Fungi Superprotein: The New Ingredient Foodies and Chefs Love

NOVEMBER 14, 2018 | 5 MINS READ BY PRIMROOTS KIM

Move over the meat, there’s a new kid in town; Superprotein Fungi. Made from the roots of mushrooms, this protein source is proving to be a real winner.

From the wholefoods home cook to high flying restaurants, the demand for this new superfood is increasing and for one very good reason, it not only tastes great but is a nutritional superstar. Companies like Prime Roots are at the forefront of this emerging trend to satisfy the growing number of Flexitarian and Ecotarian consumers now looking to replace animal protein sources with a nutritionally equal and sustainable resource. Below we take a look at the benefits Superprotein can provide, it is so much more than a delicious vegan source of protein.

Why Do We Need Protein?

Let’s start with the basics, why is protein so important in our diet? Protein is one of three macro nutrients that are required, along with carbohydrates and fats, for our survival. Proteins are more than the building blocks of muscles and tissue, they also contribute to making essential enzymes, hormones and other chemicals in the body which preform vital roles in keeping us alive. Proteins are made up of amino acids, nine of which are essential to the human body and must be consumed through our diet.

Now we know how important protein is for us to live happy healthy lives, let’s look at where it comes from. The most obvious sources are meat from animals and animal products such as eggs and dairy. However, with the world population exploding and our natural resources being strained to create intensive farming of animals for meat, dairy, and egg production, it is time to step back and look at how we can meet our most basic needs without destroying the planet.

Bioavailability

One of the biggest drawbacks with using a plant-based protein source as a replacement for vegetarian and vegan diets is the low amount of protein and incomplete amino acid profiles of many substitutes such as; tofu, nuts, grains, and legumes. Additionally, these alternative protein sources pose an issue for the growing population who live with allergies to these foods.

Along with allergy concerns, low and incomplete protein content, many plant-based proteins are not easily digested by humans. This results in what is known as poor bioavailability; essentially meaning that the nutrients that are present in these foods are not digested or passed through the intestines to be used by our bodies. Along with reduced nutritional value, to begin with, this lack of digestibility and nutrient accessibility in the body is an issue for anyone looking to replace animal-based protein sources. In contrast to the traditionally poor bioavailability of plant-based protein, fungi have been found to have digestibility scores similar to that of meat and eggs, both of which are very easily absorbed by the body.

Mycoprotein: The New Superprotein

Dating back the 1980’s, British scientists concerned over potential food scarcity, began researching the viability of using fungi filaments, or roots, as a protein source for humans. With the ability to produce large amounts in small production facilities and its subsequent high nutritional value, it has long been known the benefits that this Superprotein could provide. Fungi roots not only provide a complete source of protein (all essential amino acids), they are also packed with nutrients and fiber.

With more digestible protein than similar sized servings of egg or tofu, both of which are allergens for many people, fungi roots are an excellent protein substitute.

Gut and Heart Health

Consumers are increasingly conscious of the impact diet plays in their overall health, looking for holistic and natural ways to provide their bodies with everything it needs from sources nature intended. Gut health awareness has increased significantly, with many scientific studies showing its importance in everything from maintaining a healthy weight to links to improving mental health. Ensuring good gut health is essential to allow your body to absorb as much nutrition as possible from your diet. Prime Roots Superprotein is an excellent source of Beta-Glucan, a well-researched nutrient that provides your digestive system with soluble fiber, providing food for gut microbes.

As well as being able to provide your gut with food, this form of soluble fiber has been well researched, showing its ability to reduce cholesterol in the bloodstream, hence improving heart health. With heart disease being the number one cause of early death in the USA, this is a very important focus area for anyone looking to improve their health through diet. Reducing cholesterol in the body has been proven to improve heart health by clearing potential blockages in arteries and reducing inflammation around the heart, both of which can lead to potentially deadly heart disease and heart attacks.

One of the main sources of cholesterol in the diet is animal protein. Meats with visible fat, eggs and dairy all contain high levels of saturated fats that the body can store, not only contributing to weight gain but also higher levels of cholesterol. Reducing these foods has been linked to increased heart and overall health, including weight management.

Vitamins

Superprotein is not only high in protein, fiber and low in fat, it also provides many other essential vitamins and minerals. Zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, folate and B vitamins are all present in good amounts. With Superprotein being high in digestibility, meaning these additional nutrients are readily available to the body, Superprotein is a well-rounded meat substitute, unlike tofu which is lacking in many additional nutrients. With many vegan and vegetarian-friendly sources of protein, the lack of vitamins and minerals is a concern, particularly B12 which is difficult to find in non-animal sources, meaning most consumers are required to supplement their diets with vitamins, which are both costly and proven to be an ineffective method of delivering these nutrients.

Time to Get Cooking

Having looked at all the wonderful benefits these products can provide, it is time to see how we can incorporate them into our diets. With delicious umami flavor, meaning they are natural savory flavor enhancers, it is easy to swap out meat for Superprotein and mushrooms without feeling like you are missing out.

There are so many ways they can be included in your everyday diet, try a couple of these recipes as a start; Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or just looking to incorporate more plant-based protein in your diet, Superprotein from Prime Roots is an excellent choice. With its minimal carbon footprint and high-value nutritional benefits it provides, it makes sense to swap out traditional meat for this earth and health friendly alternative. Give it a try and see the benefits for yourself.

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