Published: 09/17/2012 - Updated: 11/05/2017
Mushrooms are truly wonderful food. However, not all mushrooms are edible, there are poisonous mushrooms that should not be eaten.
Edible mushrooms are gaining popularity worldwide due to their high content of certain essential protective nutrients. Previously, mushrooms were considered vegetables, however,it was demonstrated that they contain no chlorophyll, in contrast, contain chitin, a component found in crustaceans, and that's why there is realm for them, called Fungi kingdom, a word derived from Latin meaning "mushroom".
Fresh mushrooms should be eaten quickly as they have limited life while canned mushrooms have a longer life.
Mushrooms, a popular food
The mushrooms were grown initially by poor people in the Himachal Pradesh region, in India, before they were known by experts and the common man. These fungi only needed moisture and fresh cow waste to grow. Since then, research and cultivation of mushrooms varieties and their benefits have grown.
Recent research highlights that from the several thousand species of fungi known worldwide, only about 2000 are considered edible, and about 20 are grown commercially and only 4-5 in industrial production.
In India three types of fungi are grown commercially: button mushrooms, oyster and straw. The normal mushrooms represent 90 percent of the production of fungi. This umbrella-shaped form is rich in protein, fiber, vitamin B and minerals.
Nutritional properties of mushrooms
The good news is that mushrooms have about 90% water, almost no calories, fat-free and contain a moderate amount of carbohydrates, in addition to being source of fiber. For its nutritional properties, it is suitable and recommended to use in weight loss diets.
In addition, it contains vitamins such as B2, B3, D2 and a source of minerals, such as potassium, phosphorus, iodine and calcium.
Its use is recommended to strengthen the growth of children, are appropriate for pregnant women, and thanks to its fiber content, it's recommended for cases of constipation.
The immune system also benefits with mushrooms, it is believed that they level up your defenses, and their components help the good maintenance of teeth, bones and mucous membranes of the body. As they provide iodine, are useful for thyroid function.
Consider that they are not recommended for people with uric acid problems, gout and kidney stones.
Some mushrooms have medicinal properties too. Three species known as maitake, shiitake and reishi have healing potential. These medicinal mushrooms help to:
- Improve Heart Health
- Reduce risk of cancer
- Improve the immunity
- Balance the levels of blood sugar
- Treat nutritional deficiencies and liver disease.
- Avoid or reduce obesity, as these Mushrooms are low-calorie foods and therefore a great substitute for high-fat foods like red meat.
Experts say modern pharmacological research confirms much of traditional knowledge on the antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral properties of mushrooms, besides being used as functional foods. Therefore, mushrooms offer great benefits and applications as they can be used as food and medicine.
According to experts "they represent one of the largest untapped resources in the world of nutrition and tasty food in the future".
Mushroom's supplements for health are sold as powders, capsules or tablets; they made of dried bodies.