Mushrooms: calories, properties and characteristics

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Mushrooms are not only a delicious ingredient to add to the typical dishes of our culinary tradition, but also a food rich in nutrients that should not be underestimated.

I mushrooms they not only represent a delicious ingredient to add to the typical dishes of our culinary tradition, but also a nutrient rich food not to underestimate. Let's find out the types, properties and calories of mushrooms.

In case you wish to collect them personally, it is good to submit them to the control of one of the ASL of one's own territory, in order to avoid hiring one inedible variety. Once this is established, the mushrooms can be eaten without problems, except individual cases of allergy.



As for the consumption of mushrooms, they can be chosen fresh, dried or frozen. THE fresh or dried mushrooms have the best nutritional characteristics. Dried mushrooms must be rehydrated in water before proceeding to the desired culinary preparations. For example, they can be left to simmer in water before adding them while cooking a risotto.

La possibility of drying or freezing mushrooms makes this food available throughout the year, so that in every season it is possible to take advantage of their beneficial characteristics. If you buy gods fresh mushrooms, be careful that they are free from mold and as clean as possible and that both the head and the stem are not soft, but very firm. Of the beyond 4000 existing species of mushrooms, only 100 are edible. For their recognition it is good to rely on courses held by experts and detailed manuals.

Where to find the most delicious mushrooms? To locate the porcini, go in search of chestnut or oak trees. THE tacks they grow easily in meadows, even in the countryside or in the plains, and can be eaten fresh or used for the preparation of preserves. Who is looking for mushrooms outside the autumn season, can try to spot the hens, that sprout between spring and summer. Typical mushrooms of Puglia are i carboncelli, identifiable both in autumn and during the transition between winter and spring.

Calories of mushrooms

Mushrooms are a low calorie food. Keep in mind that champignons contain 20 calories per 100 grams. The caloric intake of porcini mushrooms is 25 calories per 100 grams, while champignons contain 21 calories per 100 grams.


The main mushroom season is between months of September and November, period in which they may be collected in woods and meadows (subject to license). Their location often finds space at the foot of the trees. Mushrooms multiply easily in humid places. Their growth is facilitated by the autumn rains. The morning after a rainy night is the ideal time to go to the search for mushrooms, especially if you are in the mountains, in the countryside or in a place away from traffic.

Those who own a garden away from particularly polluted areas may notice some fungus popping up near trees and bushes during a rainy day. For mushroom picking it is good take a small knife and repair your hands by wearing gloves. Fungi are microorganisms that establish a symbiotic relationship with trees near which they grow. It is necessary for the survival of both the fungus and the tree; for this reason they exist regional regulations that may prohibit mushroom picking carried out recklessly. It must always take place with criteria and in full respect of nature.

Mushroom properties

Mushrooms contribute to good functioning of our immune system. Their calorie intake is not high. For all varieties of mushrooms it hovers around the 25 kcal per 100 g of fresh product, which can hold water up to 90% of its own weight. In a 100 g portion of fresh mushrooms there are 4,5 g of carbohydrates, 3,5 g of protein and 0,3 g of fat.

Mushrooms are considered one good source of mineral salts such as potassium, phosphorus, copper and selenium, all essential for the proper functioning of our body. The ancients must have already been aware of the properties of mushrooms, so much so that in Egypt they were considered a particularly delicious and beneficial food, worthy of a pharaoh.

Mushrooms contain lysine and tryptophan, as far as proteins are concerned. In them there is also the presence of B vitamins and antioxidant substances, considered useful for the prevention of cancer and aging-related diseases. Mushrooms are useful in the fight cardiovascular diseases and for curb accumulations of cholesterol in the arteries.

For some, mushrooms are mistakenly thought of as a nutrient-poor food. This was disproved by the finding within them of selenium, whose nutritional contribution allows us to defend ourselves against both infectious diseases and the appearance of tumors. They also contain vitamin B3, which contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and to proper oxygenation of the blood, e vitamin B2, necessary both for the production of red blood cells and for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

As for their power to strengthen the immune system, mushrooms have been considered for centuries as a real natural antibiotic and are indicated by unconventional medicine as a precious food to be taken during the change of season to protect oneself from autumn ailments. Their appearance in the woods between late summer and early autumn, or between winter and spring, confirms that the passage between the seasons is the ideal period to consume them fresh and to enjoy all the benefits they present. .

Marta Albè

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