MushroomsWhile mushrooms are classified as vegetables in the majority of the world, they are technically not plants. Mushrooms officially belong to the fungi kingdom. Although they are not considered to be vegetables, mushrooms do provide various important nutrients. This article will provide background information to mushrooms as well as highlight some of the benefits and risks related to consuming mushrooms. Also, it will give some tips on how to select and store mushrooms.


There are many different type of mushrooms. The type of mushrooms this article will focus on will predominantly be crimini mushrooms. Crimini mushrooms are not only the most commonly eaten mushrooms, but they are also the type of mushrooms which are widely available. Crimini mushrooms are often coffee-coloured and are also known as “button mushrooms”. Another famous name for this mushroom is “Portobello” mushroom. This mushroom belongs to the scientific family called Agaricus bisporus. Different strains are used in the commercial production of mushrooms. In order to produce a wide variety of mushrooms, the growing conditions are often changed. For example, often the time periods of cultivation of mushrooms are altered to produce a wide variety of mushrooms. The strains which are used to produce crimini mushrooms are commonly harvested at an intermediate growth stage. As mentioned, the cirmini mushroom is also referred to as Portobello mushroom, portobellini mushroom, mini bella mushroom or baby bella mushroom. Mushrooms are often described to be as mysteriously unique as they are delicious. While they are considered to be a vegetable by the majority of people in the world, mushrooms are actually fungi. This means that they are a special type of organism which does not have leaves, flowers, roots or seeds. This implies that they also not be considered to be a plant since they do not have leaves, flowers or roots. In order to grow, mushrooms do not require light or soil. All that they need is decaying organic matter. This can actually be any kind of organic matter, such as decaying leaves, manure or decaying wood. Also, mushrooms can be cultivated. However, often they grow wild in various regions in the world due to their simple growth requirements. Since mushrooms are a unique type of fungus which can be consumed, it is recommended to purchase organic mushrooms. This is particularly the case since the commercial production of non-organic crimini mushrooms can vary heavily with regards to quality. Moreover, by consuming organic mushrooms, you decrease the risk of contamination with pesticides and heavy metals.


Crimini mushrooms have been growing wild since prehistoric times. The mushrooms were consumed by early hunter-gatherers. In the past, mushrooms were believed to have special powers. For example, the Egyptians believed that by consuming mushrooms you would be granted immortality. Also, since they believed that only pharaohs were worthy of being granted this gift, common people were not allowed to touch or consume mushrooms. During the time of ancient Rome, mushrooms were often referred to as cibus diorum, which means “food for the gods”. This implies that the Romans did not consider mushrooms to be a food for the common people. People in China, Russia and Mexico also held that eating mushrooms would provide them with superhuman strength. It is not clear when mushrooms were first cultivated for food. However, it is said that the first cultivation began in Asia. More specifically, in India, China and Japan. The first cultivation of mushrooms in the Western world was in Europe. It is estimate that this took place in the 17th century. The cultivation of mushrooms which is well-known is in France in the catacombs. Mushrooms were cultivated in underground tunnels under the city of Paris. It is for this reason that crimini mushrooms are sometimes referred to as Paris mushrooms. Even today, mushrooms are still produced commercially underground in the Saumur and Tours regions in France. The world’s largest commercial producer of mushrooms is China. China is then followed by Europe and the United States. In the United States, the state of Pennsylvania is the state which produces around 70% of the mushrooms produced in the country.

Reishi mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are used in various parts of the world to fight various diseases. For example, these type of mushrooms have been used for more than thousands of years to fight chronic disease. The first people who started using Reishi mushrooms for this purpose were the Chinese. However, only recently have studies confirmed the results which the Chinese have always believed. Reishi mushrooms are said to be capable of fighting inflammation, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders and they are said to have an effect on fighting cancer as well. Reishi mushrooms are known as being one of the top natural superfoods. The mushrooms have a bitter taste and can be described to be a woody funghi. Scientists have described the mushrooms to be a type of powerful adaptogen. They do not only help the body to deal with stress, but they are also considered to be a natural remedy for anxiety. Moreover, they can help the body deal with stress which is both psychological as well as physical. It is possible to consume Reishi mushrooms on their own, or it is possible to take them in tablet or capsule form. When taken in capsule of tablet form, they have the ability to increase energy. Also, they also have the ability of bringing a sense of calmness. Thus, this makes them a natural mood booster. Additionally, it is said that they can help heal adrenal fatigue. This is due to the fact that they can improve memory as well as facilitate restful sleep. The specific compounds of Reishi mushroom which are responsible for the health benefits are the beta-glucans. The beta-glucans increase the production of T-cell levels in the immune system. This means that they help to lower the inflammatory responses which are caused by a poor diet or stress. Furthermore, the boost which your immune system gets from the Reishi mushrooms can also help to reduce the growth of cancer cells.


