All mushrooms are fungi and they produce spores, similar to pollen or seeds, which allows them to spread or travel by the wind. The rest of the mushroom then matures, typically living in soil or wood.
There are many different types of mushrooms, some of which are edible including well-known species such as button, oyster, porcini and chanterelles. There are, however, many species that are not edible and can cause stomach pains or vomiting if eaten, and in some cases could be fatal.
They're high in vitamin B and D
Mushrooms are one of the few food sources for vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies can make with exposure to sunlight because growers are exposing their crops to small amounts of ultraviolet light, WebMD reports. B vitamins are important because they convert food into fuel for our bodies, giving us energy; D vitamins are important because they help our bodies absorb calcium and promote bone growth.
Mushrooms have anti-inflammatory powers
Mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine, which helps lower inflammation throughout the body. They fight disease, lower inflammation, suppress allergic responses, reduce tumour growth and more.
They could help fight aging
In a 2017 study, a team of Penn State researchers found that mushrooms have high amounts of two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, which are both associated with anti-ageing properties.
They help lower cholesterol
In general, mushrooms are cholesterol-free, but they're also a good source of chitin and beta-glucan, which are fibres that lower cholesterol.