For thousands of years, mushrooms have been eaten for both their delicious taste and nutritional content. Mushrooms are one of the most protein rich vegetables while also being a good source of B vitamins, particularly niacin and riboflavin. They are cholesterol and fat free. Mushrooms are also low in sodium, calories and carbohydrates. Mushrooms do not lose these health benefits when dried, making them an easy, versatile addition to any recipe.
The health benefits of mushrooms continue. Mushrooms stimulate a proper function of the immune system, increase intestinal flora, aid in killing bacteria and viruses, and produce anti-inflammatory effects.
Varying types of mushrooms contain slightly different health benefits. A few examples are:
- Crimini or Portabella Mushrooms: are in fact the same mushrooms. Portabella’s are left to mature longer and grow bigger in size. Both of these mushrooms contain a variety of B complex vitamins, such as pantothenic acid, niacin and vitamin B6. Lysine, manganese, iron and selenium are also found in these mushrooms.
- Oyster Mushrooms: have a very high protein content, while being low in fat. They also contain fiber, vitamins B1 and B2, and are a good source of iron. Studies have shown Oyster mushrooms attributing to low cholesterol and fighting cancerous cells and tumor formation.
- Reishi Mushrooms: have been used to fight disease for thousands of years. Studies have shown these mushrooms to normalize blood pressure, improve coronary arteries, boost immune system, and help fight and treat certain types of degenerative diseases and cancer.
Mushrooms are fungi that grow in many different places. Depending on the type of mushroom they can grow on trees, either alive or dead, logs, manure, the ground of wooded areas or even one’s own lawn. Use caution when mushroom hunting and always have a field guidebook or some point of reference to avoid picking or ingesting a poisonous mushroom. To play it completely safe, there are many at home mushroom growing kits that come with everything you need to grow fresh, nourishing mushrooms.
Written by CB of Seven Grains Natural Market