What’s on my plate? Mushrooms. They may be easily available with your local vegetable vendor, but don’t confuse mushrooms to be a vegetable. They belong to the fungi kingdom and are loaded with essential nutrients. More than 2,500 different varieties grow in the wild, but only a few are edible.
Superpower: Like us, they produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and are the only vegetarian source of this critical sunshine vitamin. The antioxidant and selenium-rich (a mineral which you don’t find in many fruit or vegetable) mushrooms are known to strengthen the immunity, have cancer fighting powers and—whether they are crimini, enoki, oyster, portobello, shiitake, maitake or buttons—are low in calories, have virtually no fat, sugar or salt. Numerous studies reveal that mushrooms may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer; and are a valuable source of dietary fibre as well as the five B vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and folate. Researchers at US-based Pennsylvania State University found that just a handful of white button mushrooms has about 12 times more of the powerful antioxidant, L-Ergothioneine than wheatgerm and four times more than chicken liver, previously thought to be the best sources. Meanwhile, South Korean-based Hanyang University found mushrooms may lower the risk of breast cancer.
Where to buy: The humble white button mushrooms are available with your local vegetable vendor too, while the more exotic variants are sold at supermarkets, high-end grocery stores or you can order them online.
Eat this: Their high-water content makes them perfect for starter dishes like soups and stews, even main course dishes such as pasta or risotto as well as a barbeque and tea-time snacks as well, how would you fancy a mushroom bruschetta? In fact, mushrooms are so versatile that they taste delicious with an Indian curry too.
Now that you know the health benefits of mushrooms, here are some mushroom recipes to get you started!
Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Amla: This superfood can fix every part of your body! Don’t believe us? Read on to find out the health benefits of amla.
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.
Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.
Black Carrots: You’ve seen the red ones and you’ve seen the orange ones, but ever witnessed black carrots? Check out how they look and their many health benefits.
Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.
Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.
Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.
Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.
Dandelion: Not only do they brighten up your garden, but dandelions also boost your health. Confused about how you can include this flower in your diet? We have answers for you right here.
Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.
Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.
Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.
Karela: Reading this will prevent you from screwing up your face every time someone mentions karela.
Kokum: Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.
Makhana or Lotus Seeds: It is rapidly becoming the choice of snack for weight watchers. Check out the nutrient profile of this incredible superfood.
Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.
Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.
Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.
Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!
Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!
Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.
Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.
Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.
Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favorite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.