Can Mushrooms Protect Against Breast Cancer?

Mushrooms are believed to help fight off breast cancer and other cancers that are related to hormones. It helps prevent aromatase, an enzyme that can lead to the production of the hormone estrogen.

A bowl of mushroom

Breast cancer can bring the spirits of anyone down. It is a dreaded disease that can cause a significant reduction in terms of overall health and quality of life. Cancers have also been known to affect an individual’s longevity and can lead to death if not properly managed. As such, individuals must find ways to prevent cancer, specifically cancer of the breasts. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat certain kinds of cancers. One such natural food item that can help against breast cancer is mushrooms. But can mushrooms help in protecting individuals against cancer of the breasts? In this article, we look at what mushrooms are and how it can provide protection against cancer of the breasts. Read on to find out more!

Mushrooms and their Health Benefits: A Brief Introduction

The Egyptians of ancient times believed that consuming mushrooms can bring about increased longevity. While it is true that these ancient civilizations did not employ advanced scientific methods, experts who are at present looking into the medical and beneficial properties of the said plant-based food item are seeing some fascinating and promising results in terms of health benefits. Researchers based in Perth, Australia, researched 2,000 female individuals of Chinese descent, half of whom suffered from cancer of the breasts.

These researchers looked at the eating habits of the said female patients and took out some of the other factors present which can increase the risk for cancer such as smoking cigarettes, lack of physical activity or exercise, and being obese or overweight. The experts encountered a startling observation about those who consumed mushrooms versus those who did not. It was shown that women who ate a minimum of a third an ounce of mushrooms that are fresh daily (around a single fresh mushroom daily) reduced their likelihood of developing cancer of the breasts by around 64%.

It was also noted in the study that compared to fresh mushrooms, mushrooms that are dried can have health benefits that are reduced with experts noting that the benefits and efficacy of these dried mushrooms being reduced by as much as 50%. Impressively, female individuals who combined the consumption of mushrooms with the regular intake of green tea observed benefits that are greater and that the risk for breast cancer can be reduced by a whopping 89%. 

How Can Mushrooms Combat Cancer?

Mushrooms are believed to help fight off cancer of the breast and other cancers that are related to hormones specifically because they can help in inhibiting or preventing aromatase, an enzyme that can lead to the production of the hormone estrogen. Mushrooms, along with pomegranate, are special kinds of food items that can help aromatase inhibition. Different kinds of mushrooms, which include those that are eaten more commonly, such as portobello mushrooms and white button mushrooms have potent activities that are anti-aromatase.

Another bonus in terms of eating mushrooms is that it can aid in the protection of the human body not just from hormone-dependent cancers. Mushrooms have been shown to contain specialized lectins which can help in the recognition of cancer cells and lead to the prevention of the said cancer cells from dividing and developing. 

Best Mushroom Varieties to Fight Off Cancer?

There are many different kinds of mushrooms to choose from, and they number in the thousands. However, while our knowledge and understanding of their cancer-fighting properties have been phenomenal, we are still at the early stages of unlocking mushrooms’ anti-cancer properties. Some of the mushroom variants that have been observed to contain properties which are anti-cancer due to their bioactive compound content include reishi mushrooms, turkey tail, maitake, portabella, oyster, shitake, crimini, white and button mushrooms.  

The abovementioned mushroom types contain phytochemicals that have effects that are anti-cancer, anti-proliferative, and anti-angiogenic and these have been studied in terms of addressing certain types of cancers such as cancer of the prostate, breast, colorectal, and stomach. There is evidence to suggest that some of the best mushroom variants to combat breast cancers and other similar cancers are stuffing mushrooms (big white mushrooms) and white button mushrooms. As such, consuming white mushrooms on a daily and regular basis can give individuals a significant advantage in preventing and avoiding the development of breast cancer of the breast.

Mushrooms in the Diet

Aside from being healthy, mushrooms are quite tasty and flavorful, offering dishes with different textures and flavors that can enhance the said recipes some much-needed boost. Also, mushrooms are so versatile that they can be used and combined with other groups of food items.

Mushrooms, though, are best eaten cooked (do not consume them raw to prevent exposure to harmful toxins!) and should be eaten regularly (daily is recommended in this case). It must also be noted that wild mushrooms should never be taken or consumed unless the individual is certain that the mushroom is indeed safe for eating or consumption.

Some of Mushrooms Nutritional Benefits

Aside from fighting off cancer, mushrooms can help individuals obtain an impressive amount of nutrients. Listed below are some of these nutrients:

  1. Mushrooms have significant amounts of fiber– The fiber content of mushrooms can help individuals lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, make people feel less hungry, reduce levels of blood sugar, and help in the improvement of the digestive processes
  2. Mushrooms have increased amounts of Vitamin CMushrooms can provide individuals with around 33% of their daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which can help enhance the immune system and reduce the body’s inflammation
  3. Mushrooms contain significant levels of Vitamin A- Mushrooms can provide individuals with around 44% of their vitamin A needs. Vitamin A is excellent for having inflammation reduced or lowered, helps in body detoxification, improves skin health, along improving the overall health of hair, eyes, and nails.
  4. Mushrooms contain increased amounts of potassium- This is critical for proper functions of the kidney.

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