Here we focus on Morel Mushrooms. What are Morel Mushrooms? What are morel mushrooms health benefits? Can people with diabetes consume morel mushrooms? Can people with high blood pressure eat morel mushrooms?
These are just a few of the many questions about morel mushrooms we will be answering in this article.
Mushrooms are highly sorted by many. Some people like mushrooms because of their very good health benefits, while others search for them because of their great taste.
There are different species of mushrooms, and there are speculations on if they all have the same health benefits. Amongst the numerous mushrooms in existence, morel mushrooms are a type that wishes some attention. Although finding them proves difficult, their benefit can’t be overemphasized once found.
However, people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ill health should always be careful about their consumption. This is due to the sensitivity of their health, where one small mistake can lead to concerning symptoms.
Due to this reason, many people have asked if morel mushrooms and mushrooms, in general, are safe for diabetics.
In this article, we will take you through the basic things you should know about morel mushrooms, where to find them, and how best to prepare them in a safer manner. The ultimate question we try to answer here is if morel mushroom is good for you or not. When is it good? And, when it is bad?
Let’s start by defining mushrooms before jumping into morel mushrooms.
What are Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are said to be reproductive structures that are produced by some fungi. The term mushrooms indicate edible sporophores of some fungi, while toadstool indicates inedible sporophores.
Mushrooms have seeds that produce microscopic spores up to a million number. These spores form or develop in the gills or pores underneath the mushroom’s cap.
These spores are usually blown away by the wind or other means, sometimes through animal feeding.
When the spores find a suitable substrate like the woods or soil, they will germinate into microscopic rooting thread known as mycelium that will now penetrate into their new food source. Mycelium can stay underground for a long time.
Mushrooms are edible fungi capable of providing important nutrients.
As noted, Mushrooms are fungi, and they are in a separate kingdom from plants. They separately obtain their nutrients from plants.
For example, plants make their food through a process known as photosynthesis. Animals eat already made food and digest it internally. Fungi, like mushrooms, have a different mode of obtaining nutrients. Their mycelium grows into or around the food source and digests externally by secreting enzymes. In turn, the mycelium absorbs the digested nutrients.
Now, let’s turn onto morel mushrooms…
What are Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushroom is a type of mushroom.
They are wild mushrooms gotten from wooded areas during the spring months, usually March to June. They can be identified because of their hollow nature, which is one of their distinguishing characteristics.
Morels are not always commonly found, because of their short season, which explains why they are always expensive when found.
These mushrooms can be found at the base of weak or dead trees, and they grow well with the help of rain and warm spring temperatures.
Morel mushrooms have so many varieties but the ones most commonly found are the yellow morel Marcella esculent ides, known as the common morel, and black morels, known as Marcella angusticeps.
You can easily identify them through their colors because the yellow morel has a yellowish gray or yellowish-brown cap.
They often have ridges that can be a little darker or lighter compared to the pits. Sometimes, the whole cap appears similar in color.
The ridges on the cap of black morels usually appear burnt, while the pits are either a dark brown to black color or a lighter brown to a creamy color.
Are Morel Mushrooms Edible?
Morels are edible, but there is an issue of identifying true morels which can be eaten. This is because false morels exist, which have a similar shape to the real morel mushrooms that can be eaten.
To distinguish false morels from true morels, you should note that the cap is often reddish with a smoother surface. The cap usually has a wavy, brain-like veining without the deep pits and honeycomb look that true morels have.
Also, the false morel is not hollow.
Asides from this issue of false morels, true morels are highly edible with a subtle texture and taste. The taste or flavor are often described as earthy, woodsy and nutty, although some describe it as musky and smoky.
Popular Morel Mushroom Dishes
Morels are very hard to come by, but if you happen to come across it, they are various ways in which you can make the best out of this delicious goodness.
You can have it as
- Fried morels
This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to eat your morel mushroom.
All you need do is to get an egg or eggs, make a batter out of the eggs, then go ahead and choose the coating of your choice.
You can decide to use bread crumbs or crackers, or any other coating you desire.
Dip the morel in the batter, after which you will now smear with the coating.
Go ahead and fry in butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Sautéed morel
This is an alternative that brings out the rich flavor of morels. You just need to cook them in batches, after which you dry for about 4-5 minutes. Then keep turning them until it turns tender or golden brown.
