What are Mushrooms?
The types of fungi that produce mushrooms are a subset of the Fungal Kingdom, a large grouping of organisms that share similar traits. The Fungal Kingdom not only includes the species that produce the 3-dimensional objects that we can touch and easily interact with (i.e. mushrooms), but also other microorganisms such as yeasts and molds. The Kingdom Fungi is differentiated from plants, animals, protists and bacteria by the facts that fungi are comprised of cells that are eukaryotic, have cell walls that contain chitin, must get their food externally, and expel carbon dioxide through respiration.
On the taxonomic tree of life, fungi are closer related to the animal kingdom than the plant kingdom. This makes sense from a biological and physiological standpoint when one learns the details of how fungi grow and survive. But on a more subjective level, fungi almost seem like animals themselves. Fungi are acutely aware of their environments and rapidly adapt to changes in it. When cultivating fungi, one gets the sense that they are caring for a pet or small child considering the care and attention required to keep the fungus alive. And when studying the dynamics and complexity of fungal symbiosis and metabolite production, one almost gets a sense of an innate intelligence or sentience in the fungus that is not easily explained by simple chemistry and biology alone.
The fungal kingdom is broken down into several sub-groups, or phylum, based on differences in spore production strategy. The main phyla in the fungal kingdom include:
- Chytridiomycota – Aquatic fungi that number approximately 700 species, in 105 genera.
- Glomeromycota – Obligate, generalist mycorrhizal fungi that number approximate 160 species, all of which form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with 80-90% of all plants on the earth.
- Zygomycota – A diverse group that includes some common fermenting fungi and molds and numbers approximately 1,000 species.
- Ascomycota – Fungi that develop spores in balloon-like sacs and number approximately 64,000 species. This group includes beneficial molds, such as Penicillium species, as well edible mushrooms, such as the Morels.
Basidiomycota – Fungi that develop spores on club-like structures and number approximately 31,515 species in 1,589 genera. This group includes most of the familiar wild-harvested and commercially cultivated fungi.
While all these fungi play interesting and important roles in nature, it is the last two groups that produce the delicious, medicinal, and remediative mushrooms many people are familiar with. However, what we commonly called “mushrooms” are just a small piece of a much larger body of tissue that produces them. This larger body is a densely woven network known as mycelium. As explained in our page on The Mushroom Lifecycle, this mycelial mass is formed when two spores released by parent mushrooms grow together and branch through their environment in search of food and water. Much like the apple on a tree, the mushroom is the reproductive strategy of the fungus, while the mycelium (like the tree) is the vegetative stage of the mushroom lifecycle.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins (especially niacin), vitamin C, calcium and selenium.They have many health benefits which includes reduces cancer risk, aids in weight management, heart health, treat anemia among others.
History Of Mushrooms
Archeological evidence suggests mushrooms to the bhte most archaic form of medicine known to man.
Points of interest:
- Oldest living organism on the planet
- Used by many cultures
- 46,000 species
- Embraced by holistic practitioners for thousands of years
Mushrooms have a history of medicinal use spanning millennia. It all started with Ganoderma lucidum, the most famous medicinal mushroom, known in Japan as Mannentake, but best known today as Reishi. Another famous mushroom, Grifola frondosa or Maitake, was worth its weight in silver in ancient Japan.
How far back do medicinal mushrooms actually go? Well, ancient Egyptians considered mushrooms food for royalty, and the 6,000-year-old Ötzi the Iceman carried medicinal mushrooms in his purse, identified by residual DNA.
Ancient Medicinal Mushrooms Increase Longevity
Modern-day research has revealed powerful immune properties for mushrooms. This has a direct link to longevity: without the ability to fight off infections and cancers cells, you won’t live very long. This of course is taking us back to where it all began—with Ganoderma lucidum, or Reishi.
Reishi has been used for thousands of years and flourishes mainly on the dried trunks of dead plum trees. But it’s scarce and not easy to come by; Out of 10,000 aged plum trees, perhaps two or three will have Reishi growth.
Today, thousands of studies document the health benefits of the six primary types of Reishi: red, black, blue, white, yellow and purple. Traditionally speaking though, black and red Reishi have demonstrated the most significant health-enhancing effects.
Red & Black Reishi Increase Immune Cell Production
Red and black Reishi are called the “mushrooms of immortality” for many reasons. However, it’s their immune-enhancing properties that are probably the most notable. Both colors of Reishi have been shown to support longevity by fighting immunosenescence, which is the loss of immune function as we age.
It’s well established that aging adults produce fewer white blood cells; the exact cell line enhanced by Reishi mushroom extracts. Not only that, Reishi helps to activate dendritic cells.1 These cells present bacterial and viral antigens like to antibody producing cells called B-cells.
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As a result, a person is able to effectively fight infections before getting too sick. And if he happens to get sick, he’ll feel better faster with more antibodies on board.
Reishi Contains Anti-Tumor Protein
Researchers during the last decade have showed Reishi inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis and suppressed the spreading of cancer cells by blocking blood vessel formation.2, 3,4 However, the exact mechanism producing these results was unknown.
Reishi’s anti-cancer properties are exactly what researchers at National Yang-Ming University wanted to find out. They were able to derive and then clone a protein from Reishi called Ling Zhi-8, or LZ-8. They designed a study to test LZ-8 and its effects on human lung cancer cells’ growth.5
They were able to show that LZ-8 inhibited cancer cell growth by preventing the cell’s normal growth cycle. In order for a cell to divide and produce a clone, it cycles through different stages of preparation. The very first stage is called G1—a highly metabolic stage for any cell.
During this stage, the cell is doing its day-to-day functions. If a cell is “trapped” in G1 and prevented from moving into the next phase, it won’t divide. And that’s exactly what LZ-8 does. It causes cancer cell growth arrest by “trapping” the cancer cell in stage G1.
Reishi Activates Intrinsic Antioxidants
Besides preventing immunosenescence, red and black Reishi activate intrinsic antioxidants, helping to reduce oxidative stress, one of the leading causes of aging. Highly reactive oxygen compounds, generated from environmental toxins and normal cellular metabolism, bind to healthy cells and tissues causing damage.
Naturally occurring compounds in Reishi boost a person’s intrinsic antioxidants, sequestering the damaging oxygen compounds and preserving healthy cell and tissue function. In animal models, Reishi was shown to increase the intrinsic antioxidant activity of plasma glutathione by 34 to 42 percent, liver catalase by 19 to 30 percent, and liver glutathione by 9 percent.6
Boosting liver antioxidants, such as catalase and peroxidase, is an extremely important strategy for living longer, given our toxic environment. EPA estimates more than 70,000 industrial chemicals are used in the Unites States. And government scientists estimate the average American has more than 700 chemicals in their blood stream at any given time.
Types Of Mushrooms
With so many types of mushrooms, the possibilities (and recipes) are endless. High in fiber and vitamins, mushrooms are also fat- and cholesterol-free. They’re popular around the world due to their versatility as well as their meat-like heft and texture — and these days, we generally don’t have to travel further than the produce aisle to explore them all. Here, we take a look at the flavor profiles and characteristics of the most popular mushroom varieties.
1. White Button Mushroom
Alternate names: able mushroom, cultivated mushroom, button, champignon (de Paris)
Characteristics: The most common and mildest-tasting mushroom around. Ninety percent of the mushrooms we eat are this variety. Less intensely flavored than many of its more exotic kin, it can be eaten either raw or cooked, and works well in soups and salads, and on pizzas.
2. Crimino Mushroom (Crimini, pl.)
Alternate names: Cremini, baby bellas, golden Italian mushrooms, Roman, classic brown, Italian brown, brown mushrooms
Characteristics: A crimino is a young portobello. Although the crimino is darker, firmer and more flavorful than its cousin the white button mushroom, the two can be used interchangeably. Increasingly, retailers hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the portabellos are selling crimini mushrooms as “baby bellas.”
3. Portabello Mushroom
Alternate Names: Portobella, field mushroom, open cap mushroom
Characteristics: Common in Italian cooking, dense, rich portobellos lend depth to sauces and pastas and make a great meat substitute. When portabellos are young and small, they’re called criminis. If you want a bun-substitute, you can even use the mushroom’s flat cap. Mushrooms of this variety are as wide as the palm of your hand, and their meaty texture stands up to grilling and stuffing (or both!).
4. Shiitake Mushroom
Alternate Names: Shitake, black forest, black winter, brown oak, Chinese black, black mushroom, oriental black, forest mushroom, golden oak, Donko.
Characteristics: In Japanese, shiitake means “oak fungus,” which describes where the mushrooms can be found in the wild. These days, however, most shiitakes are cultivated. They’re best identified by their umbrella-shaped brown caps, which curl under ever so slightly. Fresh shiitakes have a light woodsy flavor and aroma, while their dried counterparts are more intense.
5. Maitake Mushroom
Alternate Names: Hen of the Wood, sheepshead mushroom, ram’s head, kumotake, dancing mushroom
Characteristics: From afar, this mushroom can look like a head of cabbage. Cultivated, as well as found in the woods, these mushrooms are often sold in clusters with their soft, feathery caps overlapping. This mushroom has an earthy aroma and a gamy flavor, and is native to both the northwestern United States and Japan. They grow wild east of the Mississippi River in August and September.
6. Oyster Mushroom
Alternate Names: Tree oyster, angel’s wings, pleurotte en huître, abalone mushroom, shimeji
Characteristics: Although these can be found in the wild growing on the sides of trees, the ones you’ll find in the store or on a menu are most likely cultivated. Like their namesakes, they’re whitish in color and fan-shaped, and possess a delicate odor and flavor. Oyster mushrooms are found in many Japanese and Chinese dishes such as soups and stir-fries.
7. Enoki Mushroom
Alternate Names: Enokitake, enokidake, futu, winter mushrooms, winter fungus
Characteristics: The edible variety of these mushrooms feature small, shiny white caps attached to thin stems and possess a distinctive crunch. They’re good raw. In the wild, they grow on Chinese Hackberry trees, ash trees, mulberry trees, and persimmon trees.
8. Beech Mushroom
Alternate Names: Buna shimeji, beech brown mushroom, clamshell mushroom
Characteristics: Cooked, these crunchy brown-capped clusters are crunchy with a sweet nuttiness. Raw, however, they taste bitter.
9. King Trumpet Mushroom
Alternate Names: King oyster, trumpet royale, ali’i oyster, boletus of the steppes, king brown mushroom, French horn mushroom, king brown mushroom
It’s all about the thick, meaty stem on this jumbo mushroom
10. Black Trumpet Mushroom
Alternate Names: Horn of plenty, black chanterelle, trumpet of the dead
This wavy fungi is a late-summer find in the Midwest and East and grows all winter in the West. Black trumpets have a rich, smoky flavor and notes of a black truffle mushroom when dried.
11. Chanterelle Mushroom
Alternate names: Golden, yellow, chanterelle, egg mushroom, girolle, pfifferling
Characteristics: Trumpet-like, with a depression in the center of its cap, the chanterelle is one of the most popular wild mushrooms. (Because they’re notoriously difficult to cultivate, chanterelles are usually foraged in the wild.) Golden-hued, fleshy and firm, they’re described as having an apricot-like scent. They’re common in many European cuisines, including French and Austrian, and are also native to the United States. They are particularly abundant in the West and Pacific Northwest from September into the cold months.
12. Hedgehog Mushroom
Alternate Names: Sweet tooth, wood hedgehog
Characteristics: With a sweet smell and taste, it makes sense that this mushroom is also called the “sweet tooth” (unless the mushroom is older — then it can take on a bitter flavor). Crunchy, nutty and meaty, this mushroom tastes very similar to a chanterelle. This hardy mushroom grows in the winter on the West Coast.
13. Morel Mushroom
Alternate Names: morchella
Characteristics: A fleeting springtime treat in the Midwest and West. You can’t mistake its conical, spongy look and woodsy flavor.
14. Porcino Mushroom (Porcini, Pl.)
Alternate names: Cèpe, bolete, king bolete, borowik, Polish mushroom, Steinpilz, stensopp, penny bun
Characteristics: Slightly reddish-brown in color, porcini are one of the most prized wild mushrooms, sought out for their smooth texture and aromatic, woodsy flavor. They’re popular in Italy, as well as in France, where they’re called cèpes. Fresh porcinis aren’t as easy to locate in the United States, but dried ones are easily reconstituted by soaking in hot water. Prized in Italy, these have a brief summer season in the East and pop up in the spring and fall on the West Coast.
Nutrition Value of Mushroom
Although most people think of mushrooms as vegetables, they’re in fact a type of beneficial fungus. The term “mushroom” refers to any macrofungus with a distinctive fruiting body large enough to be seen with the naked eye and picked by hand. As of now, mushrooms constitute at least 14,000 different plant species — and perhaps way more. The number of mushroom species on the Earth is estimated to be 140,000, which suggests that scientists only know about 10 percent of the possible species at this time.
Although various types of mushrooms differ in terms of their exact calorie and nutrient count, in general they’re very low in carbohydrates, calories, fat, sodium and sugar. Meanwhile, provide a high level of nutrients — especially antioxidants, energizing B vitamins, copper and selenium.
Amount Per 100 grams
- Calories 22
- Fat 0.3 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 5 mg
- Potassium 318 mg – 9% RDA
- Total Carbohydrate 3.3 g – 1% RDA
- Dietary fiber 1 g – 4% RDA
- Sugar 2 g
- Protein 3.1 g – 6% RDA
- Vitamin C 3% RDA
- Iron 2% RDA
- Vitamin D 1% RDA
- Vitamin B-6 5% RDA
- Magnesium 2% RDA
Vitamins and minerals
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins such as riboflavin (B2), folate (B9), thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and niacin B3). The B vitamins help the body to get energy from food, and they help form red blood cells. A number of B vitamins also appear to be important for a healthy brain. Pregnant women are advised to take folic acid, or folate, during pregnancy, to boost fetal health.
Mushrooms are also the only vegan, non-fortified dietary source of vitamin D. Dairy products are normally a good food source of vitamin D, but vegans do not consume any animal products, so mushrooms can offer an alternative source of this important vitamin.
Several other minerals that may be difficult to obtain in a vegan diet, such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus, are available in mushrooms. Beta-glucans are a type of fiber that is found in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms. Recently, beta-glucans have been the subject of extensive studies that suggest they might improve insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of obesity and providing an immunity boost.
Mushrooms also contain choline, an important nutrient that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline assists in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, supports proper fat absorption and reduces chronic inflammation.
Increase your vitamin D
Yes, vitamin D! Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of this critical vitamin. Like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when in sunlight. Exposing them to high levels of ultraviolet B just before going to market converts more of the plant sterol ergosterol into the so-called sunshine vitamin. In the U.S., portobellos fortified with vitamin D are already being sold, with a three-ounce (85-gram) serving providing about 400 IU of vitamin D (Osteoporosis Canada recommends that adults under 50 get 400 to 1,000 IU daily). William Stevens, CEO of the trade organization Mushrooms Canada, says, “A couple of Canadian producers are already testing this procedure.” He adds that “high D” or “sunshine” mushrooms should be in stores here in about six months or so.
Mushrooms are a good source of both insoluble chitin and soluble beta glucans, each a form of fiber which has a role to play in human health. Insoluble fiber is crucial to proper digestion, while soluble fiber can slow the rise in your body’s blood sugars after a meal and can also help moderate your blood pressure and cholesterol. A 2014 study published in the Czech Journal of Food Science evaluated white button mushrooms — Agaricus bisporus — and 19 others for their fiber content, and their ratio of insoluble to soluble fiber. The study concluded that all of the mushrooms it reviewed were good sources of dietary fiber, and that many prized wild mushrooms, such as porcini, were especially high in soluble fiber.
Most mushrooms have a high protein content, usually around 20-30% by dry weight. This can be useful for vegetarians or anyone looking to increase the protein content in their diet. Mushrooms provide a small amount of protein, only 2.2 grams per cup, which is about equal to the grams of carbohydrate. This is only 4 percent of your daily needs, so you should be sure to eat protein-rich foods as part of a balanced diet, such as legumes, nuts, dairy, meat, or fish.
Niacin and other important B vitamins
As certain B vitamins are found in animal tissue but not plants, this can be another good supplement for vegetarians.
Essential for the absorption of calcium. While we know that vitamin D is best obtained from sun exposure, certain kinds of mushrooms can also provide a decent source of this important vitamin. Vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem for many people and linked to everything from heart disease to depression.
Exposing mushrooms to UV light, whether they’re grown outdoors or indoors under certain light fixtures, increases their concentration of vitamin D. Eating vitamin D-rich foods can help reduce your risk for cancer, heart disease, mood disorders and bone loss. Studies show that in addition to supplying vitamin D2, mushrooms can also produce vitamin D3 (the kind best utilized by humans) and vitamin D4.
Aids in helping the body absorb oxygen and create red blood cells.
An antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals, thus preventing cell damage and reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. Mushrooms contain more selenium than any other form of produce. Rich in Selenium
The selenium content in mushrooms is one of its most beneficial elements that is often overlooked. The primary source of selenium is in animal proteins; however, due to their classification as fungi that feed on animal and plant matter, mushrooms are the best way for vegetarians to obtain the necessary amount of selenium. Selenium is found in large quantities in mushrooms and can benefit bone health by adding to the bone strength and increased durability. It also strengthens the teeth, hair, and nails. Furthermore, this essential nutrient is a powerful antioxidant, which rids the body of free radicals and generally strengthens the immune system. The bio-availability of selenium in mushrooms differs from one species to another, but the majority of commonly consumed mushrooms have significant levels of this important mineral.
An extremely important mineral that regulates blood pressure and keeps cells functioning properly. A large portobello mushroom is said to have more potassium than a banana.
Complex carbohydrates that stimulate the immune system.
Enzyme inhibiting activity
Mushrooms can inhibit the production of certain enzymes such as aromatase, which the body uses to make estrogen. This could reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Steroid-like molecules that inhibit histamine release and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Carbs in Mushrooms
One cup of raw mushrooms contains only 15 calories and 2.3 grams of carbohydrate, making it a low calorie, low carbohydrate food choice. Mushrooms are also a good source of fiber, particularly the soluble fiber, beta-glucan. The net carbs, after subtracting fiber, is 1.6 grams per cup of raw pieces. What sugar there is in mushrooms is mostly glucose. There are no scientific studies of the glycemic index of mushrooms since they are so low in carbohydrates. The glycemic load takes into account serving size and it is estimated to be low at a value of 2. They are assumed to have little effect on blood glucose or insulin response.
Fats in Mushrooms
Mushrooms have only a minuscule amount of fat, most of which is polyunsaturated fat. They have 97 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids per cup and no omega-3 fatty acids.
Micronutrients in Mushrooms
Mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of copper, niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), potassium, phosphorus, and iron. B vitamins assist in the release of energy from carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
Copper assists in energy production and iron utilization. It also maintains the integrity of connective tissues and assists antioxidant enzymes. Potassium is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. It is also required for proper nerve and muscle conduction and may help to lower blood pressure. Iron is a mineral that is needed for the synthesis of hemoglobin, DNA, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and certain hormones.
Increase Iron Absorption
Copper has a number of beneficial effects on the body and can be found in mushrooms. Copper can regulate and stimulate the absorption of iron from food, and properly utilize it by getting it released from primary storage spots in the body like the liver. Mushrooms also have high levels of iron, so the two work together for healthy bones and also prevent anemia.
Amazing Health Benefits of Mushroom
1. Heart Health
Mushrooms containno cholestrol or fat and they have fiber that help lower cholestrol levels. The high lean protein content found in them helps burn cholesterol when they are digested. Balancing levels of cholesterol between LDL or bad cholesterol and HDL or good cholesterol is essential in the prevention of
various cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.
2. Treat Anemia
Anemic patient have low levels of iron in their blood, resulting in fatigue, headaches, reduced neural function, and digestive issues. Mushrooms are a good source of iron, and over 90% of the nutritive iron value can be absorbed by the body, which promotes the formation of red blood cells.
3. Reduces Cancer Risk
Mushrooms have beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid which has anti carcinogenic effects linoleic acid is particularly helpful in suppressing the harmful effects of excess estrogen. This increase in estrogen is one of the prime causes of breast cancer in women after menopause. The beta-glucans, on the other hand, inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in cases of prostate cancer, and numerous studies have shown the antitumor properties of mushrooms when applied medicinally.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
Mushrooms have no fats, no cholesterol, very low levels of carbohydrates, high protein content. They contain a lot of water and fiber. They contain natural insulin and enzymes which help the breaking down of sugar or starch in food. They are also known to contain certain compounds which help proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, thereby promoting the formation of insulin and its proper regulation throughout the body.
5. Strengthens Bones
Mushrooms are a rich source of calcium, which is an essential nutrient in the formation and strengthening of bones. A steady supply of calcium in the diet can reduce your chances of developing conditions like osteoporosis, and can also reduce joint pain and general lack of mobility that is associated with bone degradation. Mushrooms also contain selenium which helps strengthen the bone and increase bone durability.
6. Boosts Immunity
Mushroom has ergothioneine which is an antioxidant which helps eliminate free radicals, which are dangerous compounds released during the metabolic processes of cells, and can float throughout the body and cause significant damage and diseases.
They also contain natural antibiotics which inhibit microbial growth and other fungal infections. These same polysaccharides, beta-glucans, can stimulate and regulate the body’s immune system. They can also help heal ulcers and ulcerous wounds and protect them from developing infections. The good combination of vitamin A, B-complex, and C that is found in them also strengthens the immune system.
7. Regulates Blood Pressure
Mushroom contains potassium which acts as a vasodilator and helps relax tension in blood vessels and, therefore, reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a number of deadly conditions, particularly heart attacks and strokes.
8. Skin Care
Hyaluronic acid is considered as the body’s internal moisturizer as it plumps up and firms your skin. It reduces age-related wrinkles and fine lines. Mushroom contains a polysaccharide that is equally beneficial in hydrating and providing a plumping effect to the skin.
Mushrooms contain antioxidants as well as compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Topical use of these natural compounds promotes healing and fights inflammation. Mushroom extracts are often used in skin products for treating skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and acne.
