Mushroom Nutritional and Medicinal Properties

Edible mushrooms provide high quality of protein that can be produced with greater biological efficiency than animal protein. They are rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins, and have low crude fat content, with a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (72 to 85 %) relative to total content of fatty acids. These properties are major  contributing factors to the traditional recognition of mushrooms as “healthy” foods. A large number of mushroom species are not only edible and nutritious but also possess tonic and medicinal qualities. However, some mushrooms are lethally poisonous, and one should eat mushrooms only if one knows their names and their properties with considerable precision. In the past, the mushroom industry concentrated mainly on the production of fresh, canned and dried mushrooms for food. Thus, the industry had only one leg. In the present era, high-pressure work demands are causing greater stress to the human body, and resulting in the weakening of the human immune system. A variety of proprietary products based on mushroom nutriceuticals and mushroom pharmaceuticals have already been produced and marketed. This trend is expected to increase with wider consumer satisfaction and acceptability. This is the second leg of the industry. These two legs/segments of the mushroom-based industry will not compete but will complement each other.


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