9 Types of Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

The  mushrooms are fungi, belonging to the kingdom Fungi, with great nutritional value and have more than 10,000 kinds. They are quite known as “vegetarian meat”. Mushroom flavors range from the most striking to the most subtle.

Mushrooms can add to a recipe, as well as being eaten grilled, roasted, fried or sautéed. They can also be combined with meat, cheese, pasta or vegetables.


Despite the wide variety of existing mushrooms, there is a small specific variety that can be found in traditional supermarkets, such as mushrooms, shimeji and shiitake. Discover the eight main varieties of edible mushrooms consumed in Brazil and around the world.

  1. Champignon –  The mushroom , also called mushroom-of-paris, it is the best known variety in the country, because of its high marketing in version pickled. However, fresh mushrooms are also very good, they have a smooth and pleasant taste, with an interesting texture. Its color is brown and it can be baked or sautéed, combined with vegetables, cheeses and herbs.
  2. Portobello – Portobello  is the mushroom in a more mature version. It’s bigger, but the shape is the same, with a smooth flavor and a firm texture that resembles meat. It is widely used to replace animal protein in recipes, and can be grilled or grilled.
  3. Shiitake  – The shiitake became known in Brazil due to the popularity of Asian culture. It is usually found in its dehydrated version, but it can be found fresh as well. It has a dark color and a flavor that brings more personality to the dishes, being widely used in soups and sauces to replace meat.
  4. Maitake –  Maitake is a mushroom with a delicate flavor, considered almost floral, and with a firm texture, which does not lose its original shape when cooked. It is of Japanese origin, but is still considered one of the least popular varieties in Brazil.
  5. Shimeji –  The shimeji is considered one of the tastiest varieties of edible mushrooms and can be done quite easily: you only need to saute it in butter in a pan and it is ready for consumption. The variety is considered one of the most popular in Brazil.
  6. Hiratake –  Hiratake is a still unpopular variety and a kind of Brazilian mushroom. It is found in different colors, from white to salmon or yellow. It is tasty, with a mild taste and not very strong, and can be eaten breaded or cooked.
  7. Morchella – Morchella  is among the most consumed edible mushroom varieties by the French. It has a different shape, reminiscent of a bee hive, with a unique, striking flavor and pleasant texture. To consume it, just sauté it in butter and serve it as a side dish.
  8. Chanterelle –  Chanterelle is a mushroom with a pleasant aroma, almost floral, and with a strong yellow color, which makes it known as a canary mushroom. In recipes, it adds a smooth and pleasant flavor, however it should be added towards the end, as it can become hard during cooking.
  9. Mushroom of the Sun –  The mushroom of the sun , in addition to the sweet flavor and an aroma that refers to almonds, has several therapeutic and nutritional properties, being considered a medicine mushroom. Among its qualities is stimulating the immune system and helping to treat diseases such as hepatitis and diabetes and cardiovascular problems.


As we have seen, there are several species of mushrooms that are edible and anyone who thinks that the fungus is harmful to health is wrong. Each of the mushroom varieties is rich in substances that are important for our health and that can even help us to prevent more serious illnesses.

The main benefits of the fungus are the minimal presence of sodium, fat and cholesterol, which helps in the prevention and treatment of diseases such as diabetes, anemia and cancer. Discover other benefits that regular mushroom consumption offers to our body.

  • Vitamin D melt

Mushrooms are our only edible source of vitamin D – a nutrient that we only produce when we’re exposed to the sun. Vitamin D in our body acts to control our hormones, increase muscle gain and immunity and also helps in weight loss.

  • gluten-free

Mushrooms are completely gluten-free and this is good news for those intolerant of the substance, who have few food options. Also, there is currently a great food revolution, in which many people have been looking for foods that are gluten free.

  • Helps protect against cancer

Many researchers characterize the mushroom as a superfood, because of the way it works on cancerous tumors that are present in our body. It is an antioxidant, which means that it is capable of preventing and helping to treat cancer, as it works by expelling tumor cells from the body.

Among its nutrients are the mineral selenium, vitamin D, folate and linoleic acid. The first acts as a liver enzyme, carrying out the detoxification of cancer causing agents. Vitamin D, on the other hand, reduces the growth of cancer cells, while folate works by DNA repair and preventing new tumors from forming. Linoleic acid works to prevent breast and prostate cancer.

  • Help in preventing diabetes

Mushrooms have an enzyme in their composition that works by breaking down the body’s sugar molecules. In addition, it naturally contains insulin and fiber, which help to lower the body’s glucose levels.

  • Improves heart health

Another nutrient present in mushrooms is potassium, which acts in our body as a kind of natural vasodilator. This means that it increases the thickness of our blood vessels and helps to lower blood pressure. In addition, potassium helps balance sodium in the blood, a major cause of high blood pressure.

  • Boosts immunity

Mushrooms are the only foods that have ergothionein, an antioxidant that is able to eliminate free radicals and that has sulfur in its composition, whose action in our body improves immune health. Furthermore, this fungus is considered a natural antibiotic, as it does not allow bacteria and microbes to grow in our body.

  • Fight anemia

Another very important nutrient present in mushrooms is iron, so these fungi are great foods to fight anemia. The disease is a condition that occurs due to a lack of iron in the body.

  • strengthens the bones

Mushrooms are excellent sources of calcium. The mineral is essential to support the health of our bones, so consuming small amounts of mushrooms a day helps to supply the amount of calcium that the body needs. Regular consumption of foods with calcium reduces the chances of getting osteoporosis or other diseases related to bone degeneration.

  • Regulates Cholesterol Levels

Due to the lack of fat and lipids in its composition, the mushroom acts by regulating cholesterol levels. It lowers bad cholesterol levels and raises good cholesterol levels. Therefore, it is considered a lean protein, as it works by causing fat burning.


The main and first tip for those who want to eat mushrooms is to never eat them raw, and that includes store-bought ones. They can come with toxins, so it’s important to cook them to remove them. Also, make sure the mushroom is not stained and that there is no water in the tray with them, this could be a sign that they are not good.

If you haven’t cooked or sauteed mushrooms before, it’s a good idea to research how best to prepare them. Each type of edible mushroom can take special care during preparation. If you choose to sauté, cut the fungus into small pieces, as that way they will release more aroma and flavor. Check out a recipe that uses mushrooms in its ingredients:


To prepare the recipe, you will need three to four pieces of potato, 350 ml of whole milk, three tablespoons of dry white wine, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 300 g of fresh mushrooms (shitake, shimeji and paris) and salt, black pepper and nutmeg to taste.

The first step in preparing the gratin is to preheat the oven to 200°C. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes into thin slices. Then pour the wine, milk and potato slices into a pan. Then season with pepper, salt and nutmeg. Mix well and leave on low heat until the potatoes are at the “al dente” point.

Now cut the mushrooms into thin slices and set aside. In a skillet, add the oil and vinegar. Then, keeping the stove flame high, gradually add the mushrooms and sauté them until they are shriveled and golden. Season them with pepper and salt.

Take an ovenable refractory and grease. In it, create layers with the potato slices and the sauteed mushrooms. Drizzle the dish with the cooking liquid of the potatoes and place in the oven. Let it bake until you notice that the top is golden.

Related articles:

Shitake Benefits and Properties

Shimeji Benefits and Properties

Champignon Benefits and Properties

Benefits and Properties of Mushroom Paris

Benefits and Properties of Sun Mushroom

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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