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Answer: Yes, vegans can eat mushrooms.
Most mushrooms are vegan. So, if you want to spice up your recipe with some mushrooms, you can go ahead and do it.
More on Mushrooms
Nutritional Value of 100 g of Mushrooms
|Total Fat||0.3 g|
|Total Carbs||3.3 g|
Not many foods taste and smell as good as cooked mushrooms in your mouth. Mushrooms generally have an acrid taste, but you can’t define the taste and smell. Unlike other plants and vegetables, there are various types of mushrooms with different flavors. While some have an earthy, woody smell, some others may have a nutty flavor.
Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They aren’t plants as they don’t prepare their food through photosynthesis. And since they don’t have a central nervous system to feel pain and suffering, they can’t be animals.
Instead, mushrooms belong to the Fungi kingdom. This makes many vegans consider mushrooms as a vegan. Mushrooms are abundant in nutrients, and eating them does not violate your vegan lifestyle.
How Are Mushrooms Vegan?
People often wonder if mushrooms are vegan or not since it does not belong to both the plant and animal kingdoms. Here are some points to support that mushrooms are vegan.
- Mushrooms do not belong to the animal kingdom.
The simplest definition of a vegan is a person who does not eat animals and animal-based products like eggs and milk. Mushrooms are not animals nor animal by-products. So they can count as vegan food.
- Mushrooms do not have a central nervous system.
Vegans avoid animal products because they don’t want to hurt them. Animals are usually sentient as they are able to perceive and feel pain. But unlike animals, mushrooms do not have a central nervous system to process distress.
The Controversy Of Mushrooms
While mushrooms clearly do not have a nervous system to feel and are definitely not animals, they are not plants either. So there is a controversy when it comes to whether or not mushrooms are vegan. Some people wonder if vegans can eat live organisms.
Another reason why people are skeptical about mushrooms is because of truffles. It is a certain type of mushroom. People often use animals like dogs and pigs to hunt for truffles. There have been instances where these truffle dogs die from poisoning. One such instance comes from Italy, where truffle dogs died while hunting.
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are one of the most versatile food items. There are many ways to prepare a delicious meal of mushrooms. These tasty mushrooms are the taste of the earth. And they also offer several health benefits.
Mushrooms are a healthy food option that has low fat, sodium, and calories. It contains zero cholesterol. Although the nutritional value of mushrooms differs from type to type, they generally have an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Some of the most profitable nutrients in mushrooms are-
Mushrooms are rich in an antioxidant called selenium. Antioxidants work to enhance the immune system and your defense mechanism against aging. They also reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
- Beta Glucan
The dietary fiber present in mushrooms is called beta glucan. This fiber improves the health of the heart and enhances cholesterol levels. It also helps in regulating blood sugar and thus minimizes the chance of type 2 diabetes. Beta glucan is most prominent in shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
- B Vitamins
There are various B vitamins in mushrooms, including niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. These ingredients are helpful in boosting heart health. While niacin is beneficial for the digestive system and healthy skin, riboflavin benefits the red blood cells. Similarly, pantothenic acid improves the nervous system and allows the body to prepare the necessary hormones.
Mushrooms are rich in copper. It retains a good amount of copper even after you cook it. This particular mineral helps in producing red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body. It is also effective in maintaining healthy nerves and bones.
Another important mineral you can find in abundance in mushrooms is potassium. This mineral proves beneficial in improving the health and functions of the heart, nerves, and muscles.