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Mushrooms

From the damp ground of the forest floor sprout tiny umbrellas. We call these mushrooms, although the real work is going on under the ground, unseen. In the Pacific Northwest we have the ideal warm and moist climate  to produce hundreds of different kinds of mushrooms. In fact, the west coast of North America may be the best place on earth for mushrooms.

Mushrooms are the above ground fruiting bodies of an organism called a fungi. The fruiting bodies come in a wild variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Psilocybin is the active ingredient in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, also known as “magic mushrooms” and some other mushroom species. Pure psilocybin is a white crystalline substance, but the drug also may be distributed in crude mushroom preparations, in dried brown mushrooms, or as a capsule containing a powdered material of any colour. It is usually taken by mouth.

The health benefits of mushroom include the following:

• Cholesterol Levels: Mushrooms themselves provide you with lean proteins as they have zero cholesterol, fats and very low carbohydrates. The fiber and certain enzymes in them also help lower cholesterol level. Moreover, the high lean protein content in mushrooms helps burn cholesterol when they are digested.

• Breast Cancer & Prostrate Cancer:Mushrooms are very effective in preventing cancer of breast and prostrate due to presence of Beta-Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid having anti carcinogenic effects. Out of these two, linoleic acid is particularly helpful in suppressing effects of estrogen. This estrogen is the prime reason for breast cancer in women after menopause. The Beta-Glucans, on the other hand, inhibit growth of cancerous cells in cases of prostrate cancer. Selenium in mushrooms is very effective in inhibiting cancerous cells.

• Diabetes: Mushrooms can be an ideal low energy diet for diabetics. They have no fats, no cholesterol, very low carbohydrates, high proteins, vitamins and minerals, a lot of water and fiber. Moreover, they contain natural insulin and enzymes which help breaking down of sugar or starch of the food. Again, they are known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of liver, pancreas and the other endocrinal glands, thereby promoting formation of insulin and its proper flow. Diabetics often suffer from infections, particularly in their limbs, which tend to continue for long. The natural antibiotics in mushrooms can help protect them from this dreaded situation too.

• Immunity: Ergothioneine, a powerful anti oxidant present in mushrooms is very effective in giving protection from free radicals as well as boosting up immunity. Mushrooms contain natural antibiotics (similar to penicillin, which itself is extracted from mushrooms) which inhibit microbial and other fungal infections. They also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from infections. A good combination of vitamins A, B-Complex and C, found in mushrooms also strengthens immune system.

• Weight Loss: Would you believe me if I say that a totally lean protein diet is ideal for losing fat and building muscle mass? Perhaps no! But it is true. A lot of fats are burnt to digest (break-down) proteins in the food, more so when the protein is accompanied by a very low carbohydrate, zero fats and cholesterol and a good amount of fiber. This is exactly what mushrooms offer.

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