Mushrooms are very popular around the world for their use in many recipes. In the past, mushrooms were used by many ancient civilizations for medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians even called them the plant of immortality. In addition, they ruled the food a royalty food and banned commoners from purchasing mushrooms. Mushrooms may have cancer fighting properties. In a 2010 study, they researched five different mushrooms. These included maitake, crimini, portobello, oyster, and white button. They found that the consumption of these mushrooms was linked to significantly suppressing the growth of cancer cells, especially breast cancer. Lentinan is a sugar molecule found in shitake mushrooms. The compound does not kill cancer cells directly, but it does boost the immune system, which aids in providing the body with a stronger defense line against cancer. Beta-glucans are found in the cell walls of many mushroom types. These beta-glucans boost the immune system. They have been shown to increase the number of T-1 lymphocytes in the blood and reducing inflammation in the body, which is very important in numerous health issues. Beta glucans are found in many varieties of mushrooms, including the common button mushroom. Mushrooms also have properties which help lower cholesterol levels in the body. The popular shiitake mushroom assists the liver in quickly processing cholesterol and removing it from the blood stream. This action helps keep blood cholesterol levels low. In addition, this action prevents cholesterol from sticking to arterial walls and forming plaque build-up. Plaque build-up is very harmful as it can cause high blood pressure, atherosclerosis. What is especially beneficial about mushrooms is that the food contains numerous antioxidants. Most foods do not contain anti-oxidants in high amounts like mushrooms, making mushrooms one of the highest dietary sources of anti-aging compounds. Mushrooms can be easily incorporated into the diet. They can be added to salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, as garnishes, and so on. The possibilities are truly endless with the fungi. In addition, they are also very easy to cook. Thrown onto the stove with olive oil, the fungi cooks in minutes. Overcooking the food can lead to loss of nutrients, thus it is important not to overcook the mushrooms.