Nutritional Values of Mushrooms

Indian diet is primarily based on cereals (wheat, rice and maize), which is deficient in protein. Supplementation of mushroom recipe in Indian diet will bridge protein gap and improve the general health of socio economically backward communities. Earlier
mushrooms were considered as an expensive vegetable and were preferred by affluent peoples for culinary purposes. Currently common populace also considers mushroom as a quality food due to its health benefits.
Mushroom is considered to be a complete, health food and suitable for all age groups, child to aged people. The nutritional value of mushroom is affected by numerous factors such as species, stage of development and environmental conditions. Mushrooms are rich
in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. The digestible carbohydrate profile of mushroom includes starches, pentoses, hexoses, disaccharides, amino sugars, sugar
alcohols and sugar acids. The total carbohydrate content in mushroom varied from 26-82% on dry weight basis in different mushrooms. The crude fiber composition of the
mushroom consists of partially digestible polysaccharides and chitin.
Edible mushrooms commonly have insignificant lipid level with higher proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids. All these result in low calorific yield from mushroom foods.
Mushrooms do not have cholesterol. Instead, they have ergo sterol that acts as a precursor for Vitamin D synthesis in human body. Similarly, ergo sterol in button mushroom is
converted in to vitamin D2 when exposed to UV radiation or sunlight. The protein content of edible mushrooms is usually high, but varies greatly. The crude protein content of mushrooms varied from 12-35% depending upon the species. The free amino acids composition differs widely but in general they are rich in threonine and valine but deficient in sulphur containing amino acids (ethionine and cysteine)

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