The Health Benefits Of Truffles And Fungi

There is no question that truffles are definitely expensive, a pound would range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. There is no question of the flavour and aroma it could bring to your dishes. A small amount of truffles could bring out the taste superbly. However, is the flavour enough reason to purchase an expensive food?

We are often riddled with the question if truffles and fungi, in general, would have any nutritional value. In the early Eastern civilizations, mushrooms and fungi are not only considered as food, they are also noted for the medicinal value. Until now, there are cultures which would still use mushroom extracts as a component for soups and teas in order to boost the immune system. They are also said to reduce the risks of cancer and heart diseases.

Mushrooms are healthy food. They are low in calories but contain high amount of vegetable protein, chitin, iron, zinc, fiber, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Calcium, minerals, vitamins B and C are commonly found in several mushrooms.

Truffles are different from other mushrooms since it is a hypogean or an underground mushroom. What is harvested is the fruit, the roots are white filaments called as hyphas, and there is not stem. Truffles would suck sap from the host plant or trees. Those truffles that grow under the roots of oak trees are the most pungent, while those that grow in the roots of lime trees are the most aromatic.

The flavours found on a truffle is complex, which is why they are best combined with bland food in order to draw out its flavour. They are highly perishable, which is why it is important for truffles to be consumed immediately after harvesting. Often times, truffles are sold in containers filled with rice. This rice has definitely absorbed parts of the flavour and aroma of the fungi and could be used for cooking.

Given this condition, they are often described as “vegetable meat.” Truffles contain high protein content. They are made up 73% water, and several substances and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.

They are also low in fat. Just like any other vegetables, they are free of cholesterol. In fact, there are several studies citing mushrooms and fungi to have to ability to lower down serum cholesterol.

However, it should be taken into consideration that although mushroom and truffles have no cholesterol and low in fat, the method of cooking them would usually require them to be infused with butter or oil. Thus, adding to the fatty value of the dish. It would then be safe to say, that although vegetables, mushrooms and fungi are healthy, the method of cooking and preparing it would have a huge impact on the nutritional value of the dish.

Truffles and mushrooms are different from other vegetables because of their unique flavour. Although, truffles can cause a huge dent on the budget, it is safe to say that not only are you getting flavour from your money. It would also provide an important contribution to your health.


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