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    Types of Mushroom: Nutrition, Characteristics, and Facts

    We often talk about different types of dishes, one food that is overlooked is mushrooms. But what many of us are not aware of is that although there are different types of mushrooms, not all are edible. And this food is not just used for eating but also serves as medicine.

    Medical practitioners have lauded the bell-shaped fungi in traditional medicine since they have cleansing and healing properties.

    Let us learn more about the fungi as we proceed with the write-up below. Next, we will also find out the characteristics and benefits of the different types of mushrooms in India.

    Fast Facts about the Types of Mushrooms

    Read through these exciting mushroom facts in the points below-

    • Low in Calories and Fat –Mushrooms are low in calories and fat with some fibre and nutrients
    • Loved by Chefs for Umami Flavour- They are very popular among the chefs owing to their ability to impart a flavour called umami. This is due to the presence of glutamate, which is an amino acid. This substance is also found in cheeses, fish, meat, and soups.
    • Non-Nutritive Substances –Mushrooms contain certain non-nutritive substances. These include the likes of indoles, polysaccharides, carotenoids, and polyphenols. Studies in cells and animals have shown anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant effects.
    • Neither Plants Nor Animals – Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are a type of fungus containing ergosterol, which is similar to cholesterol in animals. As such, they are referred to as the “meat of the vegetable world.”
    • Transforms to Vitamin D on Exposure to UV light- When exposed to ultraviolet light, ergosterol is transformed into vitamin D.
    • 10,000 Types of Mushrooms – There are more than 10,000 types of mushrooms, and they differ in appearance.
    • The Biggest Producers of USA-China and the United States are the top two producers of mushrooms across the globe.

    Having said about the number of mushrooms available worldwide, let us find out the types of mushrooms in India.

    Types of Mushrooms in India

    Mushrooms, known as the ‘meat of the vegetable world,’ come in many types. We will go through the characteristics and benefits of the mushrooms in India. These are as follows-

    1. Button Mushrooms
    2. Oyster Mushroom
    3. Maitake Mushroom
    4. Shiitake Mushroom
    5. Chanterelle Mushroom
    6. Reishi Mushroom

    Let us take one of them at a time.

    1. Button Mushrooms

    Scientific nameAgaricus bisporus

    Characteristic- This type of mushroom is the most consumed across the globe. They are round, white, and small, with a tender texture and delicate flavour. They are available yearly and flavour culinary dishes, soups, and salads.

    What are the Benefits of This Mushroom?

    • Low calories and fat make them an ideal choice for weight loss.
    • Loaded with minerals and vitamins, which also include Vitamin D required for bone health
    • They have oxidants that foster the immune system
    • Helps in a healthy heart and reduces cholesterol level
    • It is good for digestion as it supports gut health and has a high fibre content

    2. Oyster Mushroom

    Scientific name- Pleurotus ostreatus

    Characteristics- Since they look similar to oyster shells, they are known as mushrooms. The types of mushrooms mentioned in this section are the most popular and eaten worldwide. They are available in varying colours, including white, brown, and pink. These mushrooms taste mild and have a nutty flavour and are used in stir-fried soups as a substitute for meat. As such, they are known as the meat of the vegetarian world.

    Benefits of Oyster Mushroom

    • They make an excellent source of protein. As such, it is ideal for all, especially for vegetarians and those following a vegan diet.
    • They contain Vitamin B, like riboflavin and niacin, which help in energy production.
    • The oyster mushroom has ergosterol, as mentioned above, which is a precursor of Vitamin D and is required for bone health.
    • Since they contain beta-glucans, they give a boost to the immune system
    • They also help in regulating blood glucose levels and minimize inflammation.

    3. Maitake Mushroom

    Scientific name- Grifola frondose

    What are the Characteristics of This Mushroom?

    The Maitake mushrooms, one of the most popular types of mushrooms in India, are known as the hen-of-the-woods. This is because they appear like a fan-like overlapping cluster. Often used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, they have a savoury flavour.


    • They contain beta-glucans required to boost the immune system and reduce
    • They improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
    • These mushrooms have compounds that foster heart health and reduce cholesterol.
    • It helps in weight loss by keeping you full and reducing calorie intake.
    • Excellent source of vitamins and minerals, which also include potassium and Vitamin D

    4. Shiitake Mushroom

    Scientific name: Lentinula edodes

    Characteristics of Shiitake Mushroom

    These types of mushrooms are native to the Eastern Asian region. They have a distinctive savory flavor and are more commonly recognized as umami. You can see a brown cap, which is an integral part of the cuisines of Asia, especially used extensively in dishes like stir fries and miso soup.

    Benefits of Shiitake Mushroom

    • Lentinan, a compound rich in them, possesses anti-cancer properties.
    • They also contain eritadenine, which helps in lowering cholesterol levels
    • You will find that they possess high amounts of zinc, selenium, and copper
    • Improves the immune system for fighting infections
    • It helps in reducing the risk of cardiovascular ailments

    5. Chanterelle Mushroom

    Scientific name: Cantharellus cibarius

    Characteristic of this type of mushrooms

    The Chanterelle Mushrooms are trumpet-like in appearance. They range in colour from bright orange to yellow colour. They possess a mild, nutty flavour, and have a fruity smell. A favourite among the chefs, they are popular for their unique taste.

    Benefits of the Chanterelle Mushroom

    • Low in calories and fat as such aid in weight loss. You can add them to your meals regularly.
    • Possess anti-inflammatory properties
    • Rich in vitamin C, it aids in skin health and fosters the immune system
    • Have dietary fibre and aids in gut health and proper digestion
    • Have essential minerals like manganese and potassium

    6. Reishi Mushroom

    Scientific name: Ganoderma lucidum


    These types of mushrooms are also known as Lingzhi. This is among the types of mushrooms in India that have a bitter taste. They appear glossy with a reddish brown cap. Humans have used it since immemorial as an essential ingredient in Chinese medicine for their medicinal properties.


    • They have antioxidant properties and fight free radicals in the body.
    • They help the body in fighting infection
    • These help in keeping away illnesses and infections
    • It helps detoxify the liver, thereby improving the organ’s health.
    • They form an essential part of medicine to treat various ailments.

    In a nutshell, we have seen that the above types of mushrooms offer several health benefits most of us need to be aware of. They form an essential part of not just cuisine across the globe but also a part of traditional medicines. These types of mushrooms in India can help you replace non-vegetarian food if you want to break from it for a while.

    Also ReadGet Golden Elixir: The Ultimate Turmeric Milk Benefits

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    Josie Patra
    Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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