Mushrooms. You either love them or you hate them but are they healthy?
The definitive answer, I’ve found, is YES, mushrooms are very healthy. The health benefits of mushrooms are numerous.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
As you can see from the graphic above, there are many health benefits of mushrooms. However, not all mushrooms are created equal. So, if you are looking for a very specific vitamin boost from mushrooms, make sure you are eating the right kind.
You see, there are over 140,000 species of mushrooms and scientists are only intimately familiar with about 10% of those. And of that 10%, the edible mushrooms vary in their benefits. For instance, if you are looking for a boost in iron, make sure you are eating oyster mushrooms.
When heading out to buy mushrooms, you want to be sure that you are buying organic. Mushrooms have a unique ability to absorb and concentrate the properties of whatever they are growing in – be that good or bad. That said, the health benefits of mushrooms will vary depending on what medium they are grown in and where they are grown. For instance, most commercially produced mushrooms are grown in the dark. This can prevent them from developing high stores of vitamin D. However, some producers grow them in ultraviolet light to increase their Vitamin D storage. Research is key when deciding which mushrooms to buy to get the most health benefits.
Types of Mushrooms
Of the nearly 300 varieties of edible mushrooms that are known to exist, the following are the most commonly seen in the grocery store:
- white button (aka agaricus)
- chanterelle (buy them here)
- crimini (buy them here)
- shiitake (buy them here)
- oyster (buy them here)
- porcini (buy them here)
How many of these have you tried?
As an aside, did you know you can buy mushroom growing kits online? I’ve done it with portabellos before and it was fun and fruitful! (Click on the pictures below to check out various growing kits.)
Resources about Mushrooms
Dr. Mercola wrote an article about the health benefits of mushrooms here.
One of MY favorite sites, DIY Natural, gives you 16 reasons to eat mushrooms.
And finally, here’s an article from Mother Earth News on why we need mushrooms.
This post talks about how eating mushrooms might help in fighting cancer.
And last, but certainly not least, I reached out to all my wonderful blogging friends and rounded up a set of recipes for you all to try. Check these out, cook them up and experience all of the health benefits of mushrooms.
Thyme Roasted Baby Bellas from The Happy Healthnut
Shiitake Mushrooms Stuffed with Olives and Sundried Tomatoes from Gourmande in the Kitchen
Garlic Skirt Steak with Burgundy Mushrooms from Cave Girl Cuisine
Mushroom Broth from Brown Thumb Mama
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff from The Happy Healthnut
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms from Live Simply
Mushroom, Herb and Parsnip Pie from Diary of a First Child
Cream of Mushroom Soup from Real Food Girl Unmodified