Helpful Mushrooms and their Benefits: Are Mushrooms Vegan?
What is the best alternative for meat? Mushrooms, right? But are mushrooms vegan? These are the most common questions for vegans. Let’s try to answer these questions for our own curiosity.
What is a Mushroom?
Mushrooms are fungi. Fungi feed themselves by absorbing nutrients from organic substance around them. The mushroom’s body is the mycelium, and its parts are microscopic. Mushroom doesn’t contain chlorophyll, and most of them are saprophytes. Saprophytes are microorganisms that live on dead or decaying organic matter. Mushrooms gain their nutrition from breaking dead plants before eating and digesting it.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is a lifestyle that avoids all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey. Vegans also avoid all products that are related to animals such as leathers and coats.
Why Vegans eat Mushrooms?
Why do vegans and vegetarians eat mushrooms? The answer is very simple. Mushroom contain lots of vitamins, and minerals that our body needs. They are also a perfect substitute for meat. Vegans avoid any product that includes animals. Thus, they are looking for substitute and alternatives. Mushroom is the best alternative for meats because of its flavor and texture.
It is important to make a research first especially if you are sensitive to the food you eat. Here are different types of mushrooms and health benefits that can help all types of people.
1. White Mushrooms
White mushrooms are the most common type and also called button mushrooms. They can be seen and accessible to buy everywhere; in grocery stores and fresh market. They must be harvested while they are still young. It is the time when they have pleasing, earthy flavor that intensifies more when cooked.
If you are on a diet and trying to lose weight, white mushrooms are perfect for you. The white or button mushroom has a special carbohydrate that fuels up the metabolic fire in our body. Thus, it helps you control your appetite. A strong metabolism means more burned fat and more burned fat means more weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, the white mushroom is the perfect substitute for meat you love. And wait, there’s more! These white mushrooms are also high in Selenium. Selenium is an essential mineral composed of an antioxidant enzyme, glutathione reductase. It supports not only weight loss but also the prevention of prostate cancer.
2. Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are well known not only for their great taste but also for its medical use. If you want a vegan steak, shiitake mushroom is an excellent substitute for the meat. It will give your steak a rich flavor and meat-like texture. It is available in groceries whether fresh or dried. The best thing about this is that their flavor doesn’t fade even if you blend and cook them with garlic and ginger.
This meaty and flavorful mushroom is also rich in lentinan. Lentinan is widely used in Japan and China. Not only a good source of vitamin D. It is also used in chemotherapy and may help extend the life of the cancer patients. This mushroom contains anti-tumor compounds which may help prevent and support treating cancer. It is also proven to help fight different infections.
3. Reishi Mushrooms
It is also known as red mushroom or Ling Zhi in Chinese. Not only known for its delicious taste, but also used as a herbal mushroom. Though it is a bit pricey especially in China, it is proven effective. It is available in fresh, dried, liquid, capsule and powder extract. You can buy it in grocery stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. The Reishi mushroom is one of the most powerful substances that you can see around.
Reishi mushroom has many natural health benefits and is widely recommended. The best thing about this mushroom is that you can take it every day or regularly and it doesn’t have any side effects. When you started taking it regularly, it can restore your body to its natural state. It also enables your other system to function normally. It is effective in reducing stress, improving sleep and lessening your fatigue. It is also recommended to consult your doctor before taking up this herbal medicine. Though it is proven effective, it can also trigger or react in your body differently.
4. Chanterelle Mushroom
Chanterelle Mushroom is a bit pricey than any other mushrooms. It has a fruity and peppery aroma. They are delightful in flavor and texture and perfect for food toppings. Chanterelle can last longer than any other mushrooms. In fact, they can last up to 10 days in your fridge. Aside from its good texture, it is also used for medical purposes.
Chanterelle is known as “anti” mushroom. Not only known for antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. It is also rich Vitamin C, D, and potassium and full of essential minerals, and vitamins which help us to deal with our everyday activities. Its nutrients help us in many ways. It helps for brain function, reducing stress, maintaining healthy skin. Studies also prove that it helps decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Are Mushrooms Vegan?
Mushrooms are always mistaken labeled in a group of plants though they do not belong to this group. Mushroom's nutrition contents can also be found in different vegetables and meat. Thus, they are always grouped with vegetables.
This is a very interesting issue, and it is circulating over the internet. Many vegetarians and vegans are arguing about it. Many vegans are in doubt considering if mushrooms are vegan. Some say they are considered to be an animal, but technically they are not. They may be close and related to animals, but they are not animals. Despite the issues, many vegans still eat a mushroom.
One of the most controversial topics: Are oyster mushrooms vegan? Vegan or not, this is a very interesting topic. Not because Oyster Mushroom contains an animal name which makes them not vegan. It's because the oyster mushrooms are known to be a carnivorous plant. It means that they are eating other animals such as insects and worms to get nutrients. What’s your opinion about this issue?
Aside from oyster mushroom, other mushrooms are acceptable to be vegan. Though they should be are cultured on manure. If want to make sure that the mushroom you will eat is purely organic, you can consider growing your own mushrooms.
We have different beliefs and opinions. Everyone has a point, and of course, we will be fighting for our own beliefs and opinion. We are free to express what we do think is the right thing, but you should know where you must draw a line in everything. It is still up to you whether you consider mushroom a vegan or not. It may be a little confusing, but at the end of the day, you will still be the one to decide. For me, mushrooms are vegans. If gives life to my food and I hope it will give life to yours too!
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