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Mushroom, Button

Button Mushrooms are the most common mushroom variety. They are plump with a meaty texture and are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals with strong antibiotic and antioxidant effects. Mushrooms are great eaten raw in salads or cooked in one-pot meals, pastas and pizza.

 Mushroom, Button
The thermal nature is cooling.
The flavour is .
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What it is

The button mushroom is a fungus. A fungus differs from a plant in that it has no chlorophyll, produces spores instead of seeds, and survives by feeding off other organic matter. They are white to coffee colored. Button Mushrooms have squat body consisting of a plump stalk with a domed cap with gills on the underside.


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What is in it

The common button mushroom is an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan, the minerals selenium, Copper, potassium and phosphorus and the vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B5 (pantothenic acid). It is a very good source of protein, zinc, manganese and the vitamins Bi (thiamin) and B6 (pyridoxine). Common button mushrooms are also a good source of fiber, folate and the minerals magnesium, iron and calcium.


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What it is good for

They have antibiotic and potent antioxidant properties that help promote optimal health. They are also a good source of zinc that promotes strong immune function.

Button Mushrooms: 
• Decrease the level of fat in your blood
• Help remove excess mucus from your repertory system
• protects against Alzheimers disease
• can treat contagious hepatitis
• increases white bloodcell count which strengthens immunity
• Has anti-tumor activity
• Helps stop post-surgery cancer metastasis
• Promotes appetite
• Causes measles to ripen which speeds recovery time.
• Reduces toxic reactions with heat signs from meat.


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When you get it

Button mushrooms are available throughout the year.


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Which to select

Why Organic
To eat organic means to live cleanly, free of pesticides and toxins. It is a conscious choice. One made in order to survive right along with the planet that sustains us. Organically grown foods do not over-run the landfills with toxic waste from their farming or subject your body to unhealthy toxins. For your health and for the planet, choose to eat organic foods. To understand more about why organic is better please read our “Why Organic?” special feature.

The vegetable
Select mushrooms that are firm and plump. Avoid ones with wrinkled skin or wet slimy spots.


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Where to store

Keep mushrooms in the refrigerator either placed in a paper bag or covered with a damp cloth. These methods will help them to preserve their moisture without becoming soggy. Do not store then in plastic bags or plastic, as they will become slimy.


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How to use

Mushrooms are very extremely porous so they should not be soaked in water otherwise they will become soggy. To clean, rinse in minimal running water or just white clean with a damp cloth or with a mushroom brush.

Cut off the base of the stem. If the stalk is not needed, break it off with your fingers. Unused stalks can be use to make a great tasting stock for soups or risotto.

• Leave whole and stuff with mixed vegetables or goats cheese and breadcrumb mixed with a little salt and pepper
• Slice or leave whole and sauté with onions as a side dish
• Slice or dice and add to pasta or risotto recipes


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How much you need

To reach your health goals and become healthy the most important step is to eat a well balanced diet of food from across all the food groups. 

For an average person 
 
Servings per food group:
• Whole Grains (Carbohydrates):  6 – 8 
• Meat and beans (Protein):  1 – 2 
• High quality fats: 1
• Dairy:     2 – 3
• Fruit: 2
• Vegetables: 5
• Water: 6

This list is of recommended daily amount of each food group for an average person 19 to 50 years old with a low level of exercise (30minutes of less a day). If you are older you may need a little less, if you are younger, a little more and if you are very active even more food should be eaten. For more information on serving sizes see our special feature on Sizing Up A Serve.

It is important to ensure that the foods that you eat are of a high quality. The highest quality product is one that is fresh, whole and organic.

Fresh – over time the quality of nutrients degrades with their potency dying off.

Whole – many foods, particularly vegetarian foods carry a lot of their nutrients in their outer skins. So leave bran, germs and skins on the food where possible; always with grains and whenever the fruit of vegetable permits.

Organic – ensure you have the cleanest food by using only foods that are grown without pesticides, or other chemicals, in a natural way as people have in all bar the last 80 years of history. Chemical burdened foods are a modern invention designed to increase output with little regard to the health of the end user.


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Things to watch out for

Mushrooms contain purines, which are a naturally occurring organic compound found in plants and animals, including humans. Purines can be broken down into uric acid, so an excess of purines can lead to an excess build-up of uric acid. This excess uric acid can crystallize and deposit in the joint to cause Gout. The creation of kidney stones is also a result of this crystallization. These conditions can often be treated successfully by limiting foods rich in purines. Although eating a lot of purine rich meats can be associated with an increase in the risk of gout, a moderate intake of vegetables containing purines does not increase the risk of these conditions.


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References

The Journal of Nutrition – The American Society for Nutrition, http://jn.nutrition.org, retrieved 05/2009.

Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_mushroom, retrieved 05/2009.

Prepared by the editors at Harvard Health Publications in consultation with Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., Dr.P.H., Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Vitamins and Minerals: What you need to know,  Harvard School of Public Health, 2008.

Bratman, Steven, and David Kroll. Natural Health Bible. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1999.

Paul Pitchford. Healing with whole food, North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 2004.

Norton Greenberger M.D. and Roanne Weisman, 4 Weeks to Healthy Digestion, Harvard School of Public Health. (2008)


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