“I didn’t know that!” A very common phrase that Council Representative, Bart Minor, hears on a regular basis when he exposes a little known fact about nature’s hidden treasure. Stick around to learn 5 facts about the mysterious mushroom.
In the past 14 years I have certainly learned a lot about mushrooms. Everything from the scientific measures it takes to grow a mushroom, to the underestimated nutrient value. It’s this knowledge that I love to share with all who will listen. To see someone’s eyes widen in happiness when I tell them mushrooms are low in fat and calories, or to see that jaw drop when I tell them mushrooms contain vitamin D – it all makes my day.
That said, I am here to share my knowledge, and potentially delight and surprise you with these 5 little known facts about mushrooms:
1. Mushroom Swapability Will Change the Way You Eat. Blending chopped mushrooms and meat in traditional recipes like meatloaf, burgers, taco filling and meatballs not only boost flavors, but brings another serving of vegetables to the plate. Even the kids will love the difference.
2. One Handful of Mushrooms Delivers Nutrition, Taste and Versatility. That’s right, mushrooms are in fact good for you! Fresh mushrooms are fat-free, low-calorie, nutrient-dense, low in sodium, contain natural antioxidants, and deliver important nutrients, including vitamin D, potassium, selenium, ergothionene and B vitamins. Another reason to add mushrooms to your everyday dishes.
3. Mushrooms are Full of Umami.Umami is the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Derived from the Japanese word umami, meaning “delicious,” umami is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation. It’s no wonder mushrooms have been called the “vegetarian’s meat.” All mushrooms are a rich source of umami and the darker the mushroom the more umami it contains.
4. Mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D. That’s right, following exposure to sunlight, mushrooms’ plant sterol – ergosterol – converts to vitamin D. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, but mushrooms are unique for being the only source in the produce aisle.
5. Give Your Immune System a Boost. Within the produce aisle, mushrooms are a leading source of the antioxidant selenium, which helps strengthen the immune system and protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. Mushrooms are one of the best dietary sources of the antioxidant ergothioneine, which is known for its role in immunity.