The scientific name of mushrooms is Agaricus. They are saprophytes. Mushrooms come in different varieties. There are approximately 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi in the world, but science is only familiar with about 10%, while only 100 species or so are being studied for their potential health benefits and medicinal applications. The most commonly cultivated is the white button mushroom or Agaricus bisporus. Mushrooms has the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, which grows above the ground on soil or on its food source.They generally have a stem, a cap and gills on the bottom of the cap. It must be known that China is the largest producer of edible mushrooms accounting for over 50 percent of the world’s edible mushroom production.
The health benefits of mushrooms include weight loss, relief from high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. They are a rich source of fiber, selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin D and also help in increasing the strength of your immune system.
Mushrooms prevents breast cancer and prostate cancer.
2. Antioxidants and Immunity
Mushrooms contain lot of antioxidants like selenium. It protects the body cell from damage, prevents chronic diseases and strengthen immune system.
3. Weight Management
Mushrooms makes you feel full and satisfied after the meals thus helping in losing the weight of the body.
4. Lower Cholesterol
Mushrooms helps to reduce the cholesterol levels in the body. Thus, preventing in cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
Mushrooms has no fats, no cholesterol, very low levels of carbohydrates, high protein content, and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They also contain a lot of water and fiber. It helps to promote the formation of insulin in the body thus, protecting from diabetes.
6. Improve Bone Health
Mushrooms contain calcium which helps in the strengthening of bones and reduce joint pain, osteoporosis and general lack of mobility that is associated with bone degradation.
7. Boost Immune System
Mushrooms contain ergothioneine which boosts the immune system and protects from free radicals.
8. Lower Blood Pressure
Mushrooms contain potassium which lowers blood pressure, relaxes tension in the blood veins, reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Different types of mushrooms should be consumed in different parts of the day like Chaga is good any time of day
- Shiitake, Maitake, Meshima, Agaricus, and Enokitake are good any time of day
- Cordyceps can help support energy, so usually it’s best before a workout or in the morning
- Lion’s Mane helps your brain to power on, so try it in the morning or early afternoon
- Reishi helps reset your sleep cycles so it’s best 1 hour before bed
Asparagus, leeks, lemon, garlic, shallots, onions, fennel, peas, tomatoes, chives, marjoram, olive oil, pepper, dill, parsley, tarragon, basil, oregano, and rosemary, bacon, eggs, ham, fish, chicken, veal, and seafood.Vinegar, wine, sherry, stocks, cream, and cheese goes well with mushrooms.
WAYS TO USE MUSHROOMS
- Mushrooms are delicious to eat. It can be added in soups, stews, vegetables and can be topped on your favorite pizza.
- Different varieties of mushrooms can be used in different dishes. The small mushrooms are suitable for soups and stews as they will hold together while the soup or stew is cooking.
- Mushrooms can be great when combined with eggs. You can try making mushroom and garlic scrambled eggs, mushroom frittata or even a mushroom omelet.
- Mushrooms can also be grilled. They can be wrapped in an aluminum foil along with some butter and placed on a grill for 10 minutes or till they are cooked. These are great when combined with grilled steak. You can also add some small pieces of onion in the aluminum foil along with the mushrooms.
- Dried mushrooms can be reconstituted by covering them with a warm liquid such as broth, wine, etc. and allowed to sit for at least 30 minutes. After this, drain and rinse them with a warm paper towel. The liquid that has been used to reconstitute dried mushrooms can be added to soups, stews and stocks to impart flavor.
- Button mushrooms can be marinated by mixing them with your favorite vinaigrette and refrigerated for two days.
- You can make mushroom powder by grinding dried mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder, food processor or heavy duty blender. This powder can be used to flavor soups, stews, stocks, dips, and sauces.
- Mushrooms can be used as fillings in sandwiches, tortillas, and other lunch bread, making them more substantial and tasty. You can try making a mushroom portobello sandwich or marinated grilled portabellas.
- Mushrooms are commonly used as part of pizza toppings. While preparing pizzas, you can make them the main ingredient along with cheese and other vegetables.
- Due to their nutty taste, mushrooms can add flavor to soups and salads as well as absorb the flavor of the dish in which they are being put. If you are planning to eat mushrooms alone, you can season them with fennel seeds or tarragon.
- Mushrooms have a distinct flavor that can be enhanced by cooking them in some butter or olive oil before combining them with other ingredients. They can be sautéed in butter or olive oil and added to the dish that is being made.
- When frying mushrooms, ensure that you use moderately high heat so that the water they release, gets evaporated. This can prevent them from stewing their own juices, making them limp and less palatable.
Uses of mushrooms
- In industry
Mushrooms are also used for surgical dressings, as an ink for writing, painting, showpiece, cleaning agent, pesticides, anaesthesia, etc.
2. Hydrates Skin:
Hyaluronic acid is considered as the body’s internal moisturizer as it plumps up and firms your skin. It reduces age-related wrinkles and fine lines. Mushroom contains a polysaccharide that is equally beneficial in hydrating and providing a plumping effect to your skin. Skin feels smooth and supple.
