Mushrooms: Five reasons why they are called gift of divinity

From a creamy soup and an Italian risotto to simply stir-fried, grilled, sautA( c) ed or used as a topping for that pizza you love to sink your teeth into, there is nothing like the succulent edible mushrooms as a culinary wonder.

They run wonderfully well with just about any foodstuff: meat, vegetables, pasta, spaghetti and . . . you name it. With that earthy, briny tang, they add a unique flavor to the dishes and have been labeled as athe fifth savor sense called umami.a They were also “ve called the” agifts of the godsa by the ancient Romans.

Like veggies, mushrooms or champignons have found a niche in our staple diet and we often buy them. For vegetarians and vegans, these spongy fungi are like the jewel in the crown for their fleshy and meaty texture. Although widely accepted as a vegetable, it belongs to the fungi family, though.

White and dull to look at, the brighter and differed colour veggie always have an edge on mushrooms. For an average Nepali, the relatively higher cost of mushroom also builds it more of an occasional buy. In this aspect, however, the trend of buying mushroom has gone up in the recent years and people are ready to spend an extra rupee on them.

Of the many varieties of mushroom, the most commonly available in the market are the commercially cultivated the most versatile white button mushroom, called gobre chyau( Agaricus bisporus ). They are also known by different names according to their maturing stages.

When immature they are white button mushroom, champignon or table mushroom. When immature with a brownish tint, they are cremini mushroom, Swiss brown mushroom or Italian mushrooms. Mature mushrooms are known as Portobello.

The pale ivory-colored mushroom bearing resemblance to oysters are oyster mushrooms or kanye chyau in Nepali( Pleurotus ostreatus ). These mushrooms in the wild grow on, tree boles, stumps and timber disintegrate. The cultivated ones are grown on straws.

The jumbo sizing medium brown and freckled mushrooms are known as shiitake( Lentinula edodes ). They can grow as big as the size of a dinner plate( 10 inches ). The Shiitake mushrooms are a relative newcomer. More intricate to grow, the payback period for Shiitake mushroom is eight months.

In Nepal, and especially Kathmandu, small farmers are more inclined to growing white button and oyster mushrooms relatively to shiitake as the yield is quicker and they are easy to grow. If the harvesting time for button mushrooms is three months, itas only two months for the oyster variety.

More than that, farmers have also devised new techniques to grow them in off-season too, thus, supplementing their income almost around the year. There has been a meteoric rise in the production of mushroom in the recent years.

Native to China, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan, Shiitake, also “ve called the” black forest tree mushroom or Xiang Gu( fragrant mushroom) in China, is said to have been traced to the cretaceous period, more than one hundred million years ago. With a rich smoky savor, they have been used in Asian medicine and cuisine for infinite generations and are available in dried sort too. Grown on tree logs in the open, tropical climate best suits those species.

Mushroom farming in Nepal started merely a little over three decades ago. I still recollect eating wild mushrooms when I was young, when it was sold in hand-woven wicker baskets. My mom always tested its toxicity while cooking by dipping a silver spoon in the curry. If toxic, the silver-white spoonful turned black.

It was kind of touch-and-go to eat wild mushroom then. Examples of wild mushroom poisoning were often reported by the newspapers, some with dire results, even deaths. Today, the commercially grown-up edible mushrooms are entirely safe to eat.

We buy mushroom for its exotic savor but at the back of our intellect we are aware or we have been told that it is nutritious too. We do not, however, know exactly how nutritious it is, or what health benefits are there in eating mushrooms.

For time immemorial, mushrooms have been used throughout Asia for medicinal and therapeutic intents, too. The utilize of mushrooms in Chinese herbal medication was said to have been practiced since ages. Hour we took a look at the possible goodness of eating mushrooms.

Mushrooms contain most of the essential elements that our body needs for nourishment, to safeguard us against diseases and to maintain an overall good health and wellbeing. Being a potent source of micronutrients, they are also considered among the asuperfoodsa.

Letas take a look at its nutrient value 😛 TAGEND

Low in carbohydrate high in fiber
Contains little or no sugar
Good source of B-vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron and selenium
They synthesize vitamin-D after exposed to second-hand sun
Contains no fat or cholesterol
Very low in sodium and high in potassium
Contains an antioxidant/ anti-inflammatory property called ergothioneine and polyphenols


Mushrooms rank very low on the glycemic index( calories, carbs or fat certain food items contain ). Clinical research has led to findings that mushrooms contain natural insulin and enzymes, which after being tested on rats led to lowered glucose and improved lipid levels.

Its low-calorie content, fat-free property and the presence of antioxidant/ anti-inflammatory components help check blood-sugar spikes and lower blood glucose levels and boost insulin sensitivity.

Tested chromium-rich, incorporating mushrooms in your diet subsistence insulin function, govern blood sugar level, and even run wonders for your metabolism.

Cardiovascular health

Science has backed the fact that the fruity edible fungi, that is, mushrooms we eat, contain proteins, vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids, and fiberaunarguably good in lowering cholesterol.

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and the sodium in mushrooms act as a vasodilator in lowering and regulating blood pressure. So, mushrooms as a part of your diet maintain your heart healthy.

Bone health

Food scientists claim that feeing mushrooms regularly increases bone density. The trace mineral copper and a healthy sum of zinc in mushrooms are considered an excellent source of bone-healthy-nutrient.

Both osteoporosis and osteopenia are bone-related problems, a major public health menace, affecting adults, men and women after the age of 50. Rich in selenium, mushrooms help as powerful anti-oxidants, when it comes to bone metabolism. The selenium content in mushrooms also strengthens the teeth, nails and even the hair.

Immune system

To keep ourselves healthy and at bay from cancers, our immune system comes into play. Itas a complicated grid of our body cells, tissues, and organs, which blend to keep us healthy and free of illness by guarding us against infectious micro-organisms. In other terms, itas our bodyas defence mechanism against infection and illness.

If you include mushrooms in your regular diet, a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine in their own homes fortifies your immune system by eradicating the unwanted free radicals.


Scientists claim that a regular diet of mushrooms helps prevent breast and prostate cancers. Rich in linoleic acid that subdues the harmful effects of excess oestrogen( in females ), and beta glucans that frustrate the growth of cancerous cells, mushrooms are being hailed as a possible cure for these cancers.

Although not hundred percentage clinically proven, some medicinal mushrooms( and their extracts) like the shiitake, maitake, mannentake or reishi and cordyceps are being used worldwide to combat cancer. Scientists have, however, recognised the immune boosting properties and a source of powerful anti-oxidants the mushrooms have to offer, which point to their anti-cancer effects.

Food scientists also believe that eating mushrooms is also good for improved digestion, losing extra weight, boosting iron absorption, revitalizing body metabolism, and help inducing enzymes, and so on.

Tips for selecting, clean and storing

Mushrooms have a very short shelf life. So always buy fresh, firm and plump seeming mushrooms. The cleaning part of mushroom is trickier. The best route is to get a clean cloth and wipe the mushrooms exhaustively. cleaning or soaking in water will turn them spongy as they assimilate liquid tremendously.

If you think they need a much better cleaning, softly rinse it and then pat dry with a clean cloth. To retain their freshness, keep them in the refrigerator in a paper bag, and not in plastic to avoid spoilage. They remain fresh in the refrigerator for four to seven days.

Source: Online Khabar

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