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The Benefits of Mushrooms
Posted on November 27, 2012
Mushrooms- good ones and bad ones
Out there are over 14000 mushrooms, 3000 are edible, about 700 are used in medical purpose and one percent are poisonous. The color, the taste, the shape and the size of mushrooms varies a lot so when people that enjoy picking their own in the nature they have to be really careful and identify them correctly or they'll have a not so nice day.
When we talk about edible mushrooms we talk about mushrooms chosen after a criteria that includes the lack of poisonous effect on humans and desirable taste and aroma.
In the kitchen
What do you think about adding fresh mushrooms to everyday dishes even if we talk about mushrooms as another serving of vegetables to a meat dish or replacing a part of grounded meat for meatballs, taco or pasta or making them a great match for salads, omelets or stir-fry?
This might be a great idea as mushrooms are known for being a great source of nutrients and vitamin D. Nutrients like niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid help the production of hormones, maintain the red blood cells healthy and also the skin and help the digestive and nervous system function properly.
By eating mushrooms we also provide the consumption of minerals like selenium and ergothioneine which work as an antioxidant protecting body cells from damage that can cause heart disease and some cancers, copper which helps making red blood cells and keeps bones and nerves healthy, potassium which aids control blood pressure and makes sure that nerves, heart, muscles work as they should. In mushrooms we also find beta-glucans that has immunity-stimulating effects helping the body to resist against allergies.
Outside the kitchen
First historical and reliable evidence about medical use of mushrooms was find in China. For hundreds of years, Chinese valued the mushrooms' medicinal properties and they still do using them as treatment for cold , flu and other diseases.
To treat diseases, there are used proper mushrooms or extracts from them. After studies were made there was found out that some mushrooms have antiviral, anticancer, cardiovascular, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antidiabetic and antiinflamatory properties. Some mushrooms extracts are used in Korea, China and Japan as adjuvants to radiation treatments and chemotherapy.
Because of the nutrient content , mushrooms are considered to protect against some cancers like prostate cancer ( white mushrooms) , breast cancer (maitake mushrooms) and tumors ( shiitake mushrooms and shiimeji mushrooms).
Vitamin D is an important element and highly contained in mushrooms. It is also available via diet, supplements and sunlight, the last one being the reason for which Vitamin D is also known as the " sunshine vitamin". Why is vitamin D so important? Because it helps the absorption of calcium so our bones can't break that easy. When we talk about mushrooms this fact stands out because plants do not contain vitamin D naturally and this thing makes mushrooms an exception.
Mushrooms have zero cholesterol, no fats and high levels of protein. These help your body fight the cholesterol level burning it as they are digested. Besides those, mushrooms also contain minerals, vitamins, fiber, water and very important for diabetics, natural insulin and enzymes which help lowering the level of sugar found in food.
Another benefit of eating mushrooms is also weight loss. The high levels of protein contributes to lose fat and build muscles mass because when fibers and proteins need to be digested the energy used in the process is generated by a lot of fats.
Recipes with mushrooms:
Did you know:
1. Truffles, known as "the diamond of the kitchen" , are the most expensive and hardest to find among mushrooms?
2. Romans used mushrooms only on festive occasions and called them "the food of the gods"?
3. Even the edible mushrooms can become poisonous if they grow not in a proper soil?
4. Mushrooms can be used for dyeing wool and other natural fibers?
5. China is the biggest edible mushrooms producer in the world?
6. Mushrooms grow faster when it is warmer?
7. There are 40 types of mushrooms that glow in the dark? The phosphorescent light, called "Foxfire", is produced by enzymes and chemicals found in the mushroom.
8. The ancient Egyptians named the mushroom " the plant of immortality" ?