Gift of nature – mushrooms

Mushrooms are not plants or animals, they are a separate kingdom. Those mushrooms that we collect and eat are only a small part of a large living organism. The basis is mycelium. This is a living body, as if woven from thin threads. The mycelium is usually hidden in the soil or other nutrient substance, and can spread hundreds of meters. It is invisible until the body of the fungus develops on it, whether it be a chanterelle, a toadstool or a “bird’s nest”.

In the 1960s mushrooms were classified as fungi (lat. – fungi). This family also includes yeasts, myxomycetes, and some other related organisms.

An estimated 1,5 to 2 million species of fungi grow on Earth, and only 80 of them have been properly identified. Theoretically, for 1 type of green plant, there are 6 types of mushrooms.

In some ways mushrooms are closer to animalsthan to plants. Like us, they breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Mushroom protein is similar to animal protein.

Mushrooms grow from disputeand not seeds. One mature mushroom produces as many as 16 billion spores!

Hieroglyphs found in the tombs of the pharaohs indicate that the Egyptians considered mushrooms “plant of immortality”. At that time, only members of royal families could eat mushrooms; commoners were forbidden to eat these fruits.

In the language of some South American tribes, mushrooms and meat are denoted by the same word, considering them to be nutritionally equivalent.

The ancient Romans called mushrooms “food of the gods”.

In Chinese folk medicine, mushrooms have been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of ailments. Western science is now beginning to use the medically active compounds found in mushrooms. Penicillin and streptomycin are examples of potent antibioticsderived from mushrooms. Other antibacterial and antiviral compounds are also found in this kingdom.

Mushrooms are considered strong immunomodulators. They help fight asthma, allergies, arthritis and other diseases. This property of mushrooms is currently being actively investigated by Western physicians, although the healing properties of fungi can be spread much more widely.

Just like humans, mushrooms produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet radiation. The latter is used in the industrial cultivation of mushrooms. For example, a serving of mitaki contains 85% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin D. Today, much attention is paid to the deficiency of this vitamin, which is associated with many diseases, including cancer.

Mushrooms are:

  • Source of niacin

  • Source of selenium, fiber, potassium, vitamins B1 and B2

  • Does not contain cholesterol

  • Low in calories, fat and sodium

  • Antioxidants

And it is also a real gift of nature, nutritious, tasty, good in any form and loved by many gourmets.

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