Mushrooms are low in calories; most of their content is water, so you can eat them without having to worry about gaining weight. Where prepared with regard to dietary requirements, mushrooms make an ideal part of a weight-loss menu.
Boletus mushrooms are also low in sodium, which is why they are easy on the kidneys and are therefore suitable for individuals with high blood pressure. They are high in potassium. This mineral also lowers blood pressure. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamins, especially riboflavin and niacin, known as vitamins B2 and B3, which help reduce the level of blood cholesterol.
“Forest products” are a good source of selenium, an effective antioxidant which, in coordination with vitamin E, help the human body get rid of harmful radicals. According to some sources, mushrooms help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
It is a proven fact that mushrooms boost immunity in general, thereby lowering the risk of malignancy. In traditional Chinese medicine, mushrooms are used to treat common colds and flu. According to the results of recent studies, they protect us from infections and even cancer.
Mushrooms are used in cooking in a wide variety of ways; they can be boiled, fried, steamed, grilled or baked.
Fresh mushrooms are used in soups, sauces, starters or main dishes. They can be combined with all kinds of ingredients, such as poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, corn, pasta etc. As for cold dishes, mushrooms are widely used in spreads, salads or jellies. Mushrooms can be preserved by drying, or pickled in sweet and sour brine or their own juice. They can also be preserved in salt or used to make spreads, marinated or powdered. Due to the fact that they are aromatic, they are frequently used as spices, helping to flavour blander dishes.
Mushrooms should be avoided by persons with diseases of the kidneys or of the digestive tract; they are not suitable for small children under the age of 3 and the elderly should consume with care.
Why dried fruits?
Drying is a simple preservation process that has been used since ancient times. It is the best method of preserving seasonal produce for later use. During the process of drying, the piece of fruit shrinks and the result is a small dry piece of fruit with a more concentrated content of all chemical elements, sugar, energy and especially taste.
One piece of dried fruit has the same nutrient content as a fresh piece, in spite of being much smaller in size. Compared with fresh fruit, its fibre content is 3.5 times higher, as is the content of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, vitamins C and E and essential minerals, especially potassium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. One portion of dried fruit may contain the recommended daily intake of many vitamins and minerals, e.g. folic acid. Dried fruit is rich in fibre and a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols. Polyphenol antioxidants improve blood flow and digestion; they reduce the damage caused by free radicals and the risk of many diseases.
The best place to store dried fruits is a dry cellar or dark and dry pantry. As these fruits are a natural source of fruit sugar and grape sugar, prolonged storage may result in crystallisation on the surface. This process does not compromise the quality of the dried fruits.
Dried fruits are convenient and practical in simple recipes. They can be used in mashes, puddings, cakes and pies, but they can also be served with meat.
During winter, dried fruits are a key source of vitamins, as well as an unlimited opportunity for healthy snacking. Dried fruits are a healthy alternative to unhealthy commercially-produced sweets and other sweet products.
Nuts have positive health effects. Unsaturated fatty acids reduce the level of fats in our blood and they also reduce the level of LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”). They serve as prevention of heart attacks and strokes. They are also rich in vitamin E; therefore serving as an antioxidant that protects the veins from free radicals.
They are an important source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, fibre, sterols and other essential minerals.
Nuts have a positive effect on the nervous system and memory, thereby making studying easier and improving the ability to focus. They also boost immunity and prevent cardiovascular diseases. Nuts improve the quality of the skin, nails and hair in women and sexual stamina in men. According to a recent study, nuts prevent atherosclerosis and ageing of the organism; they also contribute to easier recovery and healing. They are also high in proteins. Regular consumption of nuts has a positive effect on the prevention of various metabolic diseases.
All kinds of nuts have a positive effect on human health. Experts recommend the consumption of 30 to 50 grams of nuts a day. Instead of unhealthy potato chips, grab a bag of walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios or Brazil nuts. If you have to watch your calories, the nuts to choose are almonds, pistachios and cashews.
The great thing about nuts is that they can be eaten raw; they taste great when roasted or even toasted. Nuts can be used in a variety of dishes, not necessarily just desserts. Many people cannot imagine Christmas baking, cakes, or pies without walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. Nuts go great with cheese, pears, carrots, olives or ham. We can also combine them with honey or cream.
Home-made ice cream, salads, pasta, home-made bread or meat can also taste better if you add nuts.