You hear a lot of talk about the “thyroid” when the subject of weight comes up. Women, especially seem to be hindered by this issue.
Your thyroid is an essential gland in your endocrine system, which produces and stores hormones that it then releases into your bloodstream where they travel throughout your body for use where needed.
Your thyroid makes two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 is the more active of the two hormones and is essentially made from T4.
These hormones are responsible for your metabolism, the healthy development of your brain, involuntary actions such as breathing, heart and nervous system functions, and body temperature.
They are also what determines your muscle strength, how dry our skin is, menstrual cycles in women as well as your weight and cholesterol levels. For such a “lightweight,” this small gland is unassumingly powerful.
So it goes without saying that keeping your thyroid happy can go a long way towards better health.
Your Thyroid and Mushrooms
With so many people experiencing thyroid issues—either Hypo (low function) or Hyper (over active)—simple and alternative treatments or supplements are needed more than ever.
What researchers have come up with is that mushrooms are actually one of the best foods for the thyroid gland issues for a variety of reason.
Mushrooms in general can be confusing as there are so many assortments to choose from. For instance, you can find crimini, enoki, oyster, Portobello, shiitake or white button mushrooms and so on but it is good to remember that in general, all mushrooms are loaded with essential nutrients and high levels of iodine, Vitamin D and antioxidants.
Mushrooms and Immune Regulation
When your immune system becomes overactive (inflamed) due to any number of stressors—physical, emotional, viral, bacterial, environmental etc.—it can no longer do the job it is supposed to do, namely protect you.
The onset of allergies is a common response, for example. Studies show that mushrooms are a wonderful way to boost your immunity and supress further inflammation by accelerating the secretion of salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA,) which does just that—boost immunity without causing an inflammatory response.
In fact, according to one study, eating one cup of cooked button mushrooms daily for just one week, can increase sIgA secretions by 50 percent.
Even after a week, and if you eat no more mushrooms, the study revealed that the sIgA secretions remained at therapeutic levels for another entire week.
Mushrooms further contain beta-glucan, a phytochemical known to be a super immune boosting compound.
Mushrooms for Cancer
There have been numerous studies on the effects of mushrooms on cancer.
What they typically all reveal is that mushrooms are full of anticancer agents, from specialized lectins that prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing, to specific enzyme inhibitors that defend the body against breast cancer.
One of the most prominent anti-cancer agents in mushrooms is selenium, a reliable trace mineral for cancer treatment based on countless studies.
In fact, an analysis of seven well-known studies was published in 2014 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and it concluded that the higher the levels of selenium (measured in your blood serum) the lower your risk of bladder cancer.
Essentially only 100 grams of raw crimini mushrooms translates to 47 percent of the amount needed to replicate these results.
Other mushrooms such as cooked shiitakes have 45 percent of the daily requirements and raw white button mushrooms, have 17 percent.
Mushrooms For Your Inner Sunshine
Did you know that mushrooms are the highest plant source of vitamin D available on the planet?
More and more studies show the significance of Vitamin D levels and cancer risk.
In fact, a PubMed database search results in multiple studies showing that the higher your Vitamin D levels, the lower your risk of cancer.
Adding mushrooms to your diet is also relatively easy and inexpensive.
You can even opt to add them in supplement form for even greater benefits with products such as beta glucan for instance.
But if you chose simply to get the therapeutic value from mushrooms from eating them, you can even grow your own.
And did you know that by putting mushrooms in the sun just before you pick them, you can actually boost the amount of Vitamin D in them?
So, whatever way you choose to get your daily dose of mushrooms, know you are doing a great thing for your body and your overall health.