Sliced mushrooms on your salad, creamy mushroom soup, sautéed and grilled mushrooms on the side. There are so many delicious ways to use mushrooms in your meals. Here’s information on these trendy mushrooms, including an explanation of what scientists know and don’t know about them in terms of health benefits and risks. health and how to incorporate them into a daily healthy diet.
What are mushrooms?
We can include mushrooms in a meal just as we would a vegetable. But mushrooms are mushrooms, which puts them in an entirely separate food kingdom. Mushrooms grow wild in the open air, but they are not the varieties we usually eat. For consumption, mushrooms are grown indoors all year round. Fun fact about mushrooms: they don’t need light to thrive. They get their nutrients from the compost in which they grow.
Common questions and answers
What are the health benefits of mushrooms?
Mushrooms are low in calories and fat, contain a surprising amount of protein, are a good source of blood pressure regulating potassium and are high in selenium, a mineral with antioxidant properties. They may also play a role in preventing cancer, and some varieties are excellent sources of vitamin D.
What are poisonous mushrooms?
Avoid eating wild mushrooms, as there are many varieties that cause side effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to respiratory or organ failure and death. Make do with the mushrooms you find at your grocer’s, which can be eaten without danger, or present your harvest in the wild to your pharmacist who will tell you if they are edible or not.
What is Mushroom Coffee?
Mushroom coffee is a drink made from a mixture of ground coffee and medicinal mushrooms. Some of the varieties that can be found in a mushroom cafe include chaga mushroom, reishi, or cordyceps, which are added to promote immune health, relieve stress, and support cognition.
Are mushrooms good for the brain?
Research suggests that the antioxidants in mushrooms may help preserve neuronal health and potentially reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment, an early memory loss that can sometimes progress to Alzheimer’s disease.
What is psilocybin?
Psilocybin is the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms that people use for its hallucinogenic effects. Preliminary research has been done on the use of psilocybin in the treatment of mental disorders.
Types of mushrooms
Button mushrooms are the most popular variety. You can also find the following edible mushrooms in your store or at the market:
Crimini (Baby Bella)
Mushroom Nutrition Facts
Below are the nutritional values of three very popular mushroom varieties, for a 3.5 ounce amount:
Protein: 2.9 grams (g)
Potassium: 373 milligrams (mg)
Selenium: 20 micrograms (µg) (an excellent source)
Crimini (Baby Bella)
Selenium: 15.3 µg (an excellent source)
Selenium: 14.7 µg (an excellent source)
Forms of mushrooms
You may be most familiar with fresh mushrooms that you slice for a salad or sauté for a stir-fry, but mushrooms come in other forms too. In health food stores, dietary supplement stores, and online retailers, you can also find mushroom supplements, nutraceuticals (whole mushroom products), beverages like mushroom tea, and mouth sprays. Some of these products have been researched, but generally more data is needed in the form of clinical trials to know exactly how effective and how they work.
There is also a need to standardize the production of mushroom supplements – from mushroom cultivation to supplement manufacturing and testing – to ensure that these products work as they claim. If you use these forms, be sure to tell your doctor about them, as you would any other vitamin, mineral, or supplement you take.
What are the possible health benefits of mushrooms?
There are many good things to say about mushrooms. Mushrooms are low in calories and saturated fat, and they add all those micronutrients, flavanols, and phytochemicals to your meal. Here are some health benefits to keep in mind:
– Improved gut health: Mushrooms provide prebiotics, which feed probiotics, the beneficial bacteria in your gut, according to research.
– Improved blood pressure: One of the benefits of mushrooms is that they contain potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
– May help prevent cancer: Mushrooms contain two powerful antioxidants: ergothioneine and glutathione. They have been shown to protect against oxidative damage; some research suggests that regular consumption of mushrooms may be associated with a lower risk of cancer.
– Reduces unhealthy fats in your diet: Mushrooms have a savory taste, also called umami. At the same time, they are low in calories and fat. Some research suggests that using them as a meat substitute may decrease the risk of dying from any disease. In many cases, mushrooms are also cheaper than meat, especially button mushrooms.
– Good for the brain: A study suggests that eating more than two servings of mushrooms per week is linked to a 57% reduction in the risk of mild cognitive impairment compared to eating these mushrooms less than once a week , perhaps thanks to their antioxidant, ergothioneine.
– Possibly a future treatment for mental health: Some research centers are studying psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, as a future treatment for depression.
– Support for bones and immunity (when exposed to UV rays): Some mushrooms are exposed to UV light during their growth, which generates vitamin D, a nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and supports immunity. Half a cup of UV-exposed white mushrooms contains about half your daily value of vitamin D.
How to Choose and Store Mushrooms
Mushrooms have different flavor profiles depending on the variety. Which type you ultimately choose to consume will depend on your taste preferences. For example, a sweet mushroom is button mushrooms, which are often seen on pizzas and at the salad bar because they go so well with all other vegetables. It is an excellent starter mushroom if you start eating it).
Among the mushrooms with a more pronounced taste are maitakes and lion’s manes. Maitakes have a rich, earthy flavor that can be used as an entrée, while Lion’s Mane has a seafood flavor that pairs well with shellfish and fish. After choosing and purchasing mushrooms, your goal is to keep these mushrooms dry to extend their lifespan. Store them in the refrigerator without washing them.
How to eat mushrooms
Once you’re ready to use them, you can either brush off the dirt or give them a quick rinse, but try to avoid fully submerging them in water. When preparing mushrooms, do not cut or discard the stem, it is edible. If the bottom of the stem is dry, go ahead and cut it off. Then chop, slice or dice as directed in the recipe.
Don’t know what to prepare? The good news is that mushrooms are very versatile. They can both hold their place in a salad or disguise themselves as meat. You can mix them up, i.e. chop them very small and mix them with ground meat in meatball recipes. The umami flavor of the mushrooms enhances the taste of these recipes even more.
Because mushrooms have this meaty quality, they can stand on their own. Flip the mushroom caps and fill them with tomato sauce, sprinkle with mozzarella and dried oregano, and put them under the broiler. Slice them for a mushroom stroganoff. Or toast the portobello hats. And then, help yourself.