What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are edible fungus that is widely known for their great taste and amazing health benefits. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They add flavors in lots of different cultural cuisines. Although it is a fungus, mushrooms are counted in the vegetable category for cooking purposes, it allows you to add extra taste without sodium or fat.
There are around 2,000 edible varieties of mushrooms but only a handful of them are poison-free and edible. The most common mushrooms found in grocery stores are:
• Button or white mushroom
Seasonal varieties available at farmer’s markets and some grocery stores include:
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center- In 2015, each person in the United States consumed, on average, around 3 pounds of mushrooms.
How to select the correct poison-free Mushroom?
People should buy mushrooms from a reliable resource as some types are toxic. Wild mushrooms can taste delicious but the toxins in those mushrooms can trigger fatal health issues. So to avoid these dangers always buy mushrooms from a reliable source.
When buying the mushroom, make sure they feel firm, not moist to touch (dry) and they must be mold-free. Avoid mushrooms that appear slimy or withered.
You can store them in a paper bag inside the fridge for around five days. Before using them for cooking purposes, brush the dirt off them and rinse them lightly. And then they are ready to be used in any cuisine. A person should not wash or trim them until it is time to cook with them.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushroom
Mushrooms are fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. They are rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
The nutritional benefits vary from different types of mushrooms. For ex-The Crimini mushrooms are particularly is rich in zinc, which is an essential element for immune system development.
Mushrooms are a great source of:
• Beta glucan
• B Vitamins
Health Benefits of Mushroom
1. Mushroom may help to keep you young and improve your mental health
According to the 2017 Penn State Study, Mushrooms are richly loaded with anti-oxidants. Antioxidants protect your body from the damaged cells that can cause the conditions like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants also protect you from aging and boost your immune system.
Mushrooms contain two types of antioxidants- ergothioneine and glutathione which may also help prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, the Penn State researchers say. These antioxidants together protect your body from physiological stress that causes the visible signs of aging. It also reduces the risk of neurological illness in the future. Mushrooms are also the best source of the mineral, Selenium.
2. It helps to protect your heart
Mushroom is rich in potassium which is extremely important when it comes to the heart. Potassium can regulate blood pressure which reduces the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
As per the reports by The American Heart Association (AHA), one must eat more food that contains potassium to keep heart disease at bay. Mushroom can also be used as a substitute for the red meat in any dish eliminating calories, fat, and cholesterol.
Studies proved that a type of fiber called beta-glucan can lower blood cholesterol levels, and many types of mushrooms are loaded with this fiber. Ex- The stem of the Shiitake Mushroom is a good source of beta- glucan.
3. It helps you from Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute- Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants that help to prevent lung, prostate, and breast cancer.
4. Mushroom help in weight management
Mushrooms are filling. Intake of mushrooms in combination with exercise and other lifestyle changes can help to maintain weight. According to a study, after substituting 20% of the beef consumption with mushrooms, it was found that the research participants showed improvement in their BMI and belly circumference leaving them full and satiated after a meal.
5. Mushrooms are immunity boosters
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants like Selenium, which protects the body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases and thus it helps to strengthen your immune system.
According to a study, mushrooms are believed to stimulate macrophages in the immune system, enhancing their ability to defeat foreign bodies hence building your immunity and making you less susceptible to serious illness.
6. Mushrooms are useful during pregnancy
According to the studies, one cup of raw mushrooms contains 16.3 micrograms of folate. And this folate is taken as a supplement to boost fetal health by many women during their pregnancy. So eating mushrooms are very useful during pregnancy.
7. Mushroom can assist in strengthening your bones
Studies prove that those mushrooms that are cultivated with exposure of Ultraviolet light are a good source of Vitamin-D, which is necessary for your bone and immune health. These mushrooms convert the compound called ergosterol directly into vitamin D. This means if you eat only 3 ounces of UVB exposed mushrooms, you have met your daily Vitamin D requirements.
8. Mushrooms will help you give energy
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, such as:
• riboflavin, or B-2
• folate, or B-9
• thiamine, or B-1
• pantothenic acid, or B-5
• niacin, or B-3
B Vitamin helps the body utilize energy from the food we consume and produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.
Nutrients Per Serving
One cup of crimini mushrooms contains:
• Calories: 15
• Protein: 2.2 grams
• Fat: 0.2 grams
• Carbohydrates: 2.3 grams
• Fibre: 0.7 grams
• Sugar: 1.4 grams
Now you are well aware of the value of eating mushrooms. It has so many health benefits. Now you can experiment with making mushrooms with different recipes to add that extra nutrient into your meals.