Mushrooms are an underappreciated component of healthy diets. They can play a role in a dietary cognitive portfolio (one mushroom—the bay bolete—even contains theanine, the relaxant phytonutrient in green tea) and may slow breast cancer growth by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. Surprisingly, plain white mushrooms—the cheapest and most widely available variety—may work best and are among the most anti-oxidant rich.They are also recommended by Dr.Weil, who suggests they can lower cholesterol and improve athletic performance, and by Dr. Fuhrman who makes them one of the components of his G-BOMBS that we should eat every day: greens, beans, mushrooms, onions, berries and seeds. Please note, that all these three doctors strongly suggest to always cook the mushrooms, particularly white button mushrooms, as they may contain a naturally-occurring toxin called agaritine that is deactivated by heat.
And for me, I found the most convincing evidence about the efficacy of mushrooms against breast cancer (not just for prevention) from Paul Slamets, a mycologists who is researching the impact of a type of mushrooms, Turkey Tail, on the strengthening of Natural Killer cells which help people undergoing chemo and radiation have a stronger immune system. In a a very emotional TED-MED talk, he tells us the story of his research and how it actually impacted his own mother, who had been given three months to live after her diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer. Here's the talk, but you can fast forward to minute 8 and be prepared to cry at his story:
According to Dr. Fuhrman, women who eat one mushroom a day have a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer. If you also add drinking green tea in addition to that mushroom, your odds go up to 89% decreased risk for pre-menopausal women and 82% for post-menopausal women. This alone should make you all start having mushrooms right now!
Enjoy your week! I always love your comments. How do you eat your mushrooms? Any tips?
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