Free radicals, species with unpaired electrons have been implicated in a number of degenerative diseases, and even cancer. The scientific community has been trying hard to protect the body form the harmful effects of free radicals by supplementation with anti-oxidants, substances that counteract the free radicals.
Anti-oxidants are abundant in fruits and vegetables. It has now been found that mushrooms have plenty of these, which could help fight chronic disease.
Numerous studies have shown that consuming fruit and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, may reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Ergothioneine, a unique metabolite produced by fungi, has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties and to provide cellular protection within the human body.
Joy Dubost, doctoral candidate in food science and other Pennsylvania state food scientists have found that among the most commonly consumed mushrooms, portabellas and criminis have the most of the antioxidant ergothioneine. The white buttons follow close behind.
Infact, white button mushrooms have about 12 times more of the antioxidant than wheat germ and four times more than chicken liver that are held to be the richest source of antioxidant ergothioneine.
Surprisingly, the levels of ergothioneine do not decrease when the mushrooms are cooked. The antioxidant limits cell oxidation in the human body.
Source: Indo-Asian News Service