Mushrooms

Enoki Mushrooms – An Introduction and Health Benefits

Known by various names, such as lily, needle, or futu mushrooms, the Enoki mushrooms are one of the uncommon types of mushrooms. They stand out because their appearance is a tad bit different than other widely available mushrooms. Enoki mushrooms are found in clusters having long white colored stalks with small caps on the top. 

These mushrooms are characterized by their delicious taste and an intense aroma along with the high nutritional value. Loaded with antioxidants, essential fibers, and B vitamins, enoki mushrooms can be cooked in numerous ways. They are also considered as an important medicinal mushroom that has been utilized for a long time for treating problems related to stomach, blood pressure, and liver. 

Varieties of Enoki Mushrooms 

If we differentiate based on how enoki mushrooms are cultivated, these mushrooms can be classified into two types:

  1. Enoki mushrooms having a tiny white snowy cap at the top with a long white sprout with a velvety texture. This happens because these mushrooms grow without much exposure to sunlight. 
  2. Grown on dead wood, this second type of enoki mushroom can be found in various colors, ranging from orange to brown. This type of enoki mushrooms has a shiny cap at the top.

Nutrient Profile of Enoki Mushrooms 

A single serving of the Enoki mushrooms supplies you with a ton of nutritional benefits. It has lots of fiber in it along with B vitamins, such as niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin. One of the biggest nutritional benefits in the Enoki mushrooms is that they are low in calories – implying that they are the best choice for losing weight. Niacin, a B vitamin helps treat diabetes, boosting brain function, and enhancing the health of your skin. 

In addition to B vitamins, dietary fiber, and low calories, enoki mushrooms are rich in protein – thus, making your choice of cutting down on meat so very easy. Due to this property of these mushrooms, they are quite popular in gravy dishes as they give off a flavor similar to that of meat while being a good source of protein. 

Health Benefits of Enoki Mushrooms 

Fulfills The Essential Nutritional Requirement

These mushrooms are perfect for a healthy food choice as they are full of B vitamins and minerals with low calories. The B vitamins in Enoki mushrooms help make the process of DNA synthesis better and are significantly linked with improved brain function

Enoki mushrooms are also energy boosters as they contain a large number of fibers that channel energy into our bodies. Moreover, these mushrooms have a high count of antioxidants in them, such as caffeic acid, Gallic acid, and quercetin. Enoki mushrooms are also known to have anticarcinogenic properties

Boosts Heart Health 

Enoki mushrooms help make your heart function well. These mushrooms have high amounts of potassium and low amounts of sodium, which is an excellent combination for keeping your blood pressure under control. Moreover, this low-sodium and high-potassium makeup of the enoki mushrooms helps lower the risk of stroke in hypertensive people

So, these mushrooms are a blessing for people with hypertension as they are suitable to consume even in the low-salt diet. Also, enoki mushrooms are free from large amounts of cholesterol. They have more of the good cholesterol (HDL), which is actually healthy to consume.  

Promising For Combating Cancer Cells 

Animal studies have demonstrated promising results for enoki mushrooms fighting the cancer cells. These mushrooms help combat the growth of cancer cells and inhibit their proliferation. They are also proven to have positive effects in decreasing the tumor activity of cancer cells in the liver and breast.  

However, more research is required to confidently claim that enoki mushrooms are one of the best foods for combating cancer cells in our body. 

Rich Source of Fiber 

Fiber is one of the key helpers in the process of digestion. Lower amounts of fiber cause disruption in the digestion and are a common cause of constipation. Mushrooms provide you with high amounts of fiber that helps relieve digestion issues, such as constipation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and reflux. 

Help Make The Immune System Better

Strong immunity implies a body that is ready to fight any external attack rendering it sick. Enoki mushrooms are claimed to have proteins that help boost our immune system. Several studies have demonstrated this positive impact of enoki mushrooms on the immune system.  

Quick Tips

  • Enoki mushrooms have a solid texture. Do not fall for mushrooms with stems that are discolored or appear frail and slimy.
  • Enoki mushrooms should be washed thoroughly before using as they grow out in the wild and can have a lot of dirt and dead wood particles on them. 
  • Always store enoki mushrooms in a sealed and airtight container after drying them. 
  • If you leave them open in the refrigerator, they are bound to get soggy and might appear limp after a day or two. So, make sure to avoid doing so. An airtight container is the best option to store them inside the refrigerator.  
  • Enoki mushroom soup is one of the most popular dishes. It alleviates your taste buds with the mild fruity flavor of the enoki mushrooms. 

Possible Side Effects of Enoki Mushrooms

Rhabdomyolysis

Increased consumption of enoki mushrooms has been linked to aggravated plasma creatine kinase. This effect has proven to be detrimental to bones and heart. Hence, the risk of myo- and cardiotoxicity are possible after the consumption of Enoki mushrooms.  

Allergic Reaction 

Research has shown that enokitake allergens can be the cause of hypersensitivity, resulting from the consumption of enoki mushrooms. Therefore, one should always be cautious about consuming these mushrooms if they have any prior food allergies. Moreover, if symptoms of an allergic reaction develop after consuming enoki mushrooms, it is advisable to go to the hospital immediately.

Anaphylaxis 

Anaphylaxis has been reported as a result of consuming these mushrooms. This condition posits grave consequences for health as it lowers the blood pressure to threatening levels.

Final Thoughts 

Mushrooms stand out from all the food items – veggies and poultry – as they are different-looking with flavors ranging from fruity to almost meat-like earthy flavor. Enoki mushrooms, unlike the white button or portobello mushrooms, are not available commonly. They are exquisite and pack a punch of important nutrients and vitamins. Moreover, they are a healthy choice for weight cautious people.

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