One possible way how Vitamin D in mushrooms helps reduce cancer risk is its ability to induce apoptosis or cell death. You see, the loss of apoptosis control “allows cancer cells to survive longer.”
A type of amino acid, ergothioneine, is a potent antioxidant and cell protector. It helps protect cells from damaging oxidative stress.
The study mentioned that mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine.
Some observational studies reported that people with increased selenium levels in their diet and body tissues had a lower risk of developing cancer. Laboratory studies also showed that this naturally occurring element could also inhibit cancer cell growth.
How to add more mushrooms to your diet to potentially reduce cancer risk
Eighteen grams is just the equivalent of 18 paper clips, so adding more mushrooms to your diet may not be that big of a problem.
You can add them to your salad, sandwiches, and soups. Mushrooms are also versatile as you can incorporate them in veggie or meat-based meals.
Researchers identified shitake, maitake, oyster, and king oyster mushrooms to have higher amounts of ergothioneine. However, having other types like cremini, button, and portabello is also helpful.
As long as you purchase them from trusted sources and cook them accordingly, you’ll never run out of ways to add mushroom to your everyday meals.
Of course, don’t forget to take into account allergies and other contraindications. If you’re unsure, consult your doctor first.