THE MUSHROOMS: THE FUNGI THAT PLAY ROLE AS VEGETABLES

HEALTHY AND TASTY WHEN THEY ARENT TOXIC

 

 When I was a child, I think I had phobia from mushrooms. For some reason, I thought they are real monsters that they can’t wait to eliminate humans. I know I was silly but that feeling followed me for almost 20 years. Then, suddenly, my dad convinced me, one evening, to give them a chance and to try his new delicious meal with white wine, cheese, and mushrooms. I was hungry and the fear from fungi has been gone or at least, didn’t bother that night. Since then, mushrooms are part of my diet and one of the most important nutrients on my own daily menu.

Why those food mushrooms have such a significant role in many different cuisines? Because they have some specific taste and they change the whole flavor of the meal if they are combined with know-how. Not only that, they give you a fantastic outcome of the cooking process, without bringing sodium of fat into the arena. The mushrooms are healthy, delicious, and irresistible, once you accept them as fungi camouflaged as vegetables.

There are people who know what kind of mushrooms in the forest are human-friendly and which could be fast deadly. Personally, I would suggest to provide them from legal store where there are usually those that could help us achieve the unforgettable dishes and support our own immune system: shiitake, portobello, crimini, button or white mushrooms, oyster, enoki, beech and maitake. The mentioned are the common type and could be applied on many available recipes, without risking any bad result.

Their advantage is not only the successful contribution in the cooking work but also their nutritional benefits and healthy effects on our body. They are fat-free and cholesterol-free, low in sodium and calorie but totally packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are very well known as perfect antioxidants and thus they are great in protecting organism from the destruction of free radicals and the potential for rise of cancer or heart diseases. Their efficiency in empowering immune system and fighting against aging is just one of many positive sides of those fungi. According to some studies, the beta glucan that is the part of, mostly shiitake and oyster mushrooms, help us regulating blood sugar through the dietary fiber. On the second place is a vitamin D and complex of B vitamins: riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid:” Riboflavin is good for red blood cells. Niacin is good for the digestive system and for maintaining healthy skin. Pantothenic acid is good for the nervous system and helps the body make the hormones it needs. “

 What about copper? Our mushrooms can give you 1/3 of the daily recommended amount of copper that is responsible for controlling and marinating good bones network and nerves. Then, there is also a potassium and its magnificent influence on keeping heart, muscles, and nerve in good functions.

The mushrooms are experts in taking care of our anti-inflammatory efforts and the overall state of fitness and well-being. As very low in calories, they can be consumed in many sporty and healthy diets as the part of daily meal plan.

The different traditions have included mushrooms in their local legends and tales. It is interesting to mention that pharaohs in the ancient Egypt simply enjoyed their earthy flavor so much that fungi has been considered as a royalty food and nobody, outside the elite, could have touched them because they have been only cultivated for those gods of Egypt. After 5000 years, they knocked on the door of cooking specialists in France where they conquered the hearts of food lovers, starting with King Louis XIV in 1600s. Nowadays, they are ruling the commercial and private food industry, where is known that almost 900 million pounds of mushrooms has been grown annually in billion-dollar sector. Americans are fascinated with the mushrooms so doesn’t surprise that they are the second world´s mushroom producer, after China.

Beside their importance for our body, the mushrooms are famous for their spiritual role in some of the old African cultures, where local tribes and people believe that mushrooms are the souls of dead. Now we come back to my childhood fear, maybe I wasn’t so wrong at all. However, in New England folklore the fungus has been called the death baby that is growing in the yard as a warning for a coming death to someone in family. The ancient traditions give them supernatural attributes because they used to believe that mushrooms do the big job in the Underworld, especially if we ask shamans. They recycle, absorb, and transform. That is exactly what they do to our body if we let them clean it and do something good for us and our health.

Their importance shouldn’t be decreased through such tales and urban myths but rather their positive effects and role should be shared, and the people must learn why is necessary to include them in daily diet and habits. It is not only about being obsessed by healthy life and ideas but also about empowering the immune system that is constantly on the target in the challenged ages for public health. I believe that is always better to prevent than to cure, when maybe is all late.

The mushrooms could be very interesting companions of our meal strategy and our friends in all battles against enemies of our own health and positive habits in eating and consuming products that work good for us. If Egyptian pharaohs were so impressed by fungi, why we would ignore their royal nature and brilliant work for our health benefits?

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “THE MUSHROOMS: THE FUNGI THAT PLAY ROLE AS VEGETABLES

  1. Sarah’s excellent and informative article brought to mind how fungi have been benefitting ecosystems and non-human animals for millions of years…

    Fungi diverged from other organisms c. 1.5 billion years ago, with more specified fungi emerging around 570 million years ago (i.e. a period terrestrial evolution). As mammals, avian creatures, reptiles, etc., began to appear, fungi became intrinsic to certain diets.

    Scientists have estimated that there are over 5 million different species of fungi on Earth, but that only 1% have been documented by humans.

    In actuality, fungi are closer to animal DNA than to plant counterparts. Fungi and humans present eukaryotic cells (e.g. plants and protozoa), which, unlike bacteria, have a membrane protecting its nuclei. Humans share about 50% of their DNA with fungi, and contract many of the same viruses as fungi. Thus, biochemists attempt to identify the natural immunities that fungi have developed over millions of years, in order to synthesize them and create pharmaceutical applications.

    Fungi occur in every single environment on Earth and are fundamental components of the respective ecosystems. Along with bacteria, fungi function as a major decomposer on the planet (i.e. recycling) and are intrinsic to natural carbon cycles, as well being essential for nutrient cycles (i.e. degrading organic matter into inorganic molecules), which can re-enter anabolic metabolic pathways in plants and other organisms.

    Mycorrhizal symbiosis between plants and fungi is one of the most well-known plant–fungus associations and is of significant importance for plant growth and persistence in many ecosystems: over 90% of all plant species engage in mycorrhizal relationships with fungi and are dependent upon this relationship for survival.

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  2. This is the perfect website for anyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic which has been discussed for decades. Excellent stuff, just great!

    Like

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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !