Mushrooms can be delicious but they can also kill us, so be careful which ones you eat.
Mushrooms can be delicious but they can also kill us, so be careful which ones you eat. Thinkstock

Nutritionist deadly serious about fungi

SOME people love 'em. Some people, like my husband, hate them with a passion.

Some people eat them , other use them for fun, they can be delicious but they can also kill us.

They are a fungus and many of us pay good money for them everyday.

They have exotic names like puffball, stinkhorn and fly agaric. What are they? They are mushrooms.

Mushrooms have long been viewed as a super healthy food for vegetarians. Why? Because they are packed to the hilt with vitamins and minerals containing the B vitamins in high levels, vitamin D, unique antioxidants, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and selenium.

The rumour that they contain B12 is just that, a rumour unfortunately. The B12 that was found in mushrooms turned out to be from remaining manure particles they had been grown in. Another reason I would not recommend eating them raw and, in general, they are much more nutritious lightly cooked.

Another variety of mushrooms known as 'magic' mushrooms have a long history of being used in ancient South American and West Indian cultures as medicine and as a pathway to access higher levels of consciousness. They contain a similar hallucinogenic chemical (DST) to that found in LSD.

Others such as reishi, maitake, shiitake, cordyceps and lion's mane have science that supports their immune-boosting properties and even in the treatment of some cancers. One medical journal declared: "As the treatment of various cancers continues to evolve, mushrooms should be considered as an adjunct therapy".

In late 2011, at a New Year's Eve dinner party in Australia, four people ate what they assumed to be a popular Chinese mushroom but within hours they were all rushed to hospital with severe liver failure.

They had, in fact, unknowingly ingested the most poisonous mushroom in the world - the death cap mushroom, and unfortunately two of the four died as a result.

What's the message? Know your mushrooms - the good, the trippy and the deadly.

Find Honor on Instagram and her new Facebook group: The Healthy Tribe, for more articles and information.

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