Mushroom is a fungus but is commonly classified as a plant. Mushrooms are reproductive structures produced by fungi, they are the powerhouse of nutrition. There are thousands of mushroom varieties known but only a few of them are edible. In the Indian context, there are a few varieties that are more commonly cultivated and consumed.

A few of them are mentioned here:

1.) Button Mushrooms-

Button mushrooms are the most commonly cultivated mushrooms worldwide and account for approximately 90% of the mushrooms eaten in India. They are one of the mildest tasting mushrooms. They have a creamy-white color. They can be eaten in both raw and cooked forms.

2.) Oyster Mushrooms-

Oyster mushrooms are also called ‘dhingri’. They are cultivated and grown mainly on decaying wood. These are common in many cuisines and dishes. Shaped like a fan and dusty color, they look a lot like oysters, just like their names. Their cultivation in India usually takes place in the states of Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, etc.

3.) Milky Mushrooms-

Milky mushrooms are widely found in India, they require a warm climate for their growth. These mushrooms have a bright white color and have a good shelf life as well.

4.) Cremini Mushrooms-

These mushrooms belong to the same species as that of button mushrooms. They just differ slightly due to the development of a coffee-coloured skinny layer on the cap and thus have dark tan patches on top. These Mushrooms are, however, more flavourful in taste and have a firmer texture than button mushrooms.

5.) Shiitake Mushrooms-
This mushroom is native to Japan. They are well known for their medicinal properties. These mushrooms taste better when cooked, carrying a smoky flavor and low water content.
Mushroom Benefits & Uses-

Mushrooms come loaded with a lot of essential nutrients that can immensely improve your health. Here are some proven benefits of including these veggies in your diet.

They are rich in antioxidants and help you stay young & active.

They are good for heart health and make an excellent low-calorie alternative for meat and other high fat, cholesterol food.

They contain Vitamin D; an essential vitamin responsible for strengthening bones and muscles.

Are mushrooms safe for heart patients-

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. 100 grams mushroom contains only 0.3 g fat. They are a good source of vegetarian protein and are safe for heart patients. Do make sure to buy them from a good source to avoid the chances of buying contaminated mushrooms.

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