One of the benefits of crimini mushrooms is its ability to boost the immune system. Also, they are known for combating various diseases due to the high number of enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Besides the fact that they are a rich source of enzymes, vitamins and minerals, they are also known for being a high antioxidant food. The fact that they are a high antioxidant food means that they can fight free radical damage. Various studies have confirmed these statements. For example, researchers have confirmed that mushrooms do not only contain a wide variety of anti-viral molecules, but also molecules which can have an anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, the benefits of mushrooms also include their ability to inhibit viruses. This in turn also means that they can decrease the severity of illness amongst people who are already sick. For example, research has shown that different types of mushrooms can increase the production of T and B lymphocytes. These compounds are crucial for the immune system since they control our responses to pathogens, toxins or viruses. The field which gets the most attention is cancer prevention. For centuries, people have been using mushrooms as a natural cancer treatment. This is specifically the case in Asian cultures. Mushrooms have been used since they have the ability to lower the risk of cancer through various mechanisms. For example, mushrooms supply the body with germanium. Germanium is a nutrient which boosts the use of oxygen in the body and helps to fight radical free damage. There are more than 200 different mushroom species which are used in traditional Chinese medicine practices. Over 25 percent of these are said to be effective in fighting harmful tumours.

Risks related to eating mushrooms

While mushrooms are safe to consume, it is important to pay attention when selecting mushrooms. The mushrooms which you can purchase in the supermarkets are safe to consume. However, when you decide to go on a scavenge for wild mushrooms, it is important to consult a specialist who knows about wild mushrooms. This is especially important since not all types of mushrooms can be eaten. Some mushrooms are contaminated and others can be toxic. Thus, while many mushrooms might appear similar as mushrooms sold in the supermarkets, some are not meant for human consumption. One type of mushrooms which you should be particularly careful with are those which are advertised as medicinal mushrooms. In many countries, these are considered to be drugs and could have negative effects on the body. When possible, try and purchase those mushrooms which are organic. If you are not able to find organic mushrooms, make sure that you wash dirty mushrooms before consuming them. Also, wipe them down to remove residue or bacteria. It is also important to keep in mind that most mushrooms contain purines. Purines are often found in plants and are often linked to health problems. They could lead to kidney stones in rare circumstances. Thus, if you are aware or sensitive, it is recommended to consume mushrooms in moderation.

How to select and store

There are a few things you should pay attention to when buying mushrooms in the store. When choosing crimini mushrooms in the supermarket, make sure that they are firm, clean and plump. Also, pick those which have a brown colour. Mushrooms which have wet slimy spots or those that are wrinkled should be avoided since these mushrooms will most likely go bad within a couple of days. There are certain recipes which do not require you to use the whole mushrooms. If your recipe only requires you to use the caps, choose those which have short stems. In this way you do not have to waste a lot of the mushroom. Dried as well as fresh mushroom can be bought throughout the year. If you want to store your mushrooms, the best way is to put them in a paper bag or wrap them in a damp cloth. It is recommended to store them in the refrigerator. Also, it is said that it is best if the mushrooms do not touch each other. In this way they will stay fresh for a longer period of time. Once the mushrooms have developed a slimy layer, they are no longer fresh and it is not recommended to use them for cooking. Mushrooms which are pre-packaged can usually be stored up till seven days in the refrigerator. It is also possible to keep them for longer if they are stored in a paper bag or in a damp cloth. Dried mushrooms, on the other hand, can be stored up to one year. It is recommended that you store them in a tightly sealed container in the freezer of refrigerator.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1859x
Added: 25-01-2017 19:41
Last modified: 24-03-2017 23:36

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