The famous French philosopher Voltaire said: “A dish of mushrooms changed the destiny of Europe.” At the time, he was referring to the death of the Holy Roman Emperor King Charles VI, who ate poisonous mushrooms. There is no doubt there is a great deal of mystery surrounding mushrooms. Too bad the king made a wrong choice. Truffles, in particular, will not kill you and could make you feel better. Truffles live off the roots of certain trees like beech, hazel and filbert and certain species of oak, and the costs associated with them are ghastly. Most truffles could cost up to $100 for just 60 grams because they can't be cultivated or reproduced, which makes them inaccessible to most people.

The word truffle comes from the Latin word “tuber,” which means outgrowth. Historians trace it back to the early Egyptians, who ate them in goose fat. Truffles are black or white and are complex in flavor, which means they need to be paired with bland foods like steak or chicken. Outside of their flavorful bursts are their health benefits. Here are 5 beneficial reasons to consider this delectable fungus.

They are good for vegetarians.

Truffles contain a high amount of protein and are very good for vegetarians. Protein can range from 20 to 30 percent per cup. Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids in the right ratios. It is important for muscle mass and bone health. Vegans don’t get any animal protein, so truffles could help here. Harvard Health Publications explained that people who follow a vegetarian diet and especially a vegan diet may be at risk of becoming insufficient in protein. "Vegans may also need to rely on fortified foods, including some types of soy milk, rice milk, organic orange juice and breakfast cereals." Other foods that have protein are tofu, fish, beans, hummus, nuts and lentils.

They are low in carbs.

Looking for a low-carb ingredient? Truffles have 2 grams of carbs and have 80.1 calories per serving (0.25). The main carbohydrates are derived from "glycogen and chitin or also called the fungus cellulose which is a functional proponent of the fungal cell wall. All the same, compared to other vegetables, truffles have lower proportions of carbohydrates," vnfitfoods.com found. This is good for diabetics, who have to watch out for those starchy vegetables. Corn, beans, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash are vegetables, which contain a high amount of starch.

They are high in fiber.

Truffles also contain up to 20 grams of fiber in a cup! Adults require a total of 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day to keep the body healthy. There are two different types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Each type of fiber helps your body in different ways, so a normal healthy diet should include both types. Truffles are a soluble fiber, which will aid in digestion. According to the Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. "It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium." However, insoluble fiber does not absorb or dissolve in water and it has less of an impact on the body.

They are cholesterol free.

High cholesterol has been linked to peripheral arterial disease, a disease of the blood vessels outside the heart and brain. High cholesterol is associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. "That can include coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. High cholesterol has also been linked to diabetes and high blood pressure," WebMD found. Having a low cholesterol diet could reduce the risks. Since truffles are a cholesterol-free food, they could help.

They have vitamin D.

"Until now, there are cultures which would still use mushroom extracts as a component for soups and teas in order to boost the immune system," Women's Fitness shared. "They are also said to reduce the risks of cancer and heart disease." There is more as truffles are a good source of vitamin D since they produce vitamin D when they're exposed to the sunlight just like we are. Research showed that teens and adults in the U.S. are missing vitamin D. Hispanics and African Americans were found to be the most deficient. A lack of vitamin D can cause kidney disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Truffles are also a good source of vitamins B and C.

A word of caution, however. There are faux truffles on the market so beware. For example, if there are truffles on your pizza or another meal where you paid little, it probably is not a true truffle. The same goes for truffle oils that are on the market. We don't know too much about the truffle, but as it becomes more mainstream, we might uncover that it can really support our health.
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