From plain old white button mushrooms, to cremini mushrooms, portabello, shiitake and oyster, reishi and cordyceps, mushrooms of all sorts are on the healthy list and should be included in your diet.
Personally, I eat mushrooms every single day and it's one of my favourite ingredients in my breakfast! Luckily for us in Vernon and the Okanagan, we have a great local mushroom farm in Summerland; What the Fungus.
In fact, close to 100 species of mushrooms have been studied for their health-promoting benefits. These studies have found that mushrooms are linked to a variety of positive health benefits, including improved weight management, increased vitamin D levels and improved immune system function. There’s also evidence some variety of mushrooms may act as anti-inflammatories and can even be helpful to those suffering from asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and stroke damage.
Some interesting quick facts you should know about mushrooms:
- While organic isn’t necessary for all vegetables, organically grown mushrooms are a substantially better choice, as mushrooms absorb whatever they’re grown in—good or bad.
- Mushrooms have strong antibiotic qualities.
- There are more than 10,000 species of mushrooms, and only about 50 to 100 are toxic to humans (like the ones you were warned not to touch as a kid).
- Americans consume about 900 million pounds of mushrooms each year (95 percent of which are the common button mushroom).
- The button mushroom is high in B vitamins.
- Shiitake mushrooms have antiviral qualities.
- Reishi mushrooms are known to prevent weight gain and insulin resistance, and improve gut health.
- The parasitic mushroom, often used in traditional Chinese medicine, has possible antidepressant effects.
What if you don’t like the taste of mushrooms?
5 ways to hide mushrooms so even your kids (or adults who eat like kids) will eat them:
- Chop them into tiny pieces or throw them in the blender and then hide them in meatballs, meatloaf or even a homemade hamburger.
- Blend them into a pureed soup.
- Along with chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper, throw in some mushrooms and blend them into a delicious humous.
- Throw them in a food processor and add them right into your homemade pizza dough
- Puree them into a bolognese sauce for pasta
For those of you who love mushrooms and feel no desire to hide them, here’s an amazing Paleo Beef Stroganoff Recipe!
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 lb beef, strips, stewing or ground
- 1lb mushrooms sliced
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1 cup Coconut Cream or Coconut Yogurt (Greek yogurt if dairy is ok)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- If you are serving this with anything else such as rice, potatoes or vegetables you might want to start cooking that before this so that it's ready to serve all together, this will take less than ten minutes to cook.
- Slice the beef into thin strips, chop the onions into a small dice, and wipe the dirt of the mushrooms with a paper towel and then slice them.
- Add the oil to a large skillet and put it over a medium/high heat.
- Add the onions and soften for a minute, then add the beef and stir for two minutes
- Add the mushrooms and stir and cook for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well, cook for a minute or two more until the sauce is warmed, do not boil!
- Serve immediately.
Thanks to Noshtastic for the recipe, which you can find here.
Remember, the more variety of vegetables and plants in your diet, the more vitamins and minerals you will be getting.