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Health Benefits Of Edible Mushrooms

Not all mushrooms are edible. It is believed that less than ten percent of mushrooms are edible, and the rest are poisonous. People consume the edible ones for the exotic yet subtle flavor, the nutritional benefits as well as for the medicinal purposes. Edible mushrooms are either picked from the wild or cultivated. You can find these in markets, fresh, packed or dried.
Edible mushrooms are often described as vegetables or herbs, but they are actually fungi. Edible mushrooms health benefits have made them a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts and those interested in weight loss. While it isn’t uncommon to come across wild mushrooms don’t go picking up any mushrooms you see. There are over 14,000 varieties of mushrooms and only around 3000 of these are edible.

If you plan to go on a mushroom-picking trip, then make sure you take someone with an extensive knowledge of mushrooms, with you. It is important to identify the mushrooms accurately.

Nutritional Advantages Of Edible Mushrooms

  • Weight Loss: Mushrooms are extremely low in calories and contain negligible amounts of sodium and fat. This alone makes mushrooms a viable food choice for anyone looking to achieve weight loss.
  • Hypertension: This also makes them ideal for any diet formulated for patients suffering from hypertension. Mushrooms are rich in potassium, which enhances their value in a hypertension diet.
  • High Blood Pressure: Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to reduce high blood pressure levels, cutting the risk of a stroke. 
  • Meal: Mushrooms are great fillers to bulk your meal as they contain about 80 to 90 percent water and fiber constitutes up to 8 or 10 percent of their dry weight.
  • Cell Damage: Edible mushrooms also contain significant amounts of riboflavin and niacin, and are rich in selenium, an antioxidant that helps protect against cell damage caused by free radicals. Also see nutrition in oyster mushrooms

Uses Of Edible Mushrooms

  • The edibility of any variety of mushrooms is determined by safety and taste, as many of the non-edible varieties can actually be poisonous.
  • Mushrooms are relished because of their mild flavor and distinctive texture.
  • Edible mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes because they can impart flavor to the meal or even take on the flavor of other ingredients.
  • Mushrooms are often added to soups, salads, pasta and sandwiches. Edible mushrooms have become increasingly popular for their health benefits. A quick look at some edible mushroom nutrition info will explain why mushrooms have come to be associated with health foods.
  • Edible mushrooms are generally cooked into soups, stews, and stir-fries; however, some mushrooms are eaten raw. Some of the mushrooms that are eaten raw include porcinis, portobellos, creminis and some russulas. More information on nutritional benefits of button mushrooms

Edible Mushroom Nutrition Facts

  • Edible mushroom nutritional value is off course dependent on the method of preparation, so if you’re looking to prepare a healthy meal avoid using other ingredients that would increase the caloric value of the meal.
  • Avoid frying or using fatty and oily food dressings.
  • In addition to their low caloric value and low sodium and fat content there are several essential nutrients in edible mushrooms that add to their value as a health food. The copper content in mushrooms is also considerable. Edible mushrooms are rich in proteins as well as other nutrients like iron, potassium, selenium and some B complex vitamins.

Storing Mushrooms:

If you have bought a box of edible mushrooms, make sure that you keep them in the fridge for only 2-7 days before you consume them. Do not keep these mushrooms for a long time. If you have got yourself a bunch of wild mushrooms, then cook them immediately. To preserve mushrooms, you can dry them or freeze them.

Precaution Before Using Edible Mushrooms:

No matter how healthy and nutritious mushrooms may be, you need to exercise a great deal of caution when consuming them. Only by commercially sold mushrooms that are marketed by reputable vendors, as mushrooms can easily be contaminated and some varieties of poisonous mushrooms can easily be confused with edible varieties. 

Types Of Mushrooms:

There are a variety of mushrooms that can be eaten. Some of the favourites include trumpet chanterelles, black chanterelles, chanterelles, porcini, oyster mushrooms, shiitakes and truffles. Truffles are the most delicious and expensive variety of mushrooms. Mushrooms are also popular among a lot of vegetarians as these aren’t animals. However, whether someone likes to eat mushrooms or not is a very personal choice that can also be ruled by preference, taste and beliefs.

Submitted on September 30, 2011