How to Take Advantage of the Health Benefits of This Tasty Vegetable, What to Avoid

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Mushrooms are a rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Mushrooms are edible mushrooms that can provide several important nutrients. Here’s how to harness the mushroom family vegetable for maximum health benefits and which variety to avoid.

Mushrooms have established themselves in daily meal plans. Considered an exotic and difficult to grow vegetable, mushroom houses have literally multiplied. Mushrooms not only add texture and flavor to any dish, they are a rich source of fiber, protein and antioxidants. In addition, they do not make you fat but strengthen your strength and your immunity.

But you can be spoiled for choice as there are many kinds of mushrooms that have varying compositions and nutritional profiles. Fresh, canned or dried, mushrooms can provide you with nutrition.

Mushrooms are so versatile that you can incorporate them into any recipe you like – well, almost! You can chop them, add them to a spinach salad, stir-fry them in a stir-fry, or fold them into an omelette. This nutrient-dense, nutty-tasting treat blends in without clashing with the dish you add it to. Florida-based nutritionist Maryann Walsh, RD tells GoodHousekeeping.com, “Mushrooms contain selenium and ergothioneine, which are powerful antioxidants,” says Walsh. “They also contain b vitamins and copper, all of which support the development of red blood cells. »

Benefits of eating mushrooms:

Low in calories and fat and cholesterol-free, mushrooms contain a modest amount of fiber and more than a dozen minerals and vitamins, including copper, potassiummagnesium, zinc and a number of B vitamins such as folate. Since they are loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, mushrooms may have various health benefits. The antioxidants in mushrooms — which are chemicals that help the body scavenge free radicals — can save us from oxidative stress that causes several life-threatening health issues, including cancer. Antioxidants selenium, vitamin C, choline – all have their individual importance. Studies have shown that the choline in mushrooms can help with muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline is important for maintaining cell health and is vital for the transmission of nerve impulses.

Mushrooms are also the only unenriched vegan food source of Vitamin D. Several other minerals that can be difficult to obtain from a vegan diet – such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron and phosphorus — are available in mushrooms.

There are around 2,000 varieties of edible mushrooms, but only a handful are available in local markets. The common button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) is the most common in most local markets. It is the mildest tasting mushroom and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Seasonal varieties available at farmers markets and some grocery stores include:

  1. Chanterelle: the cap is a wavy golden trumpet shape
  2. Cremini (baby bella): a young, firm, dark Portobello mushroom
  3. Enoki: long, slender white stems with small white caps that are eaten raw or cooked
  4. Maitake: a head that looks like flowering leaves
  5. Morel: the cap is a spongy dimpled oblong shape
  6. Oyster: a delicate fan-shaped cap
  7. Ceps: a rounded reddish-brown cap with a thick cylindrical stem
  8. portobello: a big, thick brown cap with a rich, juicy flavor that works well as a meat substitute
  9. Shiitake: a dark brown umbrella hat with a thin cream-colored stem

Cultivated or wild variety?

You must be careful when buying mushrooms and always ensure that the product is fresh, firm, dry and without bruising. If you find the mushrooms slimy to the touch or withered in appearance, this is a clear indication that they are no longer safe to eat. Your job doesn’t just end with buying them and putting them in a fridge. Make sure you don’t use them too long before you use them, so you’ll have to store them in the fridge again afterward. Save the washing and cutting part until it’s time to cook with them. Storing in a brown paper bag with the top open will help absorb moisture and keep them from spoiling, as opposed to a tight plastic wrap that traps moisture. Since they are about 80-90% water, mushrooms don’t freeze well and become mushy when thawed. Although pesticides are not a concern when cooking mushrooms, the growth medium on which they are fed can remain. Therefore, if only to remove dirt and sand, it is necessary to cut off the stem ends before deciding whether to use the whole, sliced ​​or diced mushrooms for the dish you have in mind.

Watch out for the poisonous variety:

Have you seen the photo of wild mushrooms? They are beautifully colored. Perhaps nature intended to ensure its survival by making these wild varieties highly toxic and loading them with high levels of heavy metals and other harmful chemicals. If this wild variety is accidentally cooked, it can make a tasty dish, but the toxins from some mushrooms can almost kill you. That is why it is recommended to buy mushrooms only from reliable sources.

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