Mushrooms belong to the fungus family, but they are categorized as vegetables because they are edible in nature. They taste great and have numerous health benefits.
Mushrooms are packed with lots of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients – they can significantly boost your wellness while adding flavor to various recipes.
Whether folded into an omelet, in a spinach salad, or sauteed in a stir-fry, mushrooms are quite flavorful and nutrient-packed. If you have been ignoring this nutritious food up until now, these amazing health benefits of mushrooms for vitiligo sufferers will change your mind.
Help in Repigmentation
In a 2016 study by the University of Bhopal, an extract of purified tyrosinase from mushrooms was applied to melanocytes in the lab (the cells responsible for the production of skin colour – melanin). The researchers observed that the extract increased the amount of melanin produced by the cells, leading to skin darkening. The study proved that tyrosinase present in mushrooms has a skin-darkening potential and can therefore be helpful in the treatment of hypopigmentation disorders such as vitiligo.
Boost Immune System
One of the well-known superpowers of mushrooms is to help regulate the immune system. They contain beta-glucans, powerful polysaccharides that help to not only fight inflammation but also balance the immune system.
Also, mushrooms help activate macrophages in the immune system, boosting its ability to fight foreign bodies and making the body less susceptible to severe diseases. Consuming multiple kinds of mushrooms is more effective and beneficial than using just one. As there is some indication that one of the factors causing vitiligo is auto-immune activity, mushrooms can help to slow the progression of vitiligo.
Mushrooms are full of antioxidants that mitigate the effect of free radicals. Raw or cooked mushrooms contain an antioxidant called selenium (not found in most vegetables or fruits), which can prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive decline as well as thyroid disease.
Mushrooms also have glutathione and ergothioneine, two antioxidants important for taming anti-aging effects by preventing oxidative stress. Also, a study reported in Science Daily confirms that consuming plenty of these two antioxidants lowers the chances of neurodegenerative diseases. Anti-oxidants can also help prevent or slow down vitiligo spread.
Help with Weight Loss
The research found that combining mushrooms with exercises and other lifestyle changes can significantly impact weight loss. For instance, a group of adults was asked to substitute 20% of their beef consumption with mushrooms. There was an improvement in their body mass index (BMI) and belly circumference within a few weeks.
Obesity appears to increase the rate of spread of vitiligo; therefore, aiming for a healthy body weight is important.
Great Source of Vitamin D
A 2018 study found that mushrooms could provide about 50-100% of daily vitamin D requirements. Approximately 40% of adults in the United States are vitamin D deficient, which can affect bone health, body weight and increase the risk of different types of cancer.
Sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, so eating mushrooms can boost its supply during the winter and for people who do not get their 10-15 minutes in the sun daily.
Dr. Joseph Georghy, a cosmetic surgeon from Sydney, has promoted the idea that vitamin D deficiency can influence the severity of vitiligo. His research was presented in an article published online, on Cosbeauty.com. The surgeon has tested the levels of vitamin D in his patients, arriving to the conclusion that vitamin D deficiency could be one of the main causes that leads to the appearance of vitiligo. The more severe the vitamin D deficiency is, the more severe the manifestations of vitiligo are going to be. The surgeon highlighted the fact that there are also aggravating factors to be taken into consideration, such as genetics and chronic stress. For more information on this topic, check out our article: Vitamin D and Vitiligo .
Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms can be harvested from the wild or farm-grown. There are more than 2,000 species of edible and medicinal mushrooms, and most are eaten raw while others taste delicious when cooked.
Suppose you purchase yours at the farmers’ market or grocery. In that case, you will most probably come across popular mushroom varieties such as white or button, portobello, cremini, shiitake, oyster, enoki, maitake, or hen of the woods, and king oyster, or royal trumpet.
Grow Mushrooms at Home!
Did you know that mushroom growing at home is actually very easy and can be done in a small space? If you’d like to learn how to grow amazing-tasting, nutrient-packed, organic mushrooms free of pesticides, check out Mushroom Growing 4You – a step-by-step guide including videos that will make mushroom growing super easy and super fun: