Fall means mushrooms! Mushrooms are not to be missed ingredients during this season and it’s time to take full advantage of their benefits. In this post, I am also giving you my tips on how to choose or pick them well and avoid getting intoxicated without knowing it.
Benefits of mushrooms
Mushrooms contain many compounds beneficial to your health.
Firstly vitamins, such as Vitamins B and especially B2, B3, B5 and B9. They also contain many minerals and oligo-elements in different proportions depending on the species. The main ones are phosphorus, selenium, potassium and copper, which are present in significant amounts compared to the Dietary Reference Values.
All these elements contribute to the good functioning of your neuromuscular system as well as to your skin health among other things. They also play a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and some of them, such as selenium, are involved in anti-oxidation reactions.
Mushrooms are also one of the few foods to bring you Vitamin D. This one is usually synthesised by your body when you stay in the sun, but another source becomes necessary when the days get shorter and you spend them locked in the office. This vitamin is very important because it allows the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the intestines which then ensure the good health of your bone system.
In addition to all this, mushrooms are low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol and also low in calories. So why do without them 🙂
Be careful, hidden danger!
But be careful about the origin of the mushrooms you buy or where you pick them.
Indeed, the soil and the environment in which a mushroom grows can make it harmful for your health. Thanks to the mycelium (the “roots” of the mushroom), it will draw all the elements of the soil around him. And that includes the nutrients it needs to grow, as well as radioactive compounds or heavy metals that are stored in soils …
So, do not pick mushrooms on the roadside to avoid poisoning yourself with lead and mercury. And when you do your shopping, check which country they were harvested from. If it’s a very polluted country, I advise you not to buy them. Besides, if you care about the planet like me, only eat mushrooms that have been produced or harvested locally.
My little picking tips
If you go picking instead of buying them in store, prepare yourself by learning the distinctive signs of mushrooms that usually grow in your area. Here is a great website to help you identify them.
Only pick the mushrooms you know inside out. The best is to go picking with an expert. If you have any doubt about a mushroom, leave it! Indeed, the slightest contact between a poisonous mushroom and a container or other fungi contaminates them and you will have to throw everything away. If you can, go picking with an expert.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, now there are even kits of grow-at-home mushrooms like those of the French start-up Prêt à Pousser or Champipousse or Mushroombox in the UK! I have not tried these yet but I love the idea 🙂