Can You Eat Mushrooms on Paleo Diet?



The paleo diet isn’t just about copying our ancestors’ menu; instead, it’s about choosing natural foods that provide us with the benefits we want without putting our health at risk. 

Fresh products like mushrooms are popular for their nutrient density and health benefits. But are they paleo-friendly?

 

Key Takeaways

  • Mushrooms are considered suitable for the paleo diet due to their nutrient density and natural characteristics, making them an essential element to incorporate into the diet.
  • Mushrooms offer various benefits, such as being a superior source of antioxidants, promoting cell renewal, strengthening the immune system, and providing proteins that aid in digestive health, fat reduction, and muscle development.
  • Additionally, mushrooms are rich in fiber, healthy carbs, vitamins (including vitamin D, which is rare in vegan sources), and minerals like iron, zinc, and selenium. 

 

Are Mushrooms Paleo?

Having been part of our ancestors’ diet for many years, mushrooms are considered suitable for the paleo diet. They represent one of the richest sources of nutrients and, at the same time, are easy to find in the market without undergoing industrial processing or adding additives.

Indeed, mushrooms have been consumed for medicinal purposes for years due to their ability to help the body optimally perform its vital functions. That’s why they are now essential elements to incorporate into the paleo diet.

 

Mushroom Benefits

Antioxidants

Mushrooms are superior to all vegetables in terms of their antioxidants content. This is mainly due to its high contribution, rare to find in other sources, of necessary substances that help the body hunt free radicals, fight against oxidative stress, and promote the cell renewal process.

They are beneficial in strengthening our immune systems. This means that consuming a variety of mushrooms could fight against premature aging of our skin and encourage the production of new healthy cells.

Protein

Mushrooms are not just healthy. With their protein content above the average of vegetables, they may strengthen your digestive system. 

The proteins found in them are mainly sulfide compounds, methionine, and cysteine. Methionine dissolves fats and reduces the amount of fat in the liver, while cysteine produces natural pigments, ensuring better skin and hair.

For athletes, it may be an excellent source of protein. Its consumption affects the physical performance improvement and muscular development of a person. 

Fiber

Mushrooms provide us with 1% fiber. They also contain more beta-glucans than certain cereals like oats and barley. Beta-glucans are a specific fiber that reduces the blood level of LDL-cholesterol, often called “bad cholesterol,” and protects the digestive tract from constipation.

Healthy Carbs

The healthy carb content of the mushrooms is much higher than that of the average vegetable. It has the particularity of containing mannitol, a polyol not degraded by human digestive enzymes and likely to be fermented in the colon.

The high concentration of water in mushrooms has the effect of diluting the content of these compounds.

Vitamins

Mushrooms are known for their precious nutrients, such as vitamin B, which help the body get energy from food and form red blood cells. 

Moreover, they are also the only vegan source of vitamin D. It is beneficial for bones, teeth, and the maturity of the immune system.

Minerals

Regarding minerals, mushrooms are also a significant source of iron (essential for transporting oxygen and red blood cells), zinc (a major asset of the immune system), or even selenium, critical for brain function.

The latter is especially present in mushrooms: it is an antioxidant trace element that helps promote cardiovascular health.

Immune Support

Rich in iron and several kinds of vitamins, mushrooms may boost our immune system. In addition, they may help fight fatigue and improve our neuromuscular functioning. 

Added to that, they are part of a rare category of foods that can provide a certain amount of vitamin D, essential for bone structure. Thus, consuming mushrooms may help fix calcium in the bones and reduces the risk of fractures. 

Finally, mushrooms are also a good source of trace elements such as selenium, zinc, and copper. Their high phosphorus index strengthens cell membranes and helps the body produce energy. 

Blood Sugar

Thanks to their particularly low glycemic index, mushrooms are a popular choice to integrate into the diets of people with diabetes. When consumed regularly, they may also reduce cardiovascular risks.

On the other hand, their high fiber content also helps to reduce the level of cholesterol present in the blood.

Finally, it is good to know that the presence of potassium and the low salt content of mushrooms facilitate the maintenance of healthy blood pressure.

Memory

Mushrooms are small bombs of vitamin D. This vitamin protects the neurons that synthesize dopamine and serotonin, two essential neurotransmitters for brain functioning. Thus, vitamin D could significantly improve learning abilities and prevent the memory impairment.

Weightloss

Mushrooms are very low in calories; they are mostly water and contain dietary fiber, reducing appetite and acting as a bulking agent in your stomach. They are a slimming asset for your diet. After a mushroom meal, you may feel fuller. If you tend to snack, this will help lower your calorie intake. 

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