They’re soft, delicious and give a different kind of texture to any dish. Whether they’re mixed in with other ingredients or served separately as a side dish, these mushrooms are a favorite of many people, young and old alike.
Mushrooms are healthy and regardless of how they’re served, they provide some health benefits. They’re rich in copper, potassium, folate, dietary fiber, selenium, zinc, manganese and Vitamins B1 and B2. They also produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and UV radiation.
And being cholesterol-free as well as low in calories, fat and sodium, this food is very ideal for people following a special diet to lose or maintain their weight. In fact, it contains more protein than most vegetables making it a good choice for the vegetarians.
The portobello variety is also known to contain antioxidants such as the L-ergothioneine while the white button kind is reported to have a great potential in improving the immune system. In the Asian region, mushrooms are well known for their immune-enhancing properties.
Many of you may not know this but the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using mushrooms in treating various health conditions. Fungi is also an important source of antibiotics such as penicillin and streptomycin.
When it comes to its role in the immune system, the bioactive compounds in mushrooms notably the polysaccharides are known to help improve the system. They are particularly helpful in treating auto-immune disorders to include arthritis, asthma and allergies.
Tastes Like No Other
As a food rich in protein, mushrooms are normally meaty and savory. Different varieties have different tastes but most often, how good they taste will depend on the dish and the flavor enhancers being used such as salt, pepper and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Chefs and cooks also agree that the food provides a unique texture to the dish when combined with the main ingredients. Whether mixed with pasta and other recipes or used as a topping for pizza, there’s no doubt that numerous folks are going crazy over these mushrooms.
On the other hand, a white paper entitled The Taste of Mushrooms revealed that age is an important factor in terms of how people perceive the taste of this fungi product. The authors pointed out that as people age, they may experience varying levels of bitterness or saltiness when eating mushrooms.
Also, the paper stressed that a food’s flavor takes into account five major components. These are odor, taste, spiciness, texture and temperature.