8 Most Healthiest mushrooms you should know about.
Mushrooms are rich in protein and excellent substitute for meat and many of them have strong anti-cancer effect.
The tradition of mushroom use in the treatment of various diseases has been present for thousands of years. The oldest and best-known fungus is Ganoderma lucidum, which in Japan is also called the “mushroom of immortality”. The ancient medical traditions have recognized the nutritional value of mushrooms. Except for medical purposes mushrooms are used as an ingredient in many traditional dishes and teas. Scientists have begun actively to research the medicinal properties of mushrooms and the effectiveness of the fungus in the fight against viruses and malignant diseases.
White Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus)
White buttons are best known species of edible mushroom in the world with specific smell and taste. They can be found throughout the year in supermarkets and markets. 100g white button mushrooms contain only 15 calories, and in addition to vitamins, they contain 470mg of potassium, 10 mg calcium, 100 mg of phosphorus, 1.2mg of iron and other minerals. They contain only 0.2% fat, 3.6% carbohydrate and 4.9% protein. Their low calorie value makes them perfect dietary food and a good substitution of meat for those who prefer not to use foods of animal origin. They contain selenium, which is irreplaceable in preventive fight against cancer, and the membranes contain chitin, which actively combats cholesterol. White button mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B5 and B12), vitamin C, and they can be quality replacement for lots of vegetables, because their high nutritional value. It is necessary to mention that they do not contain any sucrose (sugar) or starch so they are very suitable for people with diabetes. These mushrooms stimulate the production of white blood cells, known as T-cells, which are essential for a strong and healthy immune system.
Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
Shiitake mushrooms or black forest mushroom have a long reputation of medicinal mushrooms, so it is no surprise that since ancient times they are considered to be ” elixir of life ”. After white button mushrooms, shiitake are the most cultivated mushroom in the world. Shiitake is highly prized mushroom in Asia for its flavor and reputed medicinal value. Originated from Japan, where almost half of the world`s supply of shiitake mushrooms are produced. The consumption of this type of fungus is associated with reduced levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Furthermore, shiitake contain polysaccharide ’lentinan’ which not only strengthens the immune system but reduces the risk of cancer. Lentinan is used widely in Japan and China as an adjuvant to cancer chemotherapy. It is also used for up regulating the immune system;
Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Oyster is not only very tasty mushrooms but also an excellent medicinal products that strengthens the immune system. For centuries it was used by the Chinese, and by the end of the 19th century was brought to Europe. In the wild oyster grows in bunches or groups, on a dead tree, usually deciduous, and appears during the cold period. Oyster is relatively easy to grow which is why frequently cultivated. Oyster mushrooms are very delicious, white, and thick with soft flesh and a very pleasant aroma. They are rich in protein and micronutrients, especially vitamin C and B vitamins (except vitamin B12). Oyster consumption is associated with a stronger immune system. Ancient Chinese doctors used Oyster to relieve pain and relax muscles, stiffness of limbs and tendons, as well as poor circulation.
Porcini Mushroom (Boletus edulis)
They are also called Penny bun in the UK, but generally are known as ‘Cep’ from the French name Cepe is used, Steinpiltz in German and King Bolete in the US. Native to Europe and North America, it is Europe’s second most sought-after mushroom after truffles. Firm young porcini are one of the tastiest wild foods, and extremely versatile. Older specimens are best dried, after which their flavor intensifies. The porcini is the king of edible mushrooms. They contain high-quality proteins and are especially recommended to vegans and vegetarians. Compared to most foods of plant origin, porcini have a well-balanced composition of amino-acids. These mushrooms are abundant in vitamins B1, B2, C and D, dietary fiber, and minerals potassium, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Among the most important properties of porcini include antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. These mushrooms contain lecithin (an organic material from plants and animals origin), which has antiviral properties. It is believed that porcini mushrooms have powerful antioxidant abilities due variety of organic acids.
Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)
Maitake is a mushroom, which impresses with its size – can weigh up to 45 lbs (20 kg). Maitake actually means “dancing mushroom”. Legend has it that the name derives from the fact that the people who found this mushroom were dancing with joy because they would get the amount of silver as much as the mushroom weighed. Its medicinal properties have long been explored in Asia and recently in US. Maitake is high in ergosterin, which is an integral part of vitamin D. In Japan these mushrooms are regularly used in cooking and are indispensable ingredient in many Japanese dishes. Maitake is successful in the fight against many types of cancer, reducing the negative side effects of chemotherapy, strengthens the immune system, successfully treated high blood pressure, diabetes, hepatitis and many other diseases. On the other hand, researchers in Japan have shown that Maitake contains substances that block the progression of HIV infection.
Cordyceps Mushroom (Cordyceps militaris)
Cordyceps or Chinese mushroom originates from Tibet, where it grows at an altitude of 5,000 m(16400ft). Cordyceps, also known by the name “caterpillar fungus” is a parasitic fungus that grows as a parasite on insects, usually the larvae of moths. Scientists have long tried to cultivate this mushroom, as its natural reproduction quantity does not meet the market needs. Cordyceps has excellent medicinal properties and is used for thousands of years in the treatment of many diseases. This fungus has anti-tumor and anti-depressant properties, strengthens the immune system, has beneficial effect on the liver and kidneys, improves circulation, cures hepatitis B and is known as one of the best natural remedies for impotence.
Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)
This fungus is extremely rich in potassium, a mineral essential for digestion and heart function, and calcium, important for bones, and also full of magnesium (important for heart and circulatory system) and phosphorus (essential for brain function). Chanterelle is known as one of the best sources of vitamin D, rich in vitamins C and B 2, and contains three times more beta-carotene than carrots. When it comes to this mushroom, special attention must be paid to her appearance. Do not take chanterelles that have a brown stain, because it can be toxic. Be sure and that are not dry and limply. Experts advise that this mushroom should not be consumed more than two times a week.In the Far East countries chanterelle used to treat inflammation and eye, night blindness and dry skin. It also helps in the fight against viral and bacterial infections and improves blood circulation.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
In China, Reishi is known as “mushroom of immortality” and used in medicine for thousands of years. It has a lot of healing properties and one of the most respected mushrooms, and today is exclusively produced for medicinal purposes. The components of these mushrooms have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effect on the human body. It helps strengthen the immune system, relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, normalizing cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, Reishi should be used by smokers, because it reduces the level of nicotine in the body and blocks tobacco craving.