3. Treats Acne:
Mushrooms are high in Vitamin D. This has healing properties when topically applied to acne lesions. Thus, mushroom extracts are often used in skin care products meant for treating acne.
4. Natural Skin Lightener:
Some mushrooms contain kojic acid which is a natural skin lightener. This acid inhibits melanin production on the surface of the skin. This lightens the new skin cells formed after the dead ones are exfoliated. It is a great alternative to toxic chemical lighteners like hydroquinone that carry the risk of causing skin cancer.
5. Anti-Aging Benefits:
Mushrooms possess anti-ageing properties. Kojic acid is often used in creams, lotions, and serums as a remedy for signs of aging such as liver spots, age spots, discoloration and uneven skin tone caused by photodamage. Mushrooms enhance the natural defenses of the skin and improve its appearance by making it healthy.
6. Treats Skin Conditions:
Skin problems are mostly caused by inflammation and excessive free radical activity. Mushrooms contain antioxidants as well as compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Topical use of these natural compounds promotes healing and fights inflammation. Mushroom extracts are often used in skin products for treating skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne.
How to Select & Store Mushrooms
- Select fresh mushrooms that have no discoloration
- Always trust sealed products from reputable companies or those which you have grown yourself under controlled conditions after buying their seeds (called spawns) from a trusted source. Also, do not trust any unknown vendors when you buy mushrooms.
- Don’t ever try picking them for consumption from the woods unless you have been trained to identify them very well.
- Many mushrooms, when picked in the wild, contain heavy metals, which can be very toxic, as well as air and water pollutants.
- Mushrooms have the unique ability to absorb the material that they grow on, either good or bad. This quality is what gives them so much of their beneficial power, but also their dangerous aspects.
- Store them in a paper bag or tea towel in a refrigerator or a cool place. Use them within a few days as they start aging faster.
Season in which mushroom is available
Availability of mushrooms depends upon its types. They are available all year round
How to make Mushroom Biryani Recipe
Ingredients of Mushroom Biryani
3 cup rinsed,soaked basmati rice
2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoon ginger paste
4 split green chilli
1/4 tablespoon red chilli powder
salt as required
4 crushed green cardamom
3 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed lightly fennel seeds
water as required
1 cup rinsed,chopped button mushroom
2 cup chopped tomato
2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 cup yoghurt (curd)
1 1/2 teaspoon powdered black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoon ghee
2 1/2 cinnamon stick
1 1/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masala powder
To prepare this delicious recipe, wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes. Then wash the mushroom to remove all the dirt from it.
Place a pressure cooker over medium flame and add ghee in it. Once it is heated add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, coarse cardamom and fennel seeds. Fry for 2 minutes. Then add chopped onions and saute until it becomes translucent.
Now, add ginger garlic paste, green chilies, tomato, mushrooms. Mix them well and saute for about 2 minutes. Then add yogurt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder. Fry them and cook for 2 minutes.
Next, add soaked basmati rice along with the 4 cups of water in the mixture. Mix them altogether. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
Once it is cooked turn off the flame and allow the pressure to be reduced completely. Remove the lid and your Mushroom Biryani is ready to be served. Enjoy!
How to make South Indian Mushroom Curry Recipe
Mushroom – 200 gms / 1 packet
Onion – 2
Tomato – 1
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
To be ground to a coarse paste:
Black pepper corn – 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 4
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Clean and mince the mushrooms. Chop onion and tomato finely.
Place all the ingredients mentioned in the “to be ground” and without adding water, grind to a coarse paste.
Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
Add onion and saute for 2-3 mins till it becomes translucent.
Add tomato, ground paste, turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
Cook for another 2-3 mins till the tomato becomes mushy.
Add minced mushrooms, sprinkle 1/4 cup water, mix well and let it cook over medium flame for 3-4 mins.
When they are about 3/4th cooked, add torn fresh curry leaves.
Cover the pan and cook for 2 more mins over medium flame.
This south indian mushroom curry should be semi dry in consistency before taking off fire.
Serve hot with Phulkas or pillowy Appam.
Side Effects of Mushroom
Most species of mushrooms are not edible, are highly poisonous and look strikingly similar to their edible counterparts. The other side effects of mushroom include the following:
- A single poisonous mushroom among others in a dish can threaten a large amount of people’s health, resulting in comas, severe poison symptoms, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, cramps, and insanity.
- Many species can even be fatal if ingested.
- Always avoid eating discolored ones or those which are different in color than the typically accepted color of their species.
FUN FACTS ABOUT MUSHROOM
- There are so many types of mushrooms — at least 14,000 — though only about half are OK to eat. But almost all the mushrooms we eat in the U.S. are the white button variety. Why not branch out? Other common types include cremini, portabella, maitake (also called hen of the woods), shiitake, enoki, and oyster. Each has its own unique shape, flavor, and texture.
