Since almost the beginning of recorded time, humans have eaten mushrooms for health. Cherished by cultures around the world since the people of ancient Egypt, mushrooms were once believed to bring immortality. Some cultures considered them the bringers of super-human strength. And of course, there were those throughout history who celebrated mushrooms for their hallucinogenic effects.
Are mushrooms aphrodisiac?
While there is little to substantiate mushrooms’ aphrodisiac effects, there is an ancient legend repeating itself through several South Pacific cultures. And the legend offers some substantiation to the mushroom’s sexy reputation. In each of these cultures, a story has been told of women wandering through forests in search of sustenance.
After snacking on wild mushrooms, the women feel more than full. They are said to experience fits of sexual ecstasy. Scientists suspect that hormone-like compounds present in the forest fungus may have some similarity to human neurotransmitters released in females during sexual encounters. Unfortunately, the theory also implies that the effects are neutral in men.
A study on Hawaiian mushrooms
There was an obscure study that caught mainstream media attention a few years ago. It claimed that the scent of a rare, Hawaiian, aphrodisiac mushroom caused women to spontaneously climax. (The results were at one time published online but they’ve since disappeared.) Anyway, the results have never been replicated in a controlled study. So…who knows!
But mushrooms may not just be a female aphrodisiac. According to UrologyWeb, shiitake mushrooms can improve men’s sperm quality. Learn more ways mushrooms may be able to help you conceive in our article on 5 Foods to Improve Fertility.
The minerals and vitamins in mushrooms
Now, while we don’t really know if mushrooms can offer women spontaneous satisfaction, we do know that there are many reasons to eat mushrooms for health. For starters, they offer the body zinc. In fact, they are among the lowest calorie sources of zinc you can find. And zinc is key to blood flow. Without blood flow, you can’t experience sexual climax, spontaneous or otherwise.
Although the vitamins in mushrooms vary slightly by variety, a cup of button mushrooms offers a significant amount of riboflavin. (One serving has about 17% of your daily need). They’re also a source of vitamin B6, vitamin D, niacin and folate.
Another advantage of mushrooms is that they contain several minerals besides zinc. They’re a source of potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and selenium. Although some of these minerals are only found in trace amounts, it’s easy to see why many nutritionists promote mushrooms for health. If you’re looking to increase your intake of a particular mineral, check the nutrition of each variety. For example, one of the benefits of Maitake mushrooms is that they are high in potassium. And Chanterelle mushrooms are high in fiber.
In addition, mushrooms are frequently promoted as an alternative to red meat. This is, of course, because of their hearty texture. But there’s an even better reason to eat mushrooms as part of a meatless meal.
Are mushrooms high in protein?
You might be surprised to learn that you’ll get protein from eating mushrooms for health. Again, the amount varies by type but according to the USDA, a serving of portobello mushrooms offers just under four grams of protein. No, it isn’t enough to come close to filling the daily requirement. But eating a meatless meal with mushrooms in place of red meat will probably provide you with the energy you need for a night of unbridled passion.
Additional health benefits of mushrooms
Whether or not your grocery store button mushroom promises a sexual tickle, there are so many reasons to eat mushrooms for health. The fungi are proven to offer antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, there are mushroom benefits for skin. The antioxidant content in mushrooms is believed to help fight free radicals and slow the aging process.
And there is also some talk of phytonutrients in mushrooms improving heart health. And since mushrooms are low in calories and cholesterol-free, you can see why they make a great part of a healthy diet–not to mention a great food to eat for sexual health!
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