9. Aids in Weight Loss
Mushrooms are low in fat and cholestrol. They are also low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Most fats are burnt to digest proteins found in our food, more so when the protein is accompanied by a very low carbohydrate count, no fat or cholesterol, and a good amount of fiber. This is exactly the combination that mushrooms offer to help in losing weight
10. Hair Health
Iron helps combat hair loss and is involved in the formation of red blood cells, thus strengthening the hair. They also contain copper which is beneficial for the hair as it facilitates the absorption of iron from food. It is involved in the production of melanin, a pigment that imparts color to the hair.
11. Be good to your bladder
An analysis of seven studies — published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention — showed that the higher the level of selenium, as measured in blood serum and toenails, the lower the risk of bladder cancer. Selenium had a significant protective effect mainly among women, which the researchers believe may result from gender-specific differences in this its accumulation and excretion. Several types of mushrooms are rich in this essential trace mineral: 100 grams of raw crimini have 47 percent of your daily needs, cooked shiitakes have 45 percent and raw white button have 17 percent.
12. Kick up your metabolism
B vitamins are vital for turning food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which the body burns to produce energy. They also help the body metabolize fats and protein. Mushrooms contain loads of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin): 100 grams (31/2 ounces) of crimini have 44 percent and 30 percent of your daily recommended amount, respectively, white button have 36 and 30 percent, and oyster mushrooms have 32 and 39 percent.
13. Eat your antioxidants
When it comes to antioxidants — the substances that help fight free radicals that are the result of oxidation in our body — we’re more likely to think of colourful vegetables than neutral-hued mushrooms. But a study at Penn State university showed that the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) — a measure of a food’s total antioxidants — of crimini and portobello mushrooms were about the same as for red peppers.
Incorporating more mushrooms into the diet
When buying mushrooms at the market, chose ones that are firm, dry, and unbruised. Avoid mushrooms that appear slimy or withered. Store mushrooms in the refrigerator and do not wash or trim them until ready for use.
Quick tips for preparing mushrooms:
- Sauté any type of mushroom with onions for a quick and tasty side dish
- Add raw sliced crimini mushrooms or white mushrooms to top any salad
- Make stuffed portabella mushrooms by filling them with your favorite ingredients and baking
- Add sliced mushrooms to omelets, breakfast scrambles and quiches
- Grill portabella mushrooms and use them on sandwiches or in wraps
- While most of us are familiar with white or button mushrooms, other types are available.
One 19-gram shiitake mushroom, popular in Japanese cuisine, contains:
- 6 calories
- 0.09 grams of fat
- 1.29 grams of carbohydrate, including 0.45 grams of sugar
- 0.43 grams of protein
- 0.5 grams of dietary fiber
- Shiitake mushrooms can be sautéed in broth or olive oil for a healthy side dish.
One whole 84-gram portabella mushroom contains:
- 18 calories
- 0.29 grams of fat
- 3.25 grams of carbohydrate, of which 2.10 grams is sugar
- 1.77 grams of protein
- 1.1 gram of dietary fiber
To enjoy a portabella mushroom, clean it, remove the stem, and marinate it a mixture of olive oil, onion, garlic, and vinegar for an hour. Then place under a hot grill for 10 minutes.
Maximize Your Mushroom Mileage
Consider these points to get the most out of the high nutritional value of mushrooms.
- Buy organic or grow your own – Mushrooms channel compounds from the environment in which they were harvested. Thus if they fruit in a polluted area, they’ll contain toxins. Be aware of how your mushrooms were grown.
- Love the high water content – Be mindful that they’re 70 – 90% water. While this can help fill you up, it also means that the heaping portion of healthy fungus you’re eating is smaller than you think it is. Start seeing them as more than just a garnish and add them to larger quantities in meals.
- Eat a variety – Different species have different levels of nutrients. Eat a variety of mushrooms to get broad-spectrum benefits. Or you can tailor a plan for yourself based on health goals.
- Cook ’em – Mushrooms have tough cell walls, which lock health benefits away in indigestible chitin. Cooking them makes these molecules more available and can help neutralize smaller levels of toxins. They really shouldn’t be eaten raw.
- Use first time caution – Some people are allergic to mushrooms. Only try a small amount of a new mushroom for the first time. If collecting them from the wild, be sure you know what you’ve picked.
- Eat a healthy diet – Your mushroom nutrition benefits will be pointless if you eat a lot of junk or cook them in unhealthy oils.
Although once believed to be not that important, one can see the nutritional value of mushrooms is actually quite impressive! From healing properties to vitamins, they’re obviously beneficial to the body.
How to Buy and Cook Mushrooms
Look for fresh or dried mushrooms in grocery stores, health food stores or at your local farmers market, where you might be able to find some rarer types that have their own special benefits. It’s important to buy and eat organically grown mushrooms because they’re very porous and have the tendency to easily absorb chemicals from the soil they’re grown in.
Mushrooms can contain high levels of toxins like heavy metals and pesticides when they’re chemically sprayed or exposed to water pollutants, so it’s worth the extra money to buy the best quality you can. Dried mushrooms might be a bit more expensive than fresh ones, but they’re a good option when mushrooms aren’t in season.
To wash mushrooms, some need just a wipe down with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dirt (like shiitake, portobello, crimini and button mushrooms). But others ideally should be cleaned using a delicate brush (like chanterelles). Since mushrooms absorb water easily, you don’t want to rinse them for too long or keep them submerged in water — this can make them “water-logged.” A quick rinse to get off any visible dirt is enough.
Keep them dry in the refrigerator until the time you’re ready to use them, and remember that they have a short shelf life so the quicker you use them, the better. Many people like to store them in a paper bag (not a plastic one). This allows air to move in and out, which can keep them in better condition.
When it come to cooking mushrooms, each type needs to be handled a bit differently. Dried mushrooms, for example, can be rehydrated by combining them with boiling water and letting them sit for about 15 minutes so they plump up to a larger volume.
