All About Mushrooms
The misunderstood mushroom
Mushrooms may be among the most misunderstood life forms on the planet. They are not plants, nor are they animals. In fact, mushrooms have their own kingdom, with makes them unique. And within the mushroom kingdom there are many species of mushrooms, each having a different flavor, texture, and medicinal properties. But all edible mushrooms provide a wealth of benefits for the earth and the people on it.
Packed with nutrients
Mushrooms provide us with a great number of nutritional benefits. They are an excellent sources of protein, potassium, and fiber. They’re also chock full of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin, along with Iron, vitamin D, Vitamin C, selenium, and calcium.
At the same time, mushrooms are low in fat, calories and carbohydrates. In fact, you could say mushrooms are one of nature’s most perfect foods!
Good for the environment.
Mushrooms play an important role in the environment, breaking down logs, leaves, stems, and other organic matter in the forest to recycle essential nutrients. Many are vital to the growth and survival of trees. They form a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship, with the trees giving mushrooms glucose and mushrooms providing trees with essential minerals.
Not all mushrooms grow on wood, though. Some grow from the ground, feeding on humus and organic materials in the soil.
The Greeks believed that mushrooms provided their warriors with strength for battle. And the oldest known medical documents from China describe the reishi mushroom as being good for the heart, memory, intellect, and longevity.
About 700 of the 3,000 edible species of mushrooms have useful medicinal properties. Reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms, in particular, have demonstrated enormous healing potential. They’ve been shown to lower the risk of cancer, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and boost heart health. In fact, the shiitake mushroom actually can lower cholesterol levels.