Mushrooms belong to the class of fungi. You can see them in your garden during rainy season. They start to grow in damp places all of a sudden and once fully grown they decay as soon as possible. They come in different shapes and sizes. They are compared to the plants in a way that the body of the mushrooms is like fruit and spores are like seeds.
They do not contain chlorophyll (which means sunlight is not necessary for their growth) and so they normally grow in the dark. They don’t grow from seeds but spores. If you pluck a mushroom from the ground, you would find the part visible above the ground along with mass of dense white tangles hair like structures. The dense structure is called mycelium and each individual hair-like structure is called hyphae. The spores feed on rotten organisms (dead or living), organic matter (wood, manure) in the ground. Spores support the growth of mycelium which absorbs essential nutrients from the soil.
Depending on the type of nutrient they feed on mushrooms are of thousand kinds, of which many are edible and others poisonous. Few common edible varieties of mushrooms include white mushrooms, portabella, morels, Horse mushroom, oyster mushroom and so on.
Edible ones are a very good source of vitamins and minerals. They contain minerals like ‘selenium’ that works with vitamin E to produce antioxidants and prevent cell damage by foreign substances that enter our body, potassium and copper which protect our body from many kinds of diseases. They also lot of vitamins like niacin (vitamin B), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pantothenate (vitamin B5). As they are similar to vitamin content in meat, mushrooms are good meat substitutes. Mushrooms also contain amino acids making them protein rich food as well.
Mushrooms :The facts you always wanted to know
Mushrooms belong to the class of fungi. You can see them in your garden during rainy season. They start to grow in damp places all of a sudden and once fully grown they decay as soon as possible.