Large mushrooms like portabellas can be baked and still hold their firm texture, but more delicate mushrooms like shiitakes and cremini are best for sautéing in a pan or wok. Keep in mind mushrooms absorb a lot of liquid at first, but they release their water so don’t feel the need to drown them in sauce or oil.
Recipes and Preparation Tips
When shopping for mushrooms, look for fresh mushrooms that are clean and free of blemishes, such as soft, moist spots and discoloration. Fresh mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator in an open container for about five days. Do not wash them until just before use.
Mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, broiling, sauteing, and roasting. They are a hearty, vegetarian ingredient that can add texture, flavor, and substance to meals. Use mushrooms when making sauces, stews, and soups, or simply chop them up, saute them, and add them to grains, potatoes, or egg dishes. Mushroom caps serve as a good vehicle for stuffing. Raw mushrooms can hold spreads and dips, or they can be baked with other kinds of stuffing, such as seafood or cheeses mixed with herbs, spices, and vegetables.
Start your day off with a protein and fiber-rich egg dish or pair your main course with a side of simply grilled mushrooms. Top healthy pizzas with mushrooms or add them to your sides. Use them as a substitute for meat if you are looking to follow a vegetarian or vegan meal plan.
A Recipe for Crustless Smoked Salmon, Leek, and Mushroom Quiche
This crustless quiche is easy to make and is a great brunch, lunch, and even dinner dish. The fact that it is without a crust makes it gluten-free and low in carbohydrates, putting this delicious egg dish back on the menu for those with dietary restrictions or watching their carbs.
The smoked salmon lends a nice salty flavor; this recipe calls for canned smoked salmon, but you could try it with lox-type salmon if you like. Plain canned salmon is great in this as well. If you’ve never cooked with leeks before you need to be sure to rinse thoroughly—sand and dirt can hide between the leek’s layers.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts, sliced (should be about 1 cup of 1/4-inch slices)
- 4 ounces mushrooms (wild or shiitake are nice for this, but any will do)
- 1 small red pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 ounces smoked salmon
- 3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese or other cheese of your choice
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk, cream, unsweetened soy or almond milk, or a combination
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, or a dash of hot sauce
- Black pepper to taste
- Paprika for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Heat oil in large skillet and saute leeks. When they begin to soften, add mushrooms. After a minute or two, add the peppers. Add a little salt, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Just before taking off the heat, add the thyme.
- Meanwhile, crumble salmon into a pie plate. Cover with the cooked vegetables, and then sprinkle with the cheese.
- In a bowl, blend eggs, milk, mustard, cayenne, salt to taste (not too much if salmon is salty), and black pepper.
- You can use an eggbeater or whisk, but a blender works really well.
- Pour the egg mixture over the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle with paprika.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and set. Start checking after 20 minutes—if it’s getting too brown but the middle is too liquidy, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake, checking often. The center should still be a bit loose when done. Take it out of the oven or the rest will overcook—the center will finish cooking from the heat as it sits.
Mushroom Barley Risotto With Chicken
Mushrooms are not only packed with savory umami, but they are also a good source of B vitamins and selenium, an antioxidant that may play a role in reducing risk of chronic disease. Mushrooms contain a lot of water, making them a low calorie fungi. They release a lot of their water during cooking and are a classic addition to a risotto dish.
This dish adds lean chicken breast for protein and instead of arborio rice, uses pearled barley for a heartier, whole grain base. Barley contains high levels of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber with cancer fighting properties. Beta-glucan may also play a beneficial role in insulin resistance. Be sure to top your barley risotto with plenty of fresh chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5.5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are turning golden brown.
- Add the chopped chicken to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through.
- Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.
- In a small pot, bring the broth to a boil and then turn off the heat.
- Heat the olive oil in the large skillet over medium high heat and add the onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the barley to the onion and saute for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the warm broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, until most of the broth is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until the barley is tender, about 50 minutes.
- During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the mushroom and chicken mixture.
- Finish the dish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan. Add additional salt and pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste.
Vegetarian Herbed Mushroom Bolognese Recipe
Have you ever tried making homemade Bolognese sauce? It normally takes a long time, with a bunch of simmering, and about a pound of beef or other red meat. While delicious and made with mostly simple ingredients, real Bolognese is not the easiest weeknight dinner and can sometimes be full of saturated fat, depending on the type of meat used.
This healthy version of Bolognese is made with fiber-rich lentils and mushrooms instead of meat for a delicious sauce that simmers for just 30 minutes. It’s delicious, filling, and the perfect topping for pasta or your favorite vegetable “noodles.” Top with a sprinkle of good quality cheese and a side salad for a meatless meal any night of the week.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 (28-ounce) can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 3/4 cup dry lentils
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over low heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and simmer on low heat 30 minutes, or until lentils are cooked through.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
- If you won’t be using the rest of the bunch of parsley, you may want to opt for buying dried parsley.
- Use a tablespoon dried parsley in place of fresh and save the rest for future use.
- Use one small can mushrooms, drained and rinsed, in place of fresh if needed.
- If your lentils are already cooked, omit the water. Prepping a batch of lentils ahead of time, like at the beginning of the week to use in salads and in this recipe, can save time and effort on the cooking day.
- For a spicy version, add one teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
Cooking and Serving Tips
- Check sauce occasionally and add water as needed as lentils absorb the liquid. Add about two tablespoons at a time.
- Serve sauce over whole wheat spaghetti, cooked spaghetti squash, or zucchini noodles. Sprinkle with a bit of good quality, freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
So you bought a bag of barley and are thinking, “what do I do with the rest of the bag?” Try cooked barley as a breakfast cereal, a vehicle for grain-based salads, or use it in soup. You can even swap the barley for Italian farro for a variation on the whole grain (and then use the rest to make this herbed farro salad with pomegranate and feta).
