White fungus is also known as snow fungus. These are eatable mushrooms that are commercially cultivated. White mushrooms are one of the most consumed fungi that are included in different cuisines and as traditional medicine. These mushrooms are delicious. Many who consume these hardly know about the benefits that it gives rise to. Let’s get into it.
Meaning and nutrition of white fungus
The white funguses are a type of edible mushroom that comes under the tremellaceae family. These can be found attached to the branches that have fallen off the broad-leaved trees.
The texture of this mushroom is soft and jelly-like. The color varies from white to pale yellow and is almost translucent. This is regarded as a medicinal herb that has been used since ancient ages. They promote health and endurance.
The nutrition of white fungus is similar to that of wild mushrooms. The snow fungus is low in calories and has little amounts of fiber and protein in it. Consuming this will help your body with a reduced risk of diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, and gastrointestinal disease.
What’s more, white mushrooms also contain zinc, calcium, folate, and vitamin D. All these minerals play a vital role in maintaining bone health, the immune system, and the development of the brain.
People are free to consume white mushrooms by making them into porridge or stir-frying it. In any way, the nutritional value will now retain when cooked for the right amount of time.
Benefits of white fungus
White fungus uses are many in the field of health. Some of them are given below:
- Improves brain health
The white fungus has polysaccharides in them that help in enhancing the functioning of the brain. It prevents the brain cells from getting affected by nerve cell damage and degenerative diseases.
The presence of white fungus reduces the amount of toxicity in the brain by cutting down on beta-amyloids. Beta-amyloids are a type of protein when increased give rise to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
A study of 8-week duration was conducted involving 75 people. They consumed 600 mg to 1200 mg of white fungus supplements regularly. when checked with short-term memory parameters, they showed improved memory.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Our body responds and deals with fights and injuries in the natural way of inflammation. The inflammation condition leaves our body once the wounds are healed. However, more than required to stay that condition is not welcoming.
The permanent state of inflammation is known as chronic inflammation. This situation can give rise to other chronic diseases such as the increased risk of heart diseases and cancer.
When our body suffers from chronic inflammation, it also increases the level of inflammatory markers such as interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, nitric oxide, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
In such a case, consuming white fungus extracts can reduce the level of inflammation when not in use.
- Has antioxidant properties
The white fungus has antioxidant properties that might save cells and tissues from damage. Our body is being exposed to a high level of free radicals. These radicals lead to oxidative stress, this type of stress in-turn causes damage to the fundamental building blocks of the body.
The presence of antioxidants helps in the process of neutralizing the free radicals, hence preventing the body from getting oxidative stress. The antioxidant substance in the white fungus is polysaccharides. This substance fights with the free radicals and releases oxidative stress.
- Helps in controlling blood sugar levels
The white fungus extracts act as an antidiabetic, thus balancing the level of sugar in our blood. The extracts contain polysaccharides that aid this activity.
In a study conducted, it was concluded that white fungus polysaccharides significantly lowered the high level of blood sugar levels hence, improving insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity helps our cells to respond to the hormone insulin.
The presence of white fungus extracts in our body has a positive effect on diabetic-related enzymes and hormones. The fungus inhibits the aldose reductase activity. This increased level of aldose reductase activity causes nerve and eye damage in people who are suffering from diabetes.
- Improves the complexion of skin
White fungus or snow fungus has anti-aging and moisturizing properties in them that make it a popular ingredient in the beauty industry. The polysaccharides present in the white fungus keep the skin hydrated by reducing the loss of water and collagen to sun or UV exposure.
Additionally, white fungus extracts form a transparent layer of polysaccharides on the skin. This layer helps in improving water retention and antiwrinkle agent. Hence, taking the responsibility of moisturizing the skin by keeping it well hydrated.
- Lowers the risks of heart diseases
The compounds present in the white fungus activate when consumed. These activated compounds protect our hearts from related diseases. White mushroom’s antioxidants perform their task by preventing LDL or the bad cholesterol oxidation.
When the bad cholesterol is oxidized, they initiate the formation of atherosclerosis or the build-up of plaque inside the arteries. The coverage of plaque plays as a risk factor for stroke and high blood pressure.
- Makes the immunity system strong
The bioactive compounds present in the snow fungus helps in the stimulation of few defense cells of the immune system. A study was conducted that concluded on the fact that a protein was discovered in the white fungus.
The protein is considered to stimulate macrophage activity. Macrophage activity is a type of physical activity that involves a white blood cell that destroys the bacteria and deletes the damaged tissues.
Another research confirmed that the presence of polysaccharides in white fungus helps in the regulation of the immune response. It also reduces infection-related mortality in an unhealthy mouse.
Lastly, the white fungus is considered by many for its versatile health-benefiting effects. The goodness in the white fungus is mostly due to the presence of polysaccharides, which are a chain of carbohydrates. Though studies have only been made on animals and test-tubes, these limited researches hold in nature.
Additionally, there are no known side-effects to the consumption of snow fungus. People should avoid foraging for white fungus in the forests. You might end up consuming a poisonous or inedible white mushroom, which will give rise to a serious health issue.