- If you’re looking for an all-natural multivitamin, skip the supplement aisle and pick up some mushrooms. Among their many nutrients: B vitamins — including pantothenic acid (B5), niacin (B3), and riboflavin (B2) — plus copper and selenium. Mushrooms also have protein, fiber, potassium, vitamin D, calcium, and more. Not bad for a food that’s more than 90% water.
- Mushrooms may do a lot more for your health than fuel your body. They have antibacterial properties. They can help lower cholesterol. They’re good for your immune system. They may even help prevent or treat Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
- A mushroom is neither a fruit or a vegetable; technically mushrooms aren’t even plants.
- Mushrooms are a type of fungi; Fungi are living organisms that are distantly related to plants, and more closely related to animals, but rather different from either of those groups.
- All mushrooms are fungi, but not all fungi are mushrooms.
- A mushroom is the reproductive structure produced by some fungi. It is somewhat like the fruit of a plant, except that the “seeds” it produces are in fact millions of microscopic spores that form in the gills or pores underneath the mushroom’s cap.
- Many mushroom species are important decomposers, metabolizing nonliving organic matter. This means they break down and “eat” dead plants. However, many species have a special, symbiotic, “mycorrhizal” relationship with particular species of plants. Often, neither the mushroom nor the plant will grow without a mycorrhizal partner.
- No one knows how many types of mushrooms exist in nature. There are about 10,000 described species known from North America, but everyone agrees that there are undiscovered species. Depending on who you believe, the known species are a third to a fifth of what’s really out there.
- Roughly speaking, mushrooms are: 50% inedible but harmless, 25% edible, but not incredible, 20% will make you sick, 4% will be tasty to excellent, 1% can kill you.
- Popularly, the term mushroom is used to identify the edible sporophores; the term toadstool is often reserved for inedible or poisonous sporophores. There is, however, no scientific distinction between the two names, and either can be properly applied to any fleshy fungus fruiting structure.
- Mushrooms grow throughout the year but are most plentiful in autumn. While cultivated mushrooms may be available anytime, most wild mushrooms only appear in autumn.
- Many species of mushrooms seemingly appear overnight, growing or expanding rapidly. This phenomenon is the source of several common expressions in the English language including “to mushroom” or “mushrooming” (expanding rapidly in size or scope) and “to pop up like a mushroom” (to appear unexpectedly and quickly). In reality all species of mushrooms take several days to form primordial mushroom fruit bodies, though they do expand rapidly by the absorption of fluids.
- Edible mushroom species have been found in association with 13,000-year-old archaeological sites in Chile. Ötzi, the mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BC in Europe, was found with two types of mushroom.
- Edible mushrooms are consumed for their nutritional value and they are occasionally consumed for their supposed medicinal value. Mushrooms consumed by those practicing folk medicine are known as medicinal mushrooms.
- In a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) amount, raw mushrooms provide 22 calories.
- Mushrooms are the only vegetarian food that can make vitamin D. Actually, they contain a “pro-vitamin,” or precursor, called ergosterol that is converted into vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation—similar to how your skin synthesizes the vitamin in response to sun exposure.
- Mushrooms are also great sources of protein, fiber, B vitamins (especially niacin), vitamin C, calcium, minerals, and selenium. They also contain antioxidants that are unique to mushrooms, such as ergothioneine, which according to studies is a highly powerful antioxidant.
- Cultures around the world have eaten or used mushrooms medicinally for centuries, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt. Legend has it that pharaohs liked their earthy flavor so much, they declared the fungi royalty food and forbid commoners from touching them. Those greedy pharaohs kept the entire supply for themselves.
- Ancient Romans and Greeks, particularly the upper classes, used mushrooms for culinary purposes. Food tasters were employed by Roman emperors to ensure that mushrooms were safe to eat.
- The rare European white truffle is the world’s most expensive mushroom, with a price tag that can exceed 2,200 euros per 0.45 kilograms (1 pound). Found in Italy’s Piedmont, Marche and Tuscany regions, growing among the roots of poplar, beech, hazelnut, oak and willow trees, white truffles are very aromatic, with a strong flavour that has been described as earthy, musky or garlicky. Light brown or yellowish in color and smooth in texture, they are usually shaved raw over a dish.
- More than 75 species of bioluminescent mushrooms exist on Earth, and though some may be drab during the daytime, all are mesmerizing at night.
- A fairy ring is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow to over 10 meters (33 ft) in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground.
- Mushrooms with psychoactive properties have long played a role in various native medicine traditions in cultures all around the world. They have a history of use among the native peoples of Mesoamerica for religious communion, divination, and healing, from pre-Columbian times to the present day.
- The chicken of the woods is a very tasteful mushroom found all over the world. It’s called the “chicken of the woods” because of its remarkable resemblance to chicken meat when cooked properly.
- Long before trees overtook the land, Earth was covered by giant mushrooms 7.3 meters (24 feet) tall and 0.9 meters (3 feet) wide, these giant spires dotted the ancient landscape.
- Fly Agaric mushrooms, which look like Super Mario Bros. mushrooms, contain a psychoactive chemical that can cause micropsia/macropsia, aka the illusion that objects around you are larger or smaller than they actually are.