Choose your most preferred seasoning.
When you are done cooking all the batches, put them all back in the skillet and sauté with butter, oil, shallots, and bourbon until dry.
- Morel pizza
If you enjoy eating pizza, you can consider adding morel as one of your toppings in the pizza.
To make your toppings, cut them into halves and toss them in the skillets with shallots, asparagus, thyme, and white wine.
What’s In Morel Mushrooms?
Morel mushrooms contain important nutrients which are beneficial. Morel mushrooms are good sources of iron and copper.
With a 66g of morel mushroom, you can get…
- Iron – 8.041mg
- Copper – 0.412mg
- Vitamin D – 3.4mg
- Phosphorus – 128mg
- Manganese – 0.387mg
- Zinc – 1.34mg
- Vitamin B5 – 0.315mg
- Total dietary fiber – 11.8 grams
- Protein – 2.06 gram
- Magnesium – 13mg
- Total fats – 0.38
Morel Mushrooms Health Benefits
Asides from the unique taste morel mushroom possesses, they are well-known to have great health benefits. Some of these benefits include;
1. Morels help in bone health
Morels assists in bone formation because of their very high content of vitamin D.
Morels have been found to have the highest amount of vitamin D amongst all the numerous edible mushrooms.
You will find 206 IU or 34% daily required levels of vitamin D in every 100 gram of raw morel, usually in the form of ergocalciferol.
Vitamin plays an important role in the absorption of calcium which is very much essential in the maintenance of bone health.
When there is a deficiency of vitamin D, it might lead to bone ailments like rickets and osteomalacia and also increase the risk of bone fractures, osteoporosis, and broken bones.
Calcitriol and parathyroid hormones help to maintain the calcium level. Vitamin K functions to ensure the maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood.
2. Morels help in thyroid health
Potassium, zinc, calcium, and copper found in large quantities in morels are essential for the adequate functioning of thyroid activity, and they also function to prevent hyperthyroidism.
For people lacking in any of these minerals, a good quantity of morel can help supplement them.
Any deficiency in any of these minerals can lead to the suffering of the thyroid and give rise to problems like weight gain or loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, and the rest.
3. Morels might assist in treating arthritis
This ability of morel to help in the treatment of arthritis is because of its high copper content.
Copper is among the essential trace elements. Essential trace elements generally function as co-factors for many oxidative enzymes which are involved in cellular metabolism. They are required for blood cell production and neurotransmission.
4. Morels may help to treat liver ailments and maintain bowel health
Zinc is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in cellular metabolism, mucosal regeneration, immune function and reproductive organ growth.
When there is enough amount of zinc in the body, it can help to lower infection and damage to the liver.
Zinc helps in cleaning the liver by eliminating waste products. Eliminated waste products help to reduce the free radical damage and also help in the absorption of nutrients. This will help to keep liver disease or ailments in check.
Morel fungus also helps in combating alcohol-related toxicity.
When there is an adequate amount of zinc in the body, it helps to prevent diarrhea and other bowel-associated ailments. The deficiency of zinc is highly associated with diarrheal diseases as well as digestive problems.
Is Morel Mushrooms Safe For People With Diabetes?
Diabetes is associated with high blood sugar, therefore it is of great importance that you consume food that will help in managing blood sugar.
Morel mushroom contains low carb and a high amount of vitamins. Morel mushrooms may benefit certain types of diabetes. Through research, it has been found that diets rich in vegetables like mushrooms and other foods rich in vitamins may help combat gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes affects approximately 14% of pregnancies worldwide, and this type of diabetes affects both the mother and child.
Morel mushrooms have high vitamin B content that may help in protecting against decreased mental function and dementia in older adults who have dementia.
It will also help diabetics who take the drug metformin to control their sugar level. It has also been noted that vitamin B, which are the main bioactive compound in mushrooms polysaccharides, may have anti-diabetic properties.
Polysaccharides may lower blood sugar levels. It may also help to improve insulin resistance and also reduce pancreatic tissue damage.
Also, beta-glucan is a soluble fiber and one of the types of polysaccharides that are found in mushrooms. They help slow digestion and delay the absorption of sugars, thereby controlling blood sugar levels after meals.
Considering all these, it can be said that morel mushrooms are very safe and healthy for people with diabetes.
Is Morel Mushrooms Safe For High