As usual, you can swap the chicken for any type of cooked bean. Love mushrooms? Seek them out at your local farmer’s market and experiment with different wild varieties. For extra vegetable flavor, stir in a handful of chopped spinach during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Cooking and Serving Tips
- Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding an extra splash of broth or water if it becomes too thick.
- Whole grains like barley, wheat berries, or farro take a while to cook. This is because the layer of bran surrounding each grain acts as a barrier, slowing down the rate at which water can penetrate to the center. Pearled barley has most of the bran layer removed, but it can still take a long time to cook.
- To speed up cooking time, try soaking the barley in water overnight, then drain, rinse and use in recipes. Soaking grains may also increase the availability and absorbability of certain nutrients.
Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips
If you are not familiar with working with leeks, it is important that they are cleaned well before using. The layers can often have sand or dirt between them. To rinse leeks, slice them in half from top to bottom. Hold each half under running cold water, fanning out the layers to make sure they are cleaned well. If you prefer not to use leeks, you can substitute onions or shallots.
Almost any kind of cheese or combination of cheeses will work in this recipe but don’t use too much of a strong-flavored cheese or it will overpower the rest of the ingredients.
Grilled Portobello Burger Recipe
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 portobello mushrooms, stems off
- 4 slices of raw cheese
- 1 to 2 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 medium sized onion, sliced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 4 gluten free hamburger buns (optional)
- Heat up a grill to a medium heat
- Mix coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a bowl.
- Coat both sides of mushrooms with mixture
- Grill mushrooms, stems side up, for approx 3 minutes, then turn and grill for additional 5 minutes.
- Grill Red Bell Pepper slices for 6 minutes. (3 minutes per side)
- With 3 minutes remaining the buns on the grill, cut side down.
- Remove everything from grill and allow to rest for a couple minutes
- Serve by placing mushroom on bun with onion and tomato
Mushroom Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1½ tablespoons arrowroot powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅛ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the dill, paprika, coconut amines and broth.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the milk and arrowroot powder together. Pour this into the soup and stir well to blend. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the salt, ground black pepper, lemon juice, and parsley.
- Allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Green Bean Casserole Recipe
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 pound green beans, ends snapped
- 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
- 2¼ tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons paleo flour
- 1 cup organic goat milk or kefir
- ⅔ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup gluten-free crackers
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Fill a large pot with water and add 1 tablespoon of salt; bring water to a boil. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Drain the beans in a colander and immediately plunge them into an ice bath. Once cooled, drain the beans again and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels (don’t skip this part!). Set aside.
- Cut mushrooms into small pieces.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil; add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the cooked green beans and mushroom mixture to a lightly greased, 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Toss gently.
- To the same skillet used to cook the mushrooms, add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons flour; heat over medium-high heat and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and continue whisking until all of the mixture is creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Add this roux to the green bean-mushroom mixture and gently toss to coat.
- Add the pumpkin seeds, Gluten-Free Crackers, and a pinch of salt to a blender or food processor; process by pulsing about 10 quick times. Top green bean-mushroom mixture with the pumpkin seed mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Garnish with whole pumpkin seeds before serving.
Unique Benefits for Different Types of Mushrooms
Here are the major types of disease-fighting mushrooms you should try to regularly include in your diet for their protective, immune-enhancing effects:
Reishi mushrooms have been used for thousands of years as a way to fight chronic disease. Today, we know from scientific studies that they’re in fact capable of doing what the Chinese have always speculated they could: fighting inflammation, cancer, heart disease, hormonal imbalances, neuro-degenerative problems, mood disorders and more.
Reishi mushrooms, a type of bitter, woody fungi, are known as one of the top natural superfoods in existence. Reishi mushrooms are a type of powerful adaptogen that help the body deal with stress, whether physical or psychological, so they’re a natural remedy for anxiety.
When taken in tincture, capsule or tablet form, they have the unique ability to increase energy and also bring on a feeling of calm at the same time, making them an all-around mood booster and “brain food.” They can help heal adrenal fatigue and are sometimes called the “medicine of kings” because they can improve memory and concentration while also helping bust stress and facilitate restful sleep.
How do reishi mushrooms do so much? Their beta-glucans increase the immune system’s T-cell levels, which means they help lower inflammatory responses caused by stress, stimulants, a poor diet or other environmental factors. This is especially beneficial for people suffering from immune disorders or adrenal or chronic fatigue.
This immune boost that you receive from reishi mushrooms can help reduce cancer cell growth and the spread of tumors, but that’s not all — they also contain ganoderic acids that lower cholesterol, triglyceride levels and blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of blood clots and even help correct heart arrhythmia. Reishis also contain lanostan, an antihistamine that can act as a natural arthritis cure and also soothe muscle aches.
Shiitake mushrooms contain many chemical compounds that protect your DNA from oxidative damage — for example, lentinan, a substance that can heal chromosome damage caused by anti-cancer treatments. In Japan, shiitake mushrooms provide this special chemical component known as lentinan, which is used to prolong longevity and act as a natural treatment for cancer.
Eritadenine substances are also found in shiitakes, which help reduce cholesterol levels, while lentinula edodes mycelium (LEM) helps prevent and treat cancer (especially of the stomach and digestive organs), heart disease, hepatitis, high blood pressure and infectious diseases.
In addition, revealed in the Journal of Nutrition, shiitake mushroom nutrition benefits include antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects, as well as helping to control blood sugar and reduce the symptoms of inflammatory diseases. Shiitakes are also unique for a plant since they contain all eight essential amino acids along with a type of essential fatty acid called linoleic acid. Look for them in most grocery stores, especially Asian markets.
