Mushrooms, a source of healthy nutrients

Mushrooms, a source of healthy nutrients

Nutrition Notes

Those who have grown up playing the Super Mario video games, are also familiar with mushrooms helping the hero become larger-than-life or becoming shields for the characters when they come up against dreaded monsters.

What most of us do not know is that mushrooms in the game are actually symbolic of the health benefits of mushrooms.

One of the best things abo­ut mushrooms is that they are very low in cal­ories. One cup of button mu­shrooms has just 15 calor­i­es, while 1 cup of Portobello mushrooms has 22 calories. The low calorie count is one reason why mushrooms are important fat-burning foods.

According to information available on the net, ‘mushrooms are fat free. They contain no cholesterol and have less than 1 per cent  of your daily value of sodium.’
Nutrition facts also reveal that they contain small amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fiber which aid fat loss.

“Mushrooms have plenty of vitamins and minerals. A cup of mushrooms incl­u­des Vitamins C, D, B6 and B12, plus large doses of Ribo­f­l­avin, Niacin and Pantothenic acid. These along wi­th minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and selenium keep you fit and in good health,” says dietician Neera Kumar.

Mushrooms are the only vegetable to contain Vitamin-D in edible form. They are very effective in preventing breast and prostate cancer because of the presence of Beta - Glucans and conjugated Linoleic Acid having anti carcinogenic effects.

Despite these benefits, not all is well in the world of mushrooms. The trouble is, most mushrooms are not edible. They can be highly poisonous and look strikingly similar to their edible co­u­n­terparts. Even edible mushrooms can go poisonous depending upon the substance they grow on. “Don’t ever try picking them from the woods unless you can identify them well. Do not trust unknown vendors.

Alw­a­ys trust sealed products from reputed companies or those which you grow yourself under controlled conditions after buying their seeds from a trusted source. Beca­u­se a single poisonous mushroom can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, cramps and worse. Avoid eating discoloured mushrooms or which are different from the characteristic colour of their species. If taken with proper care, mushrooms can prove to be best dietary food,” says Kumar.

Mushrooms acquire the taste of any spice which is added to them. They have such a versatile flavour that they can be used in a wide variety of dishes including pastas, salads and soups. If sliced mushrooms add to an omelette, they can also be added to a pizza or burger. You can also can stuff button mushrooms with red pepper, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and cheese.

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