The Benefits of Mushrooms for Immunity
GB Thermae Hotels, located in the center of the oldest thermal spa in Italy, Abano Terme, have developed a new nutrition program that is especially suitable for strengthening the immune system and have included oyster mushrooms in the menu. The chief physician of the Abano Grand Hotel, Dr. Maurizio Grassetto, talks about the benefits of eating mushrooms in moderation and, in particular, shares a simple recipe for grilled oyster mushrooms.
Mushrooms are products with not only high nutritional value but also unique healing properties. That is why people used them in ancient times to treat various diseases. Mushrooms are rich in selenium and beta-glucan, minerals, and complex molecules that stimulate the activity of leukocytes, which are responsible for immune defense. Oyster mushrooms are a natural source of vitamins B and D and contain the antioxidant minerals germanium, selenium, and other minerals. Oyster mushrooms are also a versatile and easy-to-prepare type of mushroom, they are often used for appetizers, side dishes, first and second courses, risottos, soups, pies, omelets, etc. This type of mushroom also contains few fat and calories, it is very rich in minerals and vitamins and is also a source of protein.
Compared to vegetables, mushrooms contain a significant proportion of an important mineral for our body – selenium, which plays a significant role in some metabolic processes, in particular in processes aimed at eliminating free radicals.
Among the biologically active compounds that make fungi so important for maintaining immunity, various types of polysaccharides have also been found, including beta-glucans and triterpenes. For a long time, their antibacterial and antiviral properties have been the subject of scientific research. Beta-glucans are polysaccharides with an important characteristic, they stimulate the immune system, making it active and quick in response to any external pathogenic attacks (bacterial, fungal, or viral infections) or internal (tumor cells). Triterpene molecules,
on the other hand, they are cyclic hydrophobic hydrocarbons. These molecules are responsible for numerous biological activities including antitumor, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities.
Grilled oyster mushrooms seasoned with garlic and extra virgin olive oil This recipe contains three ingredients that are especially beneficial for the immune system: • mushrooms (oyster mushrooms) • garlic • extra virgin olive oil
Salt is added to taste. Peel fresh oyster mushrooms, rinse, and drain well. Place in a skillet over medium heat and grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Add finely chopped garlic and drizzle with olive oil on top. Garlic It is a powerful stimulant of the immune system, increases the formation of antibodies, phagocytosis, due to which invading organisms and abnormal cells are removed from the body. It also causes a strong increase in the activity of natural killer cells, which partly explains its anti-cancer, antiviral and antimicrobial effects. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nutritious and rich in antioxidants, Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps to strengthen the immune system and protect the body from viruses and bacteria. Numerous studies have shown that various polyphenols in olive oil have antibacterial properties against human pathogens, in particular oleuropein, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol. Olive oil is the richest food source of monounsaturated fatty acid – oleic acid. This acid helps dissolve cholesterol plaques in blood vessels and thus prevents the development of atherosclerosis. In addition, oleic acid, due to its antioxidant properties, prevents the development of coronary heart disease and aging by inhibiting (suppressing) oxidative stress.