Usually the run up to Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, but urgh, things are miserable right now aren’t they?!
Covid cases are on the rise, the days are wet, and the nights are long. It seems so easy to just give up and think ‘screw it’ when it comes to our diets – I get it, I’m definitely reaching for the sugar more than usual.
But the rising cases, especially here in London, show that supporting our immunity is more important than ever.
It’s really easy to include indulgent, warming, immune supportive foods, that are easy to prepare and taste great. Mushrooms are my go-to.
Mushrooms are nutrient-powerhouses.
Firstly they contain a special compound called ‘Beta-glucans’ – these have the amazing ability to stimulate our body’s immune response to defend against things that might be attacking it – bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Mushrooms are also high in antioxidants, particularly selenium which helps protect the immune system, lowering inflammation and increasing the body’s immune response.
Mushrooms are packed full of B vitamins too – supporting energy, blood sugar balance, which can help reduce sugar cravings.
Add to the mix, protein, fibre, and prebiotics (food for our beneficial bacteria) you can see how including mushrooms can support our overall health.
There are a wide variety of edible mushrooms on the market and they each have their own unique health benefits. Oyster mushrooms have some of the highest fibre, whilst Portobello have the highest vitamin D, and shiitake mushrooms have the highest B6.
I encourage my clients to add mushrooms to omelettes and stir fries. They are also delicious roasted. Here is one of my favourite recipes
King Oyster Mushrooms with Miso
200g King oyster mushrooms, sliced (though you can use any type of mushroom)
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1-2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 inch grated ginger
Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients (except the mushrooms) together in a bowl.
Slice the mushrooms (about 1cm thick)
Place the mushroom slices in the bowl and coat with the sauce.
Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat griddle pan (you can also use a frying pan), and place the mushrooms on the griddle for a couple of minutes each side until they’re soft. You might need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove from the heat once they’ve darkened slightly.
Serve with brown rice and some green leaves for added immunity.
Vegan, gf, df