9 Different Types Of Edible Mushrooms And Their Benefits

Mushrooms are versatile living organisms that are part of the fungi family and can be seen worldwide. Although you can find several different types of mushrooms in a host of shapes and sizes, not every kind is suitable for consumption. Some are mildly toxic, while others can be downright poisonous and fatal to humans on consumption. Edible mushrooms are a delicacy and are hugely popular all over the world. Mushrooms are an integral part of the human diet from ancient times, and they are full of nutrients and vitamins essential for the human body’s optimal functioning. Mushrooms also play a vital role in traditional medicine due to the wide variety of medicinal values in different types of mushrooms. The mushrooms can help you fight chronic diseases such as cancer, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and improve your immune system.  There is still plenty of research going on regarding the benefits of mushrooms and the therapeutic uses of each variety. Mushrooms can reverse and prevent health problems such as heart disease and even DNA damage. There are also psychedelic mushrooms that are edible but find their use as a medicine rather than a cooking ingredient. This article will guide you through the nine different types of edible mushrooms and their benefits.

1. Portobello

Portobello mushrooms are some of the largest types of mushrooms that are commonly available for consumption. Originating from Italy, now they are grown all over the world due to their immense popularity. Their flavor resembles that of meat, and due to their large size, they form the ideal replacement for meat in your dishes.

9 Different Types Of Edible Mushrooms And Their Benefits

This mushroom is an excellent source of Vitamin B6, which is essential for the production of over 100 chemical compounds in the body. Vitamin B6 helps your body to break down fatty acids into easily absorbable components. These mushrooms also contain copious amounts of Copper, Selenium, and Vitamin D.

This mushroom is an excellent source of Vitamin B6, which is essential for the production of over 100 chemical compounds in the body. Vitamin B6 helps your body to break down fatty acids into easily absorbable components. These mushrooms also contain copious amounts of Copper, Selenium, and Vitamin D.

2. Shiitake

Originating from Japan, the Shiitake mushroom has several medicinal properties and has a smoky flavor. These mushrooms possess high antiviral and antibacterial properties as well as help in anti-aging. Shiitake mushrooms have a high Vitamin B and fiber content while being low in calories. You can consume Shiitake mushroom regularly to prevent diabetes, minimize the hardening of arteries and cholesterol levels, and improve immunity.

3. Oyster Mushroom

The Oyster mushrooms inherit the name as they resemble the shape of an oyster, and you can find them growing on decaying wood. They are relatively easy to grow, and they have a subtle odor and flavor with a whitish-grey to beige-brown color. These mushrooms are common ingredients in soups and stir-fries of both Chinese and Japanese origin. Oyster mushrooms have an abundance of antioxidants like Riboflavin, Niacin, and Thiamine that boosts metabolism, immune system, and cardiovascular health.

4. Psilocybe Cubensis

9 Different Types Of Edible Mushrooms And Their Benefits

The Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms are a type of edible mushrooms that exhibit psychedelic properties. They get their name from the active ingredient psilocybin, which is present in the mushroom. They have an innate connection with several ancient cultures around the world due to their therapeutic value. According to a study by the John Hopkins University and the Beckley Foundation, Psilocybe Cubensis effectively treats addiction and abuse disorders.

5. Morel

Morel mushrooms have pits and ridges across the cap giving it a unique honeycomb-like appearance. Cultivating this type of mushroom is not viable, and you will need to forage in the wild for obtaining them. Several poisonous mushroom varieties look similar to the Morel, and hence you must never attempt to hunt them yourself if you are not familiar with mycology.

These mushrooms have large quantities of micronutrients such as Phosphorus, Copper, Manganese, Iron, Riboflavin, Zinc, and Vitamin D, which satiate nutritional needs.

6. White Button

The white button mushrooms are the most common type of mushrooms that are commercially available. These mushrooms are an excellent prebiotic which aids in the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.

They can reduce blood sugar levels and promote insulin resistance, and they also possess properties that can help in fighting cancer. These mushrooms are also an excellent source of Vitamin B12 and D2 for vegetarians, as these are typically found in animal sources.

7. Chanterelles

Chanterelles range from white to orange color, and they are one of the most common wild mushroom varieties that are fit for human consumption.

They have smooth caps with a mild peppery taste and a fruity smell, and they grow in clusters in a wide variety of environments, from coniferous forests to grasslands. Chanterelles are an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, as well as nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin B12, copper, and zinc.  

8. Enoki

Enoki mushrooms are long and thin and resemble a string in appearance. These mushrooms are easy to grow, and you can buy them at low prices. They can serve as an adequate replacement for spaghetti and noodles in individual Italian dishes. Enoki mushrooms have a high Vitamin B and Niacin content and are rich in protein while containing a low amount of calories. These mushrooms reduce the chance of contracting allergies, improve digestion, and boost the immune system.

9. Shimeji

Shimeji mushrooms grow on dead wood, such as on beech trees, and have a white base with brown caps. They have a sweet, crunchy, and have a nutty flavor and impart the elusive umami flavor to food due to the presence of Aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and guanylic acid. Shimeji mushrooms possess strong antiparasitic and antimicrobial properties, and they help to control diabetes, facilitate weight loss, prevent cancer, and lower cholesterol levels in your blood. 


Although there are hundreds of thousands of mushroom varieties all over the planet, only 250 are poisonous to humans. However, you need to be careful of foraging mushrooms in the wild for consumption as the toxic varieties look blatantly similar to the non-poisonous varieties. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy as they have no cholesterol and low in sodium, fats, and calories. Mushrooms are especially essential to include as part of your diet as they contain high antioxidants such as Selenium. The antioxidants neutralize free radicals in your body, fight to age, and prevent damage to your cells and tissues. They also contain trace vitamins crucial for normal functioning of your body such as Vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Whenever you cook mushrooms, ensure that you do not overcook, which can lead to a loss of nutrients

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Neal has had long running relationship with Daoism and its health related practices including Chi Gung, Meditation and a interest in its methods of using herbs and food to generate health. He hopes his passion will rub off on you in a positive way.

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