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The Almighty Mushroom

By Lisa O’Gorman, CEC

Talk about mushrooms and breast cancer is all over the internet and a topic of many research studies. With so many types of mushrooms and applications for them it is easy to get overwhelmed and confused. My goal is to show you ways to incorporate them into you food plan.

Mushrooms contain a class of proteins called lectins, which can bind to abnormal cells (cancer cells) and flag them so that can’t hide from your immune system. This allows the immune system to successfully identify and destroy what doesn’t belong there. Mushrooms are very beneficial for many types of cancers, including breast cancer.

Studies in Korea, Perth Australia and China all indicated that consumption of mushrooms was inversely related to breast cancer risk.

Cancer patients should be made aware of the fact that botanical agents produce more complex effects than assumed, and may depress as well as enhance immune function.

As always, check with your doctor about consuming mushroom supplements because safe and effective dosages have not been established.

Including white mushrooms in your day is quick and easy. After cleaning the mushrooms, making sure to keep the stems in tack, you can slice them for a salad, roast them to add to salads and vegetables, sauté sliced mushrooms in olive oil with some chopped garlic to top chicken, beef or use in an omelet, add to rice, grains or soups.

Quick and Easy Mushroom and Walnut Soup

Serves 2-3

2 ½ cups slice white mushrooms with stems

1 cup filtered water

½ cup raw walnuts (good source of omega 3s)

3 tablespoons chopped red onion

½ teaspoon sea salt or 2 teaspoons Organic white miso

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

¾ cup chopped raw broccoli optional as garnish to finished soup

Place all ingredients except Miso if using, in blender or food processor with the “S” blade.

Blend until smooth and mixture is warm. If warmer temperature is desired, remove and place in medium pot over medium to low heat to warm to desired temperature. If using miso, add last after heating soup.

Top with raw chopped broccoli.

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