If you follow me on social media you know I talk a lot about the raw carrot salad - white button mushrooms are a great alternative to carrot salad. They lower excess estrogen, endotoxin and nitric oxide; when well cooked, mushrooms help move along in the intestine anything that will not be properly digested that could therefore potentially increase endotoxin and estrogen. Their fibers absorb toxins and disinfect the bowels in much the same way as those in bamboo shoots and raw carrots. And by this means they are very helpful in treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
They contain phytochemicals that inhibit aromatase activity (synthesizes estrogen) and breast cancer proliferation. See here and here.
They help lower excess serotonin (some symptoms of elevated serotonin include: loose bowels, profuse sweating, IBS, nausea, irritability, depression, aggression, tinnitus) and reduce intestinal irritation.
They work as an antihistamine.
Mushrooms are also a source of high quality protein (especially important for vegans).
Why you don’t want to eat them raw or undercooked:
The things to caution about mushrooms are the toxic compounds that they contain; namely hydrazine and agaritine. Hydrazine especially is hepatotoxic (see here), so you never want to eat mushrooms raw or undercooked, especially not in such quantities. Cooking mushrooms very well (for 1-3 hours) removes virtually all of the hydrazine and most of the agaritine.
How to prepare them:
I cook up no less than 1kg of white button mushrooms at a time to make the effort worthwhile.
Throw into a sink full of water and give them a rub to remove any dirt. Drain in a colander.
Get out your blender or food processor (or if you don’t have one, start chopping). A lot of my clients report that they have better effects from mushrooms when they’re completely ground up, otherwise slice them finely with a food processor or knife.
If you’re blending them into oblivion, pop them in your blender with half to 1 liter of water (depending on the capacity of your blender). Blend til it becomes brown mush then pour into a heavy based pot.
If sliced, put into a big enough pot and cover with water (filling it no higher than an inch from the rim).
Bring to a boil, then keep at medium-high heat. Turn your range hood exhaust fan on and leave it on (to whisk away the hydrazine that’s released in the steam). Boil uncovered for at least 1, or up to 3 hours. I cook mine for at least 2. Check the water level every now and then and top up if necessary so they don’t dry up and burn. If there’s some residual ‘broth’, keep this, or cook until most of the water is gone, but they’re still wet. Just don’t let them dry up, brown or burn.
For storage, allow to cool off then keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If your batch is more than you’ll get through in 5 days, portion it and freeze.
To eat, scoop out about a cup per person as needed, reheat in a pan with butter or coconut oil and salt, and flavour with sprigs of herbs like thyme if you like. Have on an empty stomach or as an accompaniment with a meal. Nice with grated parmesan and a fried egg on top. *Or try my mushroom soup recipe below…
For best results, you want to have these at least twice a week, or as much as daily. Having them right before bed can maximize their antihistamine action.
This is a great way to get in a lot in one go. Although you could just eat a bowl of blended and cooked mushroom mush, I personally don’t find that appetizing (and food should be delicious, otherwise why bother?!) But when I’ve flavored the mushrooms up - like this soup - , I can’t get enough.