Mushrooms are the fruity or reproductive bodies of the fungi world, which have the appearance like an umbrella along with a thick stalk that topped with a flat cap or cup shaped. Typically, the production of Mushroom takes place on its food source or on soil. Thousands of different varieties of mushrooms are available all around the world. Some mushrooms are edible or few are used due to their medicinal properties and some mushrooms are also poisonous. Learn about different types of mushrooms and specific characteristics of these mushrooms.
Mushrooms are known for its healthy nutrients and are very versatile in every type of cooking. When fresh mushrooms are used, they add spongy texture and enhance the flavor of different dishes. Due to its flavor enhancing property, mushrooms are commonly used as topping in hamburgers, pizza and steaks. Many health benefits are offered by mushrooms and so people are interested to consume mushrooms. Mushrooms are consumed raw or by adding it in to salads and other recipes.
They are usually grown at dark places. Mushrooms are good source of vegetable proteins, vitamins, amino acids, fiber, irons, and zinc and also they have low calories. On cooking, some mushrooms lost their 20% of nutritional value. However, shiitake mushrooms and portobello mushrooms lose only a small amount of nutrients after cooking. Different varieties of mushrooms have different nutritional value. Some recent studies have found that consumption of mushroom boost immune system of the body as it supplies necessary enzymes required by our immune system.
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms:
Mushrooms are rich in important vitamins and minerals needed by human body. It contains important vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin B and minerals like copper, magnesium, potassium, etc. These vitamins and minerals play an important role to boost immune system and for other health benefits. 100 gm serving amount of mushroom has the following nutritional value:
Nutrient – Amount Per Serving
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 3.6 mg
- Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) – 0.1 mg
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 0.4 mg
- Folate (Vitamin B9) – 16 mcg
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – 1.5 mg
- Potassium – 318 mg
- Phosphorus – 86 mg
- Magnesium – 9 mg
- Selenium – 9.3 mcg
- Copper – 0.3mg
- Iron – 0.5 mg
- Zinc – 0.5 mg
Common Types of Mushrooms:
A number of edible mushrooms are available and they are easy to find. To utilize as an ingredient in different types of recipes, many types of edible mushrooms are grown specifically. Here you can learn about some common edible mushrooms.
Portobello Mushrooms are also known as portabella. They are available throughout the year but it is best to buy it during spring and fall. They are large having 4″ – 6″ diameter cap. On maturation, Portobello mushrooms take dark brown color. Due to their meaty texture, Portobello mushrooms are frequently used as a meat substitute by vegans in sandwiches and burgers. They are rich in selenium which helps to fight against cancer.
- Nutritional content:
- Vitamins: Riboflavin, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid, and Folate
- Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Copper, Selenium, Iron, Zinc, and Magnesium
White Button Mushroom:
The white button mushroom is also called as Agaricus bisporus or table mushroom and is most commonly used in variety of preparations. In comparison to other varieties, they are small. White button mushroom’s all parts are edible. When these mushrooms are sliced and remained to come in contact with air, they turn into brown. They have mild and very unique flavor. So, they are used in preparation of any dish including salads, meat, soups, or pastas. At grocery stores, you can find it in freshly packaged, dried or canned form. It is a natural source of vitamin D. Also, it is a good source of antioxidants.
- Nutritional content:
- Vitamins: Riboflavin, Vitamin D, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Thiamin, Pantothenic Acid, and Folate
- Minerals: Copper, Selenium, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Magnesium
Shiitake Mushroom is also known as Black mushroom, Black Forest mushroom, Fragrant mushroom or Lentinula Edodes. It is also called the “Elixir of Life” due to its medicinal properties. They are larger in size having 2″- 4” diameter cap and brown in color. They are very popular in many Asian dishes as they provide spongy meaty texture and a woodsy taste to it. It is extensively used in Chinese cooking and also in Western cuisine. Aside from its use in different cuisines, they bear certain medicinal properties. Production of T lymphocytes is increased with its consumption which decreases the harmful effects of AIDS. It is a good source of anti-oxidants like vitamin A, C, D and E, selenium and uric acid. Also, it has immune boosting effect in human body.
