10 Interesting Facts About Mushrooms
Mushrooms are easily the oddest-looking vegetable on the planet. Viewed from a certain angle, they can even look scary.
Sometimes, they look like UFO’s!
Or is that just me?!
Either way, there are multiple varieties of edible mushrooms on our green planet, and if you’re like me, you’ll love them all. Mushrooms are super tasty and incredibly versatile. You can include them in a risotto, eat them on toast, have them for breakfast with eggs, add them to your pasta dish, slip them in your omelettes and so on and so on.
But although you may have been cooking with mushrooms for a few years now, you probably don’t know everything there is to know about them. For all you mushroom lovers out there, here are 10 interesting facts about mushrooms!
Mushrooms Will Keep You Hydrated
Because our bodies are composed of around 80% water, it’s important that our diet is water-rich.
The best source of water from food is vegetables. And one of the most water dense vegetables are mushrooms.
Mushrooms are actually 90% water, which is quite incredible. Eating your fair share of mushrooms each week will help to keep you properly hydrated, which means that you will be flushing out lots of toxins from your body.
Mushrooms Are Rich In Potassium
Potassium is an essential nutrient that way too many of us don’t get enough of. Potassium helps to reduce your risk of stroke, better regulates your blood pressure, takes care of your heart and kidneys, and it can also reduce stress and anxiety.
Finding potassium in foods that actually tastes good is not so easy. Bananas are generally the option most people take up, a single portobello mushroom contains more protein than a banana. Yay!
Portobello mushrooms are often referred to as alternatives to steak for vegetarians. They are filling, and make incredible burghers. Try them if you haven’t already!
Mushrooms Are The Only Source Of This Important Vitamin
Mushrooms are the only fruit or veg that contains vitamin D. Surprised? You should be. But it’s just further testimony to the awesomeness of mushrooms. Where other fruit and veg fail, they come and save the day!
Mushrooms Are Rich In Lean Proteins
Why is it important that we consume a good amount of lean protein? Lean protein helps you to build stronger muscles, it helps you to lose weight, it keeps your heart healthy, and it can also reduce your risk of stroke.
Fitting lean proteins into your diet can be really easy if you eat meat, but if you’re a vegetarian you will need to hunt down adequate alternatives – such as mushrooms.
But mushrooms should also be eaten by meat eaters. A great source of lean proteins, they have no fats, no cholesterol and very few carbs. Win.
Mushrooms Were Prized By The Pharaohs
You know who the Pharaohs were, right? According to The Bible, Pharaohs weren’t exactly what you could call pleasant people. But they knew good food when they came across it.
And they loved mushrooms.
Yup, the ancient Pharaohs loved mushrooms so much that they actually considered them to be something of a delicacy. They were included in some of the the Egyptian leaders’ best meals, and helped to create all kinds of delicious, ancient dishes that satisfied the top brass!
Mushrooms Were Also Prized By Other Ancients
Not only did the Pharaohs treasure mushrooms, but so, too, did other ancients. The Greeks used to feed them to their warriors before battle because they believed that they equipped their soldiers with strength. They also fed their warriors something called black broth, which was a lot less desirable!
The Romans also love mushrooms, and actually believed that the odd-looking vegetable was a gift from heavens. For this reason, mushrooms were reserved for special occasions only, such as the festival of Mithras.
The Chinese, meanwhile, have long held the belief that mushrooms are a super food.
So, the next time your kids refuse to eat their mushrooms, explain that they’re a gift from God!
(though it probably won’t work!)
Mushrooms Are Basically Meat For Vegetarians
The problem with being a vegetarian is that you’re always looking for meat substitutes to bulk out your meal and leave you feeling satisfied. I know this because I’m a vegetarian myself.
When I discovered the portobello mushroom, I was slightly sceptical. I’d been told that the portobello mushroom is steak for veggies, but I wasn’t convinced.
However, once I’d paired it up with fries and sauce, I was won over. Portobello mushrooms are referred to as the “beefsteak for the poor” – and for good reason. If you’re a veggie who is missing the texture of steak, try a portobello mushroom!
There Is A Reason Why Mushrooms Are Generally Dried
There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are also lots of ways to preserve mushrooms. Generally, mushrooms are pickled, frozen or canned – but usually they’re dried.
Drying mushrooms is easily the best way of preserving them. If you grow your own, learn how to properly dry them so that they keep longer.
You Probably Shouldn’t Go Picking Wild Mushrooms
I had a friend who once went picking wild mushrooms. This was a few years ago now, and I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. I knew he had to be safe, but he seemed to know what he was doing.
However, I’ve since learned that picking wild mushrooms is actually quite dangerous. While some wild mushrooms are totally edible and tasty, there are some that are poisonous – like, really poisonous!
Before you go out and pick wild mushrooms yourself, it’s a good idea to partner up with a pro who can teach you the ropes.
Hunting Wild Mushrooms Is A Serious Hobby, Though
Although it’s dangerous if you don’t understand exactly what you’re looking for, hunting down wild mushrooms is a serious hobby.
And people who hunt wild mushrooms are referred to as mycophile’s. The name is derived from the Greek word Mykes, which literally means fungus.
Stay happy and healthy!