Selasa, November 06, 2007

Nutritional Value of Mushroom

The nutritional value of edible mushrooms compares favorably to that of most vegetables. Generally, they are rich in the B vitamins, including choline, which acts as a protective agent for the liver in case of mushroom poisoning. Some are also high in vitamins A, D, and K; but only a few contain any vitamin C. Other nutrients include potasium, linoleic acid, folate, copper, and iron, as well as other trace elements. Cultivated mushrooms, especially the grocery store “white buttons”, contain very few nutrients.
Depending on the species, mushrooms can contain up to 3% useful proteins. Some types are actually quite high in protein, especially Agaricus, Lepiota, and Calvatia species. On a dried weight basis, the King Bolete (Boletus edulis), contains more protein than any common vegetable, except soybeans. However, much of it is indigestible so should not be used in place of other proteins.
Mushrooms are low in calories, until they are fried in butter. They are about 90% water, low in fat, and have most of their carbohydrates in the form of indigestible chitin. Chitin is a polysaccharide composed of the essential sugar, Glucosamine. Supplements are often derived from shells of crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, krill).
Mushrooms should always be cooked, but never overcooked. Cooking does increase their nutritive value by increasing their digestibility, but overcooking decreases this value. Mushrooms should not be washed, but rather wiped free of dirt and debris. However, certain ones do require soaking to remove the dirt and insects imbedded in their deep crevices. Few rarely need peeling, and some have stems that should not be eaten. Again, ALWAYS have a knowledgeable person confirm the species before any mushrooms are eaten as there are look-alike species which can be lethal.

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