Cordyceps are sometimes known as anti-aging mushrooms since they can help increase stamina and endurance due to their ability to help the body produce ATP, the primary fuel our bodies run on. In fact, in Chinese folk medicine they’re known to be “invigorants” and believed to act as a gentle stimulant, a tonic and an adaptogen used to increase energy and reduce fatigue.
They also act as protectors of mitochondria by scavenging reactive oxygen species, inhibiting mitochondrial swelling and increasing the activities of antioxidant substances, which makes them a natural anti-aging food.
Similar to reishi mushrooms, numerous studies find that cordyceps mushrooms can help as a natural cancer remedy by inhibiting cancer cell division and growth. Cordyceps interfere with how cancer cells make proteins and stop metastatic spread of cancerous tumors. They’re usually hard to find fresh, so look for them dried or in capsule or tablet form.
In addition to being loaded with vitamins, maitake mushroom nutrition benefits are due to special polysaccharide components called beta-1,6 glucan, which stimulates the immune system. Many of maitake’s compounds are even classified as host defense potentiators and are used in Asia as an adjunctive treatment for cancer. They can even help minimize toxic effects of radiation or chemotherapy.
In studies, maitake mushroom nutrition is linked to enhanced immunity and the ability to balance hormones naturally and reduce the growth of cancerous tumors. Maitake mushrooms have even improved the health of AIDS patients and the blood sugar levels of diabetics. They may also reduce hypertension and protect people from heart disease.
Oyster mushroom nutrition benefits include the ability to naturally reduce joint pain and muscle aches due to their anti-inflammatory effects — for example, they’re shown to reduce tightness in tendons. They’re also a heart-healthy fungus with the ability to strengthen blood vessel walls and lower the risk for heart attack or a stroke.
Additionally, they’re an excellent way to address a possible iron deficiency, especially if you don’t eat much meat, which can help prevent anemia, low energy, poor concentration and weakness. Oyster mushrooms are available at certain spatiality food stores, in dried mushroom packages or at some farmers markets.
Cremini/White Button Mushrooms
You might suspect that the tasty, familiar mushrooms in your grocery store aren’t very valuable — but think again. What may surprise you is just how many benefits of cremini (or white button) mushrooms are proven in studies.
These ordinary mushrooms are super dense with nutrients, including having more copper, potassium, protein and selenium than either oyster or shiitake mushrooms. They’re also a good source of phosphorus, zinc, niacin and pantothenic acid, especially when you cook them down and eat more than one cup at a time.
Research shows that extracts from creminis can reduce hormonal imbalances and prevent hormone-dependent types of cancer, especially breast cancer. A benefit of cremini mushroom nutrition is the high source of conjugated linolenic acid, which is a type of fatty acid that controls the production of estrogen and can stop cancerous tumor growth in some instances by blocking certain enzymes’ effects.
Similar to white mushrooms, porcinis, portabellas and morels are also mushrooms loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, so include in these recipes often too.
Negative Effects Of Mushrooms
Mushrooms, better known as “shrooms,” “caps” or “magic mushrooms,” are a type of drug. Though they are naturally occurring, they are not any less dangerous than synthetic drugs. Certain compounds are found in nature yet this makes them no less hazardous or lethal to a user. One can take for example snake venom, poison ivy or datura, as natural examples of dangerous substances.
Although lethality is debatable for hallucinogenic mushrooms, with folk tales telling of death resulting in ingesting as few as three or as many as 21, its dangers on mental health can be devastating to the addict’s life and can deteriorate a person’s career, outlook on life, and family ties. The effects of mushroom addiction can be widespread in a person’s life, with the effects of long-term abuse potentially affecting the person’s personality.
Some of the individuals may experience fatigue after consuming mushrooms. You may also feel discomfort and unenergetic. This side effect has been common among many people. This side effect might make few individuals, to skip them in the daily routine.
2. Stomach Upset
Some of the mushrooms side effects also create stomach problems among many. In some people, diarrhea has been a problem in eating mushrooms. The other stomach problems, which one might experience, are vomiting, cramping and nausea.
3. Absent Minded
An individual might also be in a state of hallucination. Hallucination is the state in which an individual becomes absent minded. The mushrooms alter the perception of reality after consumption for sometime. This hallucination effects are compared to the effect caused by LSD drugs. The individuals experiences this effect within twenty minutes of consumption. After half an hour to forty minutes the effect reaches its peak. Some may also hear sounds louder than normal in their stomach.
4. Skin Allergies
Mushrooms are known to make the immune system strong. While for some people, the mushrooms also result in skin rashes and skin irritations. Some also experience nose bleeding, dry nose and dry throat and other problems when they are taken in excess amount.
5. Tingling Sensation
After 20 to 30 minutes of consumption of mushrooms, some people feet happy and excited. Then, along with the feeling of being excited, they also experience a tingling sensation in their whole body. After some time people also experience being depressed.
6. Avoiding During Pregnancy
Some doctors suggest women to avoid consuming mushrooms during breast feeding and pregnancy. Though no serious side effects are reported, it is better to stay on the safe side by avoiding them.
Certain drugs cause headaches as side effects, which wears off after sometime. But some people experienced such headaches for more than a day, after consuming mushrooms.
Mushrooms also cause anxiety in certain people, which ranges from mild to extreme levels. This side effects worsen when mushrooms are taken in high doses.
9. Mental Illness
Mental illness is the most serious side effect caused by mushrooms in certain people. Mental disorders, such as immense fear, panic attacks are experienced after taking mushrooms.
Some people have also reported serious dizziness after few hours of consumption. Mushrooms also cause confusion when consumed in high dosage. They also cause consciousness for those with low blood pressure.