Crimini Mushrooms (aka baby bellas, cremini and Portabellini) is a variety of button mushrooms that is native to the grasslands in North America and Europe. It is actually a variety of fungi that belongs to the family Agaricaceae, under the binomial name Agaricus bisporus. These mushrooms have a mild coffee color and are relished by people all over the world, for their delicate and exquisite flavor. A number of folklores and legends have been connected to the mushrooms since ancient times. People in certain cultures even believe that their consumption could give someone special powers and exceptional strength. At present, around 70 countries in the world are involved in the commercial production of crimini mushrooms, with the US leading this chart. Given below are some of the major health benefits of crimini mushrooms.
Health Benefits Of Eating Crimini Mushroom
- Continuous research on the health benefits of crimini mushrooms has indicated that their regular consumption acts as a barrier against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and certain age-related cognitive disorders. Their intake has been also shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline associated with advancing age.
- Research has proved that the mushroom contains a higher level of the antioxidant, L-ergothioneine, than both chicken liver and wheat germ (initially thought to have the highest concentration of the antioxidant).
- Criminis are very popular for their radical scavenging functions and are an excellent source of nutrition, as part of a healthy, regular diet.
- The mushroom has a very high content of zinc, which has a prime role in a number of fundamental processes in the body. This includes the stabilization of the blood sugar levels and the metabolic rate in the body, reduction of the excruciating pain that occurs in RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and prevention of the blood vessel damage that occurs in atherosclerosis.
- The zinc present in crimini mushrooms serves as the prime factor in the maintenance of a healthy immune system and is necessary for an optimal sense of smell and taste. Hence, the mushrooms prevent the development of a number of illnesses related with weak immune system, like ear infections and recurrent colds.
- Criminis have anti-cancer properties and are particularly helpful in the prevention of breast cancer in females. This is done by preventing high levels of estrogen from circulating in the body, mainly through an inhibition of the enzyme aromatase, connected with the production of estrogen. High estrogen levels or hyperestrogenemia is responsible for the increased risk of breast cancer.
- Selenium, an important nutrient found in crimini mushroom, combines with vitamin E and takes part in many antioxidant reactions in the body. It is also the co-factor of one of the prime antioxidants in the body, glutathione peroxidase. Due to this, the mineral reduces the chance of contracting colon cancer to a considerable extent and also helps in the prevention of arthritis symptoms, asthma and certain heart diseases.
- The mushroom serves as a good source of iron and calcium. Both these minerals are very essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, without which the transport of oxygen throughout the body cannot take place.
- Crimini mushrooms are rich in B complex vitamins, which take part in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism.
- The pantothenic acid present in the mushrooms helps in the prevention of fatigue, as it supports the action of adrenal glands.
- If you have untreated or existing kidney problems or gout, avoid the intake of crimini mushrooms. This is because they contain considerable amount of purines. When these substances are taken in surplus, they cause the accumulation of uric acid in the body and hence, these problems.
- For the purpose of cleaning mushrooms, prior to cooking, avoid the use of too much water, as they tend to get soggy by absorbing the water.
- A simple way of cleaning the mushroom is by wiping them with a slightly damp paper towel or kitchen cloth. Commercially available mushroom brush can also be used for the purpose.
- In case the entire mushroom is required for the recipe, slice off the bottom of the stem using a simple kitchen knife.
- If only the cap of a mushroom is required, remove the stem from the remaining portion. This can be done either by using a knife or by simply breaking it off with the hands.