Well, let’s find out…
Tough to digest
Mushrooms have very tough cell walls and are really difficult for us to digest. The cell walls of plants on the other hand contain cellulose and are easily broken down. When mushrooms are cooked, their walls are broken down making them more digestible. And also at the same time a lot of nutrition which is contained in the mushroom cell walls, is released.
Porcini and chanterelles are actually considered stomach irritants when eaten raw.
Many mushrooms, even those considered edible, contain irritating or toxic components, generally considered carcinogenic. These are usually eliminated or destroyed when cooking. Both broiling and grilling are good. Cooking also includes marinating like with lemon juice or pickling them.
But in some species, including the common buttons a lot of the toxic components can still remain (25-75%).
So the question is more – whether to eat them at all?
Even if cooking could destroy many toxins and irritants in mushrooms, the deadly toxins are not affected by heat or any leaching processes. Cooking or not makes no difference with these poisonous toadstools.
However there are many benefits from certain mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, oyster mushrooms and enoki. And according to Asian belief mushrooms are considered both medicine and food.
Certain mushrooms are used strictly for medicine, like reishi, Lions Mane, chaga etc.
And finally another benefit from mushrooms. If they have been exposed to sunlight, they contain Vitamin D. You can even increase the Vitamin D content if you leave dried mushrooms out in the sun.
A safe consumption of any and all mushrooms is crucial. Eat them in moderation, even if cooked, no over indulgence.
Do you eat mushrooms?