Mushrooms come in all shapes, sizes and colours and are edible and toxic, depending on the variety. Many people are afraid of foraging for wild mushrooms because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between edible ones and toxic toadstools. I was lucky to grow up in the countryside, so I know a delectable edible one when I see one and eagerly pick it to use in an omelet, as the taste of a fresh mushroom is different somehow to the ones we buy in the local supermarket.
My mother spoke disparagingly of mushrooms believing that they had little nutritional content- however she was very wrong. Mushrooms are sources of minerals such as copper, potassium, selenium, and ergothionine, which has antioxidant properties and may help protect against cancer. Copper is necessary in our diets because it helps in the production of healthy red blood cells and is essential for healthy nerves and bones. shrooms online canada Potassium helps to control and normalize blood pressure, so assisting the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles, which includes the heart.
Mushrooms also contain the “sunshine” vitamin, D, which some of us lack if we hardly ever go out in the sun. Believe it or not a Pakistani friend of mine has been diagnosed as having a vitamin D deficiency which has contributed to joint problems, as she hides away from the strong sunlight which we have in Pakistan. Mushrooms are hard to find here as we live in a city.
Apart from vitamin D these delectable fungi are also rich in the B-complex vitamins – B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 (pyroxidine). These are essential for a healthy central nervous system, our blood and our general well-being. Vitamin B5 helps in the production of hormones, so is a necessary part of our diets.
Believe it or not, mushrooms are also good sources of dietary fibre and so can help in the fight against constipation and its associated problems such as haemorrhoids, and even colon cancer.
Apart from all these benefits, mushrooms are low in calories, so can help in a weight-loss diet, and they are cholesterol and fat free, so if you add them to soups and stews, you are not adding many calories to a dish.
I really love chanterelles and morels and am told that they grow in the mountains in Kashmir but it is a long way to travel to pick mushrooms! I have to content myself with the occasional package of white mushrooms or tinned ones which do not taste the same as the fresh ones. So, think of me when you pass the mushrooms on the supermarket shelf, and go back and put some in your basket. They are really tasty and good for your health.