donutmedialab.com — Can Eating Enoki Mushrooms Really Prevent Cancer?. Have you ever seen a small yellowish white mushroom that looks like a stick with a hat? This uniquely shaped mushroom from Japan is known as enoki mushroom. A study in Japan found that enoki mushrooms have the potential to prevent cancer. Is it true or not? Check out the following review.
The potential of enoki mushrooms to prevent cancer
Enoki mushrooms (golden mushrooms or enokishitake mushrooms) have the Latin name Flammulina velutipes or Flammulina populicola. Enoki mushrooms usually grow in winter near dead conifers (coniferous trees).
Besides growing in the wild, this mushroom is also cultivated by farmers. However, these mushrooms have different shapes depending on where these mushrooms grow.
Mushrooms grown in the wild appear shorter and have larger hats, while those cultivated by farmers are longer, brown in color, with slightly smaller caps.
Enoki mushroom is one of the mushrooms that offers many nutrients. In 100 grams of dried enoki mushrooms, the nutritional content includes:
- 37 calories,
- 2.7 grams of protein,
- 2.7 grams of fiber, and
- a number of vitamins and minerals such as 0.35 grams of thiamine, 10.9 grams of pantothenic acid, 61 mg of niacin, 1.67 mg of riboflavones, 14 mg of calcium, 0.61 copper, 8.3 mg iron, 3,100 potassium, 54 mg, and 19 mg sodium.
In addition, enoki mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants such as ergothioneines and soluble fiber which are effective in reducing the amount of bad cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and lowering blood sugar levels in the body.
Besides being used as food, enoki mushrooms are the first mushrooms to be studied for their nutrition to prevent cancer. Initial research was conducted by Dr. Tetsuke Ikekawa, an epidemiologist from the Research Institute of the National Cancer Center in Tokyo, Japan in 1989.
From this research, Dr. Tetsuke Ikekawa sees that the death rate from cancer in Nagano Prefecture, Japan is decreasing, even less than other regions. Ikekawa guessed that Nagano was the center of enoki mushroom cultivation so the consumption rate of enoki mushrooms was also higher.
Then, further research found that the fact that enoki mushrooms contain two compounds that are bound to protein, namely proflamin and flammulin. After being tested, these two compounds showed better immune system activity in fighting melanoma cancer than turkey tail mushrooms.
Another study published in the scientific journal Immunology showed that enoki mushroom extract could increase the survival rate of mice infected with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is the main cause of cervical cancer. In addition, the content of three unique beta glucans in enoki mushrooms namely galactose, fucose, and mannose can also support immune cells.
The number of current studies does show the potential of enokishitake mushrooms in preventing cancer. However, further research is needed in humans about what and how much mushroom consumption can reduce cancer death rates.
To prevent cancer don’t just eat enoki mushrooms
Cancer is a disease that in most cases has no known cause. Symptoms of cancer also vary, depending on the tissue or organ that is attacked. However, without proper cancer treatment, cancer cells can spread and damage the function of organs and tissues. That is why, this disease can be fatal.
The good news, how to prevent cancer is not only by eating mushrooms. There are many other ways that can help reduce the risk of developing cancer later in life, as below.
1. Quit smoking
Cigarettes contain a variety of chemicals that can cause inflammation in the body so that it can trigger the body’s cells to become abnormal. Therefore, you can prevent the disease by quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke.
2. Consumption of healthy nutritious food
In addition to enoki mushrooms, other food options to help prevent cancer are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. So, reduce packaged or fast food and instead multiply healthy foods that are rich in nutrients.
3. Keep your weight and be active
Obesity is one of the inflammatory factors that can also trigger cells to become abnormal. So that you can reduce these cancer risk factors, start by maintaining your diet and adjusting your daily activities, including regular exercise.
In addition to the methods above, certain types of cancer, such as skin cancer or cervical cancer can be prevented by reducing sun exposure during the day on the skin, following hepatitis vaccination and HPV vaccination. Lastly, don’t forget to check your health regularly.