Valuable and edible mushrooms

This lovely piece was written by Seyi Campbell, a medical Microbiologist who worked with Apin project at the College of medicine Idi-araba Lagos for years as a medical scientist, before relocating to the UK with his family.

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One of my maternal Aunts prepared a sumptuous Okra Soup with plenty of fresh mushrooms and served me as I visited her in South Eastern Nigeria.

The sliced onions and ground crayfish as well as red palm oil were just too irresistible.

I ate the bowl of Okra mushroom and ever since then, mushrooms are now my beloved.

Well, it is important to note that few people realize the benefits we can derive from edible mushrooms.

Many harmful mushrooms have discouraged so many foodies, but these fleshy fruiting bodies of various species of fungi have a lot to offer to both your meal in terms of flavour and nutrients as well as the body.

FOOD FACTS

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  • Mushrooms are a class of vegetable proteins which are highly nutritious.
  • They are often referred to as the meat of the vegetable world.
  • Mushrooms are enjoyed for their flavour and texture.
  • They can impart their own flavour to food or take on the flavour of other ingredients in the food.
  • It is popular to add mushrooms to soups (vegetable soup), salads, fried egg and sandwiches, or to use them as appetizer.
  • Of the estimated 38,000 species of mushroom found worldwide, only about 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties, and less than one percent are recognized as poisonous.
  • Historically, mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years.
  • They have been the subject of modern medical research since the 1960s, where most modern studies concern the use of mushroom extracts, rather than whole mushrooms.
  • Today, even with the presence of modern technology most people still prefer natural products as they are safer and their prolonged use will not cause harmful side effects.
  • A research from Singapore as broadcast by BBC says eating mushrooms more than twice a week could prevent memory and language problems occurring in the over-60s.
  • A unique antioxidant present in mushrooms could have a protective effect on the brain.
  • The more mushrooms we eat, the better we will perform in tests of thinking and processing.
  • The National University of Singapore study’s findings were based on 663 Chinese adults, aged over 60, whose diet and lifestyle were tracked from 2011 to 2017.
  • Eating mushrooms help to lower the chances of mild cognitive impairment. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can make people forgetful, affect their memory and cause problems with language, attention and locating objects in spaces – but the changes can be subtle.

THE NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF EDIBLE MUSHROOMS

  • Protein – Most mushrooms have high protein content, usually around 20-30% by dry weight. This can be useful for vegetarians or anyone hoping to increase the protein content in their diet.
  • Fiber – Helps lower cholesterol and is important for the digestive system.
  • Niacin and other important B vitamins – As certain B vitamins are found in animal tissue but not plants, this can be another good supplement for vegetarians.
  • Vitamin D – Essential for the absorption of calcium.
  • Copper – Aids in helping the body absorb oxygen and create red blood cells.
  • Selenium – An antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Mushrooms contain more selenium than any other form of produce.
  • Potassium – An extremely important mineral that regulates blood pressure and keeps cells functioning properly. A large portobello mushroom is said to have more potassium than a banana.
  • Other important minerals – Such as phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium.
  • Low levels of fat, calories, and sodium
  • No cholesterol
  • Polysaccharides – Complex carbohydrates that stimulate the immune system.
  • Enzyme inhibiting activity – Mushrooms can inhibit the production of certain enzymes such as aromatase, which the body uses to make estrogen. This could reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Triterpenes – Steroid-like molecules that inhibit histamine release and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lowers the risk of cancer and helps in cancer treatment.
  • Mushrooms are probiotic, they help restore our bodies balance and natural resistance to disease.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Antibacterial, Antiviral and Anti-HIV activity
  • Mushroom is rich in several anti-oxidants (Selenium, Uric acid & Vitamin A, E, & C)
  • Contains Aphrodisiac
  • Helps combat allergies
  • Not all types of mushrooms have the same levels of vitamins, minerals, and medicinal properties. Do a little research if you have special health needs or goals. Of course, don’t forget to take taste into account!

Read more -https://gourmetguide234.com/2019/03/16/mushrooms/

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