Since there are several types of mushrooms with several different benefits I’m going to discuss the most common mushroom the Crimini or standard Button Mushroom. These might be the most under looked mushrooms. Most think the more exotic the mushroom the more benefits, but this type of mushroom packs an immune system punch that surpasses even the shitake. Besides keeping your immune system working great crimi mushrooms reduce inflammation, aid in cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of types of cancer (mostly breast cancer), and a supply a large amount of Vitamin B12.

Mega Mushrooms (Crimini or “Button”)

How to Choose and Keep
The biggest thing to look for is discoloration, as this means the nutrients have began to become depleted. It is best to also choose ones that are not wrinkled or slimy. Try to buy organic as much as possibly, as organic mushroom cultivation methods have a smaller chance of contamination. The best way to store is to keep in the fridge in a paper bag or glass dish, both covered with a damp cloth. You can also buy them already packaged, and put into another container with the damp towel as well. They should keep for about 3-7 days in the fridge.

Because mushrooms are so porous they quickly absorb liquid. The best way to clean them is to wipe with a damp paper towel or a mushroom brush. Raw mushrooms are a wonderful addition to salads and sandwiches. If you plan to cook them then sautéing is a great way to showcase their flavor. You can sauté in olive oil or even better in some broth for 7 minutes.
Nutrients (In order of highest percentage to lowest)
Selenium, Vitamin B12, Copper, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Manganese, Vitamin B1, Choline, Protein, and Folate.

Action Steps
1. Find some mushrooms and add to your salads throughout the week
2. Heat your favorite pasta sauce and then add chopped mushrooms to it and let simmer.
3. For a fun snack find some gluten free or whole wheat bread crumbs. Mix with an egg and some water. Coat the mushroom and sauté in a skillet with some olive oil. Let brown, cool and serve with a horseradish sauce. Delicious!