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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Therapeutic Value of Different Foods >>  Vegetables >>  Mushrooms


Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. Many a times mushrooms are thought up on as vegetables and are cooked that way, but mushrooms are fungi which grow wild or can be cultivated.

There are several advantages related to consumption of mushrooms. For several years there studies are being made regarding phytonutrients in mushrooms being able to fight against cancer.

Certain benefits of consuming mushrooms however, have been proven.
Mushrooms are rich in zinc. Zinc helps optimizing immune function of the body. Zinc has been found in abundance in especially the crimini mushroom, a type of button mushroom. Zinc is also important for the processes of wound healing, for normal division of cells. Zinc also helps in avoiding illnesses such as recurrent colds, ear infections and other infections which many people with long standing diabetes contact.

Crimini mushrooms are rich in niacin. This vitamin is known to provide protection against diseases like alzheimers disease and other age related diseases where it avoids the cognitive decline of the person. Crimini mushrooms are found to be a rich source of L-ergothioneine, which is a powerful antioxidant. This antioxidant was found present in only two foods, that was the chicken liver and wheat germ, however, this antioxidant is present in large quantities in mushrooms.

Mushrooms contain large amounts of minerals including riboflavin, copper, zinc, Vitamin B, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6. Vitamin B3 called niacin is helpful in reducing the levels of cholesterol inside body, reduced levels of cholesterol also means that there is lesser risk of heart disease. Therefore, mushrooms also assist in heart disease prevention.

Mushrooms can be consumed in several different ways. Mushroom can be included in several dishes, it would give this a great taste and a good add on. Mushrooms can also be lightly fried and garnished with spices and consumed if you like something crispy.
If health conscious and would like to enjoy a warm soup you can make yourself a mushroom soup. Mushrooms can be cooked with meat or singly, these are fast to cook and will save a lot of time. Mushrooms are also great toppings on pizzas. You can also make sautéed mushrooms with onions and garlic to make a great dish.

Mushrooms are available throughout the year; mushrooms darken as they age, therefore it is most important that you choose those which are white, in case of crimini mushrooms you are required to select tan colored mushrooms. Mushrooms can be stored in a freezer for up to one week by tightly wrapping them in a plastic bag.
Submitted on February 24, 2009