With the further development of transportation and refrigeration technology and the introduction of new cultivation methods, it is now a common sight that mushrooms as well as apples and pumpkins are sold in grocery stores. In fact, you can get a variety of mushrooms that were unthinkable a few years ago.

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With different shapes, sizes and textures, mushrooms always attract people's attention. If it can't be eaten, people want to know what it is and how they can be used to prepare food.

Americans have recently discovered the importance of consuming mushrooms, a fact that has been known by other cultures for centuries. Mushrooms are low in calories but high in protein. They also contain zinc, chitin, iron, minerals, vitamins, and fiber, which makes it a healthy choice.

Mushrooms are not only healthy food, but are also often used to make alternative medicines. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used mushrooms for hundreds of years. There are more than 200 types of mushrooms in China, nearly 25 percent of which have anti-cancer properties.

Mushrooms are also a source of germanium, a compound known to increase the body's oxygen efficiency. In addition, germanium is known to balance the body's exposure to environmental pollutants and strengthen the body's immunity. Besides these beneficial effects, germanium is known to neutralize toxic residues in the body.

Another compound found in mushrooms is polysaccharides. They have the ability to fight tumors and stimulate the immune system. Mushrooms are also rich in sources of amino acids, namely lysine and tryptophan, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamins B, C and K.