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For thousands of years, Eastern cultures have celebrated the many useful properties of mushrooms and the health benefits associated with them. Although low in calories, which makes mushrooms ideal to pair with vegetables for a healthier diet, mushrooms are also providers of powerful nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin D, niacin and more. A fun fact about mushrooms is that placing freshly cut mushrooms in direct sunlight significantly increases their natural Vitamin D content.Classified as a fungus, mushrooms have a very distinct flavor that sets them apart from other nutritional categories such as plants and animals. They're also a beneficial source of B Vitamins which provide the body with energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In addition to B Vitamins, mushrooms also contain niacin, which is responsible for promoting healthy skin as well as ensuring that the digestive and nervous systems function properly. Although B Vitamins are essential for providing your body with needed nutrients, mushrooms have other important values as well. For example, the mineral selenium is tasked with protecting body cells from damage that could potentially lead to health issues like heart disease, cancer, and other diseases that develop due to aging. Selenium from mushrooms has also been linked to stronger immune systems as well as enhancing fertility in men. Although many forms of animal protein and grains are good for providing selenium, mushrooms are responsible for providing a richer source as well as up to 8-22 mcg per serving. Newly established vegetarians in particular have a lot to gain from selenium since their sources are limited when they first begin their journey. For those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight the healthy way, mushrooms are the perfect ingredient to add to many food dishes. They're hearty, rich in flavor, and keep you feeling full for longer because of the volume of fiber provide. If supplying a plentiful cocktail of vitamins and minerals isn't enough, mushrooms are beneficial in so many other ways. Heart health, immunity, fertility, weight management, etc. are all benefits of incorporating mushrooms into your daily diet. Even those with type 1 and 2 diabetes can benefit from the nutritional properties of mushrooms since they can aid in lowering blood glucose levels as well as stabilizing insulin levels and lowering blood sugar. No matter why you're looking into incorporating mushrooms into your daily diet, there are so many benefits you can gain by adding them to side dishes, main dishes, or even eating them by themselves.