Types of edible mushrooms and their benefits

These mushrooms make your dish tastier and your body healthier

Known as the ‘ Meat’ of the vegetable world, a mushroom is a  fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil that can also serve as a great source of nutrients. With a population of  5.1 million fungal species in the world, Mushrooms come in a wide range, among which some are suitable for consumption. But even among the little range of edible mushrooms, there is a huge variety and you can get spoiled for options. So let’s learn about some of its different types and their benefits, so the next time you go buy a mushroom, you know exactly what you need.

White Button Mushroom

White Button Mushroom is the world’s most commonly eaten mushroom. Also known as cultivated mushroom or champignon (de Paris), are not much flavoured like many of the exotic mushrooms. These mushrooms are low in calories and sugar and are a rich source of protein and due to their exposure to sunlight. Mushrooms also help the absorption of calcium in our body as they are rich in vitamin D2 and help in keeping our bones strong. These white Button mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked and are best served in soups, salads and on pizzas.

  Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake are known for their nutritional values and the presence of an anti-tumour compound called lentinan in them. These mushrooms are a favourite of Japanese Cuisine and the name signifies oak fungus. These mushrooms are of a light woodsy flavour, have a meaty and chewy texture which goes well with everything. And if considered the health factor, Shiitake has been found to reduce inflammation in the body and are often found in powdered supplement form as herbal medicine. The mushroom goes best with steamed and simmered recipes and stir-fried in a vegetarian dish.

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms are not cultivated but are found naturally in nature and have some astonishing health benefits. It is rich in protein, loaded with vitamin B, cholesterol-free, and has significant levels of the cholesterol-lowering molecule lovastatin. But the most amazing fact about this mushroom is that it inhibits the growth of colon and breast cancer cells without affecting normal cells, and has a potential therapeutic/preventive effect on it. It also has some antiretroviral-induced hyperlipidemia which helps against HIV. All in all, it is packed with nutrients and benefits. And taste-wise it has a slightly sweet, anise-like smell and tender flesh, velvety texture and mild flavour. And the mushroom gets its name due to its similar appearance to the oyster.

Porcini Mushroom

Porcini Mushrooms are mainly used in Italian Cuisines. Porcini mushrooms have a few different varieties and have a sticky texture with a slightly thick stem and reddish-brown colour. It has an aromatic, woodsy and nutty flavour which makes it a gourmet mushroom and it is loved for its smooth texture and that’s why are mostly used in meat dishes, sauces and broth. They also have significant nutritional benefits which include a healthy gut and immunity boost.

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