Surprising Facts About Mushrooms From Forest Floors to Culinary Delights

Despite their appearance, mushrooms are not plants. They belong to the fungi kingdom, which is separate from plants, animals, and bacteria.

Mushrooms are low in calories and fat but high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're a good source of B vitamins, selenium, and potassium.

There are thousands of mushroom species, ranging from common button mushrooms to exotic varieties like shiitake, portobello, and oyster mushrooms.

Mushrooms grow from mycelium, which is a network of thread-like structures underground. The visible part of the mushroom is the fruiting body.

Mushrooms play a crucial role in the environment by decomposing organic matter and recycling nutrients. They help break down dead plant material and contribute to soil health.

Some mushrooms have medicinal properties and have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. For example, reishi mushrooms are believed to boost the immune system, while lion's mane mushrooms may support brain health.

Mushrooms are a versatile ingredient used in various cuisines worldwide. They can be eaten raw or cooked and add flavor and texture to dishes like soups, stir-fries, and risottos.

Cultivating mushrooms is a specialized process that involves creating the right conditions for fungal growth. Commercial mushroom farms often use substrates like composted agricultural waste.