Mushrooms contain certain compounds that aid human immune system function, like beta-glucans, lectins and polysaccharides.
Scientific research has shown that these compounds can stimulate the immune system to produce cytokines, which could help fight off infections and diseases.
There are around 38,000 varieties of mushrooms in the world. Of those, only 100 are considered edible by humans, but many are known to have medicinal properties
The healthiest mushrooms you can grow at home include Lion's Mane, Enoki, and King Oyster mushrooms. These three types of fungi contain a wide range of nutrients that promote good health.
According to studies, Oyster mushrooms are a good source of protein, minerals, vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants such as Selenium.
Mushrooms contain antioxidants that protect body cells from damage that may lead to chronic illnesses and strengthen the immune system.
In addition, oyster mushrooms are low in calories, cholesterol-free, fat-free, gluten-free, and low in sodium. Eating Oyster mushrooms appears to decrease the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease
Oyster mushrooms are rich in beta-glucan, an anti-tumour agent that functions by preventing cancer cells from multiplying.
It also activates macrophages, cells of the immune system that eliminates harmful substances like bacteria and dead cells in the body.
Oyster mushrooms are one of the few vegetables containing significant amounts of vitamin D, a nutrient that is difficult to obtain from food.
Oyster mushrooms also contain some ergosterol and other compounds that help the body absorb more vitamin D from sunlight.
How to Eat Oyster Mushrooms in the Best Way Possible
Some favourite methods of preparing Oyster mushrooms include:
- Saute the mushrooms to a pan with 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic, and green onion. Serve as a side with any meat dish.
- Mushrooms may be added to soups and stews as a meat extender, providing extra flavour and texture.
- Serve over fettuccine with Parmesan cheese and green onions. Poach the mushrooms in butter and cream, then combine with pasta, Parmesan cheese, and green onions.
Shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, a substance that reduces blood sugar levels. Eritadenine can also help regulate insulin and lower total cholesterol by increasing the conversion of bad cholesterol to good cholesterol
Shiitake mushrooms are a more recent discovery in commercial cultivation. The first documented case of Shiitake growth on logs was recorded in China between 1368-1644.
In Japan, Shiitake mushrooms have been cultivated for the last 700 years and are a vital part of their cuisine.
Dried Shiitake mushrooms, which are available in most health food stores and many supermarkets, are high in umami flavour and can be used as a meat substitute.
Shiitake mushrooms have nearly all of the same amino acids as meat, making them one of the healthiest types of mushrooms for vegans or people who choose to eat no meat.
Shiitake mushrooms are native to East and Southeast Asia, where they grow on decaying wood from deciduous trees in warm, moist climates.
How to Eat Shiitake Mushrooms in the Best Way Possible
You may use rehydrated, dried, or fresh Shiitake mushrooms in your cooking. They provide a robust flavour to meals.
Some favourite methods of preparing Shiitake mushrooms include:
- Steamed with butter, garlic, and spices for a healthy side to any meat dish.
- Ground the dried mushrooms into powder form and use them as a flavouring in vegan recipes or protein shakes.
- Poach fresh Shiitake mushrooms in butter-flavoured water before serving over pasta
- Serve as a side dish with sautéed greens.
- Stir-frying works well with the addition of chunks of shiitake mushrooms
- Mix them into pasta
- Drop them into soups and stews
- For a crispy treat, roast them for a few minutes.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion's Mane mushrooms are one of the top fungi to have for brain health. It is known to contain Francine and hericenones, compounds that help promote nerve growth factor synthesis.
Lion’s Main mushrooms can protect against dementia according to healthline.com. Not only that, but they also help relieve minor symptoms of anxiety and depression, possibly assist in the recovery of nervous system injuries, protect the digestive tract against ulcers, reduce the risk of heart disease, help manage diabetic symptoms, and may even help fight cancer.
Lion's mane mushrooms are native to northern regions of Japan, China, Korea, eastern Siberia, France, and Germany, the Northern part of the United States and Canada, where they grow on dead or decaying trees.
They prefer to grow on hardwoods, but can also be found growing on conifers.
How to Eat Lion's Mane Mushrooms in the Best Way Possible
Lion's mane mushrooms should only be eaten cooked, as the raw version may upset your stomach due to its tough cell walls.
Some favourite methods of preparing Lion's Mane mushrooms include:
- Sautéed in vegan butter and onions, then combined with toast and a poached egg for a healthy breakfast.
- Ground dried or fresh Lion's mane mushrooms into powder form and add them to smoothies or protein shakes.
- Sauteed in vegan butter and added to a portobello mushroom sandwich with caramelized onions, baby arugula, balsamic vinegar reduction, and fresh mozzarella cheese for a gourmet treat.
The stems of Lion's mane mushrooms are tough and should be cut off before cooking.
The delicate, almost cloud-like enoki mushrooms are native to Asia, where they grow on dead trees in dense forests.
Enoki mushrooms are low in calories and high in vitamin K which helps with blood clotting.
One of the first types of fungus studied for cancer prevention is enoki mushrooms. They are also rich in vitamin A and B, potassium, iron, and dietary fibre.
Their health benefits include strengthening the immune system, aiding digestive health, promoting weight loss, and preventing diabetes.
This mushroom species grows naturally on the stumps of deciduous trees in the northern hemisphere, including Asia and Eastern North America.
How to Eat Enoki Mushrooms in the Best Way Possible
Enoki mushrooms should be eaten cooked as a healthy side dish to any meat or tofu.
Some favourite methods of preparing Enoki mushrooms include:
- Mixed with brown rice, sauteed vegetables, and soy sauce for a nutritious dinner
- Sauteed with eggs and served over toast for breakfast
- Ground dried or fresh Enoki
- Steamed, pan-fried, or added to pasta dishes, soups, and stew.
King Oyster Mushrooms
King oyster mushroom is loaded with beneficial nutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6.
King Oyster mushrooms contain significant amounts of dietary fibre which helps improve digestion and bowel regularity.
They are also rich in antioxidants that help fight free radical damage, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
This mushroom species grows in clusters on hardwood trees in North America, Europe, northern Africa, temperate regions in South America, Central America and Southeast Asia.
How to Eat King Oyster Mushrooms in the Best Way Possible
The King Oyster mushroom is known for its unique appearance and taste. It has thick, meaty flesh with a delicate texture.
King Oyster mushrooms should be eaten cooked from fresh or dried
Some favourite methods of preparing King Oyster mushrooms include:
- Mixed with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and brown sugar for a sweet and sour stir fry.
- Baked with vegan mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, then served on a toasted bagel for a healthy lunch.
- Ground dried or fresh King Oyster mushrooms into powder form and add them to smoothies or protein shakes.
Health benefits of growing (and eating!) your own mushrooms
The health benefits of growing mushrooms at home are abundant. A great way to get your family more interested in eating healthy is by growing them at home.
These healthful additions will not only save you money but they may also improve both flavour and nutrition in your favourites dishes
The best ways to eat all three is in the form of cooked dishes such as stir-fries, omelettes, meat dishes.
With the help of this article, one can start growing mushrooms at home to improve their health and to save money.
These are the best type of mushrooms to grow indoors since it has been shown that they have high levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibre which are essential for good health. They can be added to the soup.