It's astounding how many movies there are about mushrooms: everything from the 1995 Australian flick “Mushrooms” about two eccentric old dames with a passion for poison, to the 2000 Irish horror film “Shrooms” and the 2014 BBC documentary “The Magic of Mushrooms,” which is the story of fungi's mysterious life cycle.
It's also astounding how many types of mushrooms there are. In North America alone, more than 10,000 species have been described.
Out of that 10,000, around 1 percent will kill you, 20 percent will make you sick, 4 percent will be edible and tasty, and the rest aren't worth the bother, according to Mushroom, the Journal.
The edible ones do deliver great nutritional benefits, however. One serving of UV-raised portabellas delivers 64 percent of your daily value of vitamin D.
And most mushrooms — such as white button and shitake — naturally deliver a good dose of selenium, and the B vitamins, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and niacin.
And that's not all. A study of seniors found that having two three-quarter cup servings of cooked mushrooms a week cuts your risk for mild cognitive impairment in half.
But even one small portion weekly may provide brain benefits.
The main brain-protective ingredient in mushrooms is called ergothioneine — an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound your body can’t make on its own.
Mushrooms also contain ingredients that help inhibit production of beta amyloid and phosphorylated tau, which are characteristics of Alzheimer's disease.
So whether they’re sauteed, stewed, or grilled, enjoy the flavor and nutrition boost that mushrooms deliver.