes to your mind. Of course, it is an excellent and easy source of calcium, for a glass of milk (240ml/80z) will provide 300mg of calcium.  Calcium recommendation for an adult is 1000mg/day. Calcium is an essential mineral for the bone, muscle and heart activity.

Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Salmon, sardines, anchovies are among sea foods, rich in calcium. Spinach, collards and swiss chards are good vegetable sources of calcium. Broccoli, turnip leaves, asparagus, and mustard greens also contain fair amount of calcium. White beans, kidney beans, calcium fortified soy products & cereals, contains moderate amount of calcium. A teaspoon of sesame seeds over cooked greens and a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to green salad, will enrich the dish with calcium.

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Excess salt, soda and caffeine consumption will decrease the calcium absorption. For bone health, it is best not to drink too many soft drinks or cups of coffee or tea, everyday.

It is not just the calcium that is essential for the formation of bone. You also need good amount of protein, vitamin D, vitamin K, and vitamin C for bone formation and quick healing. 

Protein plays important role in enhancing the integrity of your bones. Bone is a connective tissue composed of an organic protein, collagen that gives strength & flexibility to the bone and muscles. By volume, half of bone is comprised of protein. Poor protein status will take longer time to heal.

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Intake of protein and calcium should be adequate for bone repair.  A constant stream of amino acids, building blocks of protein, is required through regular balanced diet. For elderly, the protein intake is little higher than the recommended intakes. Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and soy foods are considered high biological value protein foods.

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Edamame (fresh green soybean) and calcium fortified tofu, tempeh, and soy beverages are excellent sources of bone-building protein. Soy milk contains plant estrogen that increases the absorption of calcium.

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Among nuts almonds, pistachios, sunflower, and walnuts seeds have the highest amount of protein but high in calories, too!  So, just a handful of any plain or baked nuts a day, is sufficient.  Control intake of pecan and macadamia, for they are lower in protein and high in fat content.

Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is essential for the dietary calcium to get absorbed by the intestine.  You could drink milk all day, but the calcium in it would not do much good to your bone unless it is accompanied by vitamin D. Mushroom, egg yolk, oyster, sardines, tuna, herrings, are good sources of Vitamin D. Milk also contains some amount of vitamin D.

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Expose yourself to sunlight, everyday (before 9:00am and after 4:00pm) for vitamin D. Sunlight exposure is truly one of the powerful healing therapy. Yes, skin produces vitamin D when hit by ultraviolet light from the sun.  An UV advantage!   But this healing rays cannot penetrate glass. So, by just sitting inside a car or a glass room, you cannot generate vitamin D. You need to step out of the door and enjoy the sunlight!

Kidney beans are a good source of calcium and also rich in vitamin K that activate proteins during the bone formation. Other vitamain K rich foods are lettuce, spinach, turnip leaves, broccoli, and liver.

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Vitamin C promotes the formation of new connective tissue, the collagen, that holds our body together. Collagen is the most abundant protein when compared to other proteins in our body. No heart or other organs and blood vessels could perform its function without the collagen, protein. Vitamin C is essential in every steps that involved in the manufacturing of collagen! Fruits are good sources of vitamin C. Include variety of fruits to every meal, every day.

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Good blood circulation and consumption of high biological value protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin K  rich food will speed up the healing process of bone, and also help reduce the chance of getting fracture in future.

References

  • Rober P Heaney and Donald K Layman: “Amount and type of protein influences bone health,” Am J clin Nutr May 2008 vol.87 no. 5 15675-1570S
  • H E Theobald: “Dietary calcium and health,” 2005 British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin, 30, 237-277
  • Bess Dawson – Hughes: “ Calcium and Vitamin D Nutritional Needs of Elderly Women,” J. Nutr. April 1996 126: 1165S-1167S
  • Jean Philippe Bonjour, Valerie Benoit, Brigitte Rousseau, and Jean-Claude Souberbielle: Consumption of Vitamin D and Calcium Fortified soft white cheese lowers the biochemical marker of bone resorption TRAP 5b in Postmenopausal women at moderat risk of osteoporosis fracture,” J. Nutr. April 1 2012 vol. 142 no. 4 698-703
  • www.nof.org
  • www.mayoclinic.com
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov