You know, not too long ago, most people believed that mushrooms had no nutritional benefits whatsoever…
And I still meet people all the time that think these fungi are only used for their incredible flavor… and not for their health benefits.
So today, I’d like to take a moment to look closer at the wide world of mushrooms and why they make an excellent addition to any diet… and dispel some of the common misconceptions about these tasty treats.
And I hope the information I share with you today pushes you to eat more mushrooms and try new varieties – I’ll even include an amazing recipe later to get you started.
For now, though, I’ll just jump right into the nutritional facts and do some myth-busting…
Are Mushrooms Good For You?
Contrary to popular belief, mushrooms are packed with nutritional benefits, not the least of which is protein…
That’s why many vegetarians use this healthy food as a substitute for meat – to bump up their protein intake.
Consider this – 100 grams of mushrooms (about the amount you would include in a mushroom omelet) contain around 7% of your daily protein, but that’s not all. They also include:
- Vitamin B
And even the same Vitamin D you get from the sun, something that no other fruit or vegetable can provide…
However, the trick with mushrooms is that they have minimal calories, which means you can eat as many as you want without worrying about your waistline.
And while we often take nutritional data at face value, the truth is that there’s more to the mushroom story than just vitamins and minerals…
The “Hidden” Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Obviously, if you’re counting calories, then mushrooms are an excellent way to lose weight without feeling hungry all the time…
But when you study mushrooms as more than just food, you start to discover some interesting things.
Did you know that mushrooms…
- Prevent respiratory infections?
- Regulate bacteria in your digestive system?
- Increase your longevity with antioxidants?
- Fight a wide variety of cancer types?
And that’s not all…
There are even some combinations of mushrooms that work to get rid of your fingernail or toenail fungus infections. I know it sounds wild, but we use a powerful trio of mushrooms attacks the unhealthy fungus inside your body in our MycoNuker supplement.
The long and short of it is that, pound for pound, there are few substances on this Earth that can do more for your health than mushrooms.
Now, you might be asking yourself, “But what kind of mushrooms should I eat?”
Well, most of them.
However, I advise you not to forage for mushrooms on your own or eat wild mushrooms that come from an unknown source. As helpful as they can be for your health, there are also toxic varieties that can even be fatal, but you can rest assured that you won’t find any poisonous mushrooms in your local supermarket.
So, second question, “Which ones taste the best?”
And that’s an excellent question…
A Quick Guide to Tasty Mushrooms
Even though most mushrooms will have a similar shape, their taste can be very different…
Take for example your typical white mushroom – it has a milder taste that blends well with stews, pizza, eggs, and goes well raw on top of a salad.
On the other hand, a thick, grilled slice of portobello with a meaty texture can serve as the main ingredient on its own or in a sandwich.
Here’s the lowdown on the more common types of mushrooms you might encounter:
- White button – By far the most common and available nearly everywhere.
- Portobello – A form of white mushroom that’s been left to mature and develop a more distinct taste.
- Chanterelles – Peppery and with an earthy taste, these are the jewels of forest mushrooms.
- Shiitake – Can be added to soups and other dishes for a deep smoky flavor.
- Oyster – As the name implies, these mushrooms have an oyster or seafood taste.
- Porcini – Sought after by foodies, porcini mushrooms have achieved legendary status in some parts of the world.
- Morels – Best for frying, morels have an interesting and unmistakable appearance.
And of course, there are plenty of other types out there – just take a visit to your local Asian foods store to try out some of the more obscure varieties.
Don’t know where to start?
Then how about this recipe, which highlights the flavor and texture of mushrooms in a setting that will feel familiar…
Creamy and Decadent Mushroom Pasta for Two
- 2 oz butter
- 3 cloves diced garlic
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 2 oz white wine
- 2 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- salt and pepper
- 10 oz chopped mushrooms (use a mix of portobello, oyster, and shiitake)
- 8 oz cooked tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta (save 1 oz of the salted water you used to cook the pasta)
- Heat a thick-bottomed frying pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
- Add the onions and garlic until translucent, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add white wine and cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low, add the cream, and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta, salted water, and simmer for 1-2 minutes or until thick.
- Add to pasta plates and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve and enjoy!
Even if you think that you don’t like mushrooms, I believe that this recipe has the power to convert you…
From the very first time I made it for my wife, it’s become one of our go-to dishes when we want something with a rich taste.
Once you start eating more mushrooms, you’ll begin to notice their differences and figure out which ones are your personal favorites…
But not only that – you’ll be improving your health by simply eating something that tastes great…
And that’s a recipe for good health that’s hard to beat!