- Nutritional content:
- Vitamins: Niacin, Pyridoxine, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin D, Pantothenic Acid, and Folate
- Minerals: Selenium, Copper, Phosphorus, Iron, Potassium, Zinc, and Magnesium
It is a common edible mushroom which is tan and ivory in color. Oyster Mushrooms are broad and the cap has the oyster shape. They grow throughout the whole year and up to the width of two to eight inches. They are easily attacked by black beetles. The Oyster mushroom contains the statin for example lovastatin which help to reduce the cholesterol level in the body. Also, it helps to decrease the glucose level in diabetic patients.
- Nutritional content:
- Vitamins: Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Thiamin, and Folate
- Minerals: Copper, Phosphorus, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Potassium, and Magnesium
Crimini Mushrooms have size and texture similarly like Button mushrooms. It is indigenous to the grasslands in Europe and North America. These mushrooms have dark brown color like mild coffee. The cutting of the Crimini mushrooms is carried out when they are at the premature stage or at tender point of lifecycle. The Crimini mushroom has more intense earthy and meaty flavor than the Button mushroom. For the purpose of more intense flavoring, it is a good alternate to the button mushroom.
It is also called as Boletus Edulis or Penny bun. Porcini Mushrooms are very costlier than others. Basically, they are found in North America and Europe. Porcini Mushrooms have also a distinct flavor and used in preparation of variety of soups. When consumed raw, they are best in taste.
Giant Puffball Mushrooms:
They are oval or pear shaped mushrooms. Basically, their growth occurs during fall and summer season. They are slightly grey or white in color. This mushroom can grow up to twelve inches in diameter and so it is named. When opened mushroom is cut, it develops a sign which is poisonous Amanitas. Avoid consumption of this. Cook this puffball mushrooms right away when their interior flesh is white.
Morchella is the true morel mushroom having the delicious taste and size about 2″ to 12″. It is an edible mushroom which particularly grows in the same spot even after so many years. It is anatomically related with simpler cup fungi. The upper portion of Morchella looks like a honeycomb as it is comprised of a ridge network with pits in it. They may cause some health related problems as it contains a little bit of hydrazine. So, one have to be very careful while cooking the Morchella to dispose of all the toxins.
Hen of the Woods:
The hen of the woods is grayish-brown having the large size. This mushroom has appearance like a cluster of ruffled chicken feathers. The caps are overlapping with each other. It has single thick base from which white stalks branched out. Hen of the Woods will grow on the same place every year. Generally, it is available during summer and fall.
They are trumpet shaped mushrooms having wavy cap edges. Mostly, they are available in bright orange or yellow color but black trumpet is also available. When Chanterelles are fresh, they have fruity smell. They are extremely hard, so cook them at slow flame for a long time for easy consumption of it. During summer and fall season, they are found in hardwood forests.
This wild mushroom is also known as hericium erinaceus. Fur like elements are hanged on Bearded Tooth and have pure white color. Bearded Tooth should be consumed only when it is pure white and young. The yellow one has a sour taste. These wild mushrooms are very easily spotted as they grow on dark logs.
These types of mushrooms are also called as psilocybin mushrooms or magic mushrooms. It contains psychoactive substance like psilocin and psilocybin. They are put in the genus Psilocybe. Addiction is not occurred with consumption of these mushrooms but they may produce a short term level of tolerance in consumers.
When magic mushrooms are consumed, they produce symptoms like feelings of well being and freedom, increased heart rate, dilation of pupil, muscle relaxation and loss of appetite. Psilocybe semilanceata, Psilocybe pelliculosa, Psilocybe cubensis, and Psilocybe baeocystis are the different types of magic mushrooms.
For people who desire to consume mushrooms, it is very essential to identify it carefully before consumption. Poisoning may occur after taking wild mushrooms so if you are not able to identify whether the mushroom is edible or poisonous, then it is best way to avoid the use of it.
Types and Varieties of Mushrooms video from Youtube: