The consumption of mushrooms is gaining more and more space in the menus and dishes of the Portuguese. One of the main reasons for the growth of mushroom consumption in Portugal is related to the increase in vegetarianism and veganism, a trend that has been leveraging the sale of mushrooms.
Highly nutritious, low calorie swells and tasty, this food can also be a great alternative to meats, for example, because it contains a lot of proteins and amino acids that the body cannot produce.
In this article, we’ll explore a bit of the mushroom world. Good reading!
Are there poisonous mushrooms?
Poisonous mushrooms exist for the same reason as poisonous plants: protection. Since mushrooms don’t last long, it’s critical that they share their spores quickly to reproduce. And that’s where poisons and toxins can get in.
Despite this, there are not many species of poisonous mushrooms in the world: about 1% to 2% of them contain poison. The three main effects of poisonous mushrooms are:
Some mushroom species have hallucinogenic toxins, which are psychotropic. For the most part, mushrooms known as “magic mushrooms”, in addition to hallucinations, also cause effects that include confusion, muscle weakness, agitation, increased heart rate and headache.
One of the best known species is Psilocybe subaeruginosa.
- Gastrointestinal disease
Many of the poisonous fungi may be among the main causes of gastrointestinal diseases, in addition to other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea.
- Liver failure and death
The Amanita phalloides mushroom is the most dangerous of those we mentioned. About 9 out of 10 mushroom-related deaths are linked to this fungus. In this case, symptoms may appear between 6 and 24 hours after meals and among the main manifestations are nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.
In addition, the toxin is the cause of fatal damage to the liver, kidneys and death can occur within 48 hours. There are other mushrooms that have similar effects: Galerina, Lepiota and Conocybe.
However, as we have already mentioned, only 1% to 2% of all species contain poison. Mushrooms are extremely beneficial to the body, besides being very tasty and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about now!
Mushrooms: benefits and how to choose and use
You’ve probably heard of champignons, shimeji, shiitake and company: these are some examples of mushrooms that are increasingly present in the palate of the Portuguese. In different shapes, sizes and colors, mushrooms are rich in nutrients, proteins, fibers, minerals and vitamins that positively aid the well-being of the body, thus providing numerous health benefits.
Nutritional descriptions vary depending on the type of mushroom. For example, everyone has antioxidants, the substance responsible for regulating and protecting the body from free radicals that can cause health problems like cancer.
It is worth noting that mushrooms are also an important ally in increasing immunity and reducing the damage of premature aging. It confers other benefits:
- They increase satiety and improve the intestine.
- They strengthen cardiovascular health.
- Suitable for those who have diabetes.
- They improve the immune system.
- They act on the nervous system and energy synthesis.
- Mineral sources.
- Vitamin D sources for vegetarians and vegans.
- They protect the brain.
But that’s not all, since they include in their composition carbohydrates, fibers, B-complex vitamins, minerals and low amount of fat.
And the benefits don’t end here! One of its assets is antioxidant potential – fundamental for the prevention of chronic diseases. This was proven by scientists at Pennsylvania State University in the United States who studied 20 species of mushrooms and highlighted two cell-protective substances, glutathione and ergotionein.
How to choose mushrooms
When you buy mushrooms, give preference to the freshest and consult the expiration date. In this case a good appearance can make a difference: avoid acquiring those who are with stains, broken or viscosity.
Try to see if the food is complete and without excess moisture. If the mushrooms are wet or even look damp, darkened and look spoiled: DO NOT BUY!
How to include mushroom in food
Want to know more about including mushrooms in food? You’ve come to the right place, at Cheeky Leeks we work with healthy, practical and tasty food! And of course, mushrooms can’t be missed.
It is never too much to say: the era of healthy eating is here to stay, they are benefits for you, for your body, for animals and for the environment, not to mention the fact that you can enjoy the true flavors of nature.
Now that you know more about mushrooms, let’s talk about where to buy them.
Go to cheeky leeks’ website, there you can find everything about our world of food and nutrition, focused on health and well-being. They are carefully selected foods to offer you an amazing experience of all the wonderful flavors of the green world.
Check our menu and place your order.
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