All About them Mushrooms

What’s the Deal with Mushrooms?

Some of them get you as high as a kite, and others can kill you, but all of these little fungi are fascinating. They help with the decomposition of dead trees and animals. And they are a symbol of the most internationally iconic video game, the Super Mario Brothers. A whopping 45,000 species of mushroom exist all over the world. Also, after much trial and error by our ancestors, we of the human race learned that some of them are even a great enough nutritional benefit to use for medicinal purposes.What makes them so good for us?  Is there a reason that a lot of vegetarians use them in broths and salads, or why they make a good garnish? We will examine several types of mushrooms over the course of the next few weeks, worldwide, to find out.

 

North American Edible Mushrooms

Bek’s Bites is based in North Alabama, a state located in the southeastern region of North America. So, we are going to tackle the mushrooms that are common and rare that are found on the North American continent. We find all sorts of mushrooms that come from the US, and some of them are considered a delectable local treat.

 

The White Button Mushroom

button mushroomTo start, we are going to talk about the White Button mushroom. This mushroom is the most popular mushroom in the United States, accounting for 90% of consumption.  They are found commonly around the United States and you can get them at any supermarket. But what makes them nutritionally beneficial?

 

  • Heart Health

One of the leading causes of death in the U.S. is Heart Attack. This is caused by the plaque that builds up in your arteries over time, usually from the mass death of white blood cells. According to an experiment conducted by the University of Arizona cited by Livestrong .org, the study showed that “button mushrooms reduce inflammation in arterial cells and prevent white blood cells from sticking to arterial walls.”  That means that white mushrooms incorporated into your daily diet might reduce the risk of heart inflammation.

 

  • Immune System Boost

We all have antibodies that work 24/7 to protect our bodies from the intrusion of foreign entities like certain types of viruses and bacteria. Mushrooms naturally boost the immune system, which means that eating them can help with the production of white blood cells.  The scientists responsible for the study of these fungi suspect that the natural polysaccharide content of the mushrooms is responsible.

 

Crimini

baby bella mushroom

Similar to the White Button, these “Baby Bellas” are small and are found in stores. However, they have a more earthy taste to them and are best served with red meat, wild game, and cooked vegetables. They can be found year round and 50% of the US production occur in Pennsylvania.  What do they have to offer?

 

Yes, you read that right.  We need a little bit of copper in our diet in order to live happy and healthy lives. A small amount of copper in our bodies can help build strong tissue, maintain blood volume, and produce energy in your cells. And this mushroom has enough copper to meet your daily value quota.

This mineral is mostly found in all forms of fish, white meat like turkey, and beef, and we require a small amount of it in our diet because it helps us with building important proteins that are responsible for our overall health called “Selenoproteins”. If you find yourself in a situation when you can’t eat meat or won’t eat meat out of principle, this mushroom is a great substitute for getting that nutrient.

 

Cauliflower Mushroom

Finally, we are covering a rarer type of mushroom that grows alone on trees in the Pacific Northwest, the Cauliflower Mushroom.  Naturally, they look cauliflower mushroomdifferent than their shorter counterparts. They are easy to spot, if you know what you are looking for, however.  They look like Italian noodles and are found during the autumn months.  People who have found and dined on this delicacy will tell you that they are best when they are boiled in a broth. However, what do they have to offer, nutritionally?

What is it, and how important is it?  Little is known about the chemical, but what we do know is that Sparrassol is a natural antibiotic.  It also, ironically, has antifungal benefits and can be found in things like foot cream.

 

There is more knowledge about this mineral than Sparassol, thank goodness. Not only do they boost the immune system, they also are used for fighting diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, and HIV & AIDS. That is not all that this powerful compound can do! They are also given to patients that come out of surgery to prevent infection. Most important of all is that they are even known to reverse the growth of skin tumors! That is the most impressive mushroom I ever heard of!

 

Sources:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/496384-the-adverse-effects-of-shiitake-mushrooms/

https://www.mushroomcouncil.com/varieties/crimini/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=97

http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Cauliflower_Mushrooms_730.php


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