Vegan and /or vegetarian diets have a great source of protein in edible mushrooms. In addition to being extremely tasty, mushrooms contain other diverse nutrients (such as B vitamins and fibers), help control cholesterol and have a low fat and calorie content.
However, there are also types of mushrooms that are not indicated for our consumption because they are hallucinogenic or poisonous. Therefore, we must be careful and buy the mushrooms in own establishments, such as supermarket or well-established markets, and not pick mushrooms directly in nature, so as not to run any unnecessary health risk.
We will address the characteristics of the most popular mushrooms and most used in Portuguese cuisine and the rest of the world. Enjoy reading!
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What are the most popular edible mushrooms?
These veritable foods can be used in various types of day-to-day dishes, with numerous combinations of flavors and particularities in color, shape, size and texture.
- Champignon (or Paris)
Probably the best known edible mushroom of all, champignon has a mild taste, and can be eaten fresh or pickled. It is rich in fiber, which helps in the functioning of the intestines.
It is a type of mushroom with a more striking flavor, much consumed in China and other Asian cuisines. Rich in vitamins, fibres and minerals, it can help in controlling chronic diseases, blood pressure, cholestrol and cancer prevention.
It is also frequent in Oriental cuisine for its peculiar flavor, especially in soups, sauces and as a side dish. It helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as being a great natural aphrodisiac.
It is a more mature version of the mushroom Paris (champignon) and has a texture that resembles that of meat, a little firmer, ideal to take the place of animal protein. It also enhances the functioning of the immune system.
It has an oyster-like shape, a delicate taste and a lot of fiber and vitamin B2.
It has yellow tones, so it is also known as canary mushroom, has a soft aroma and is common in some European cuisines.
What are the main benefits of including mushrooms in food?
In the Fungi Kingdom (group of organisms including mushrooms) there are more than 10,000 varieties of mushrooms, which can provide us with various health benefits. You see what they are:
- Weight and bowel control
Perhaps one of the main advantages of including mushrooms in the diet is the amount of fiber, which help in the functioning of the intestine and that enhance the feeling of satiety, making you eat less during the day and better controls your diet.
- Prevention of heart disease and cancer
Mushrooms have a low sodium content, which can help lower blood pressure, and are rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals, preventing possible infused and the development of cancer and chronic diseases.
- Help in controlling anxiety
Mushrooms also have good amounts of tryptophan and vitamin B5, responsible for producing serotonin, which generates in our body a sense of pleasure, well-being and relaxation.
- Strengthens the immune system
Selenium (which helps in the action against cancer), also stimulates the production of cytotoxic T lymphocyte, an element that acts against cells that may threaten our body.
- Prevent anemia
Prevention of anemia is due to the high concentration of copper and iron in mushrooms. These substances are related to the transport of oxygen by the body and also intervene in the production of red blood cells.
How should I keep the mushrooms?
Water is an important part of the composition of mushrooms, so we should store them in the fridge to keep them fresh longer, preferably in some plastic packaging so they don’t lose their hold. The storage time may vary according to the type of mushroom, but in general it goes up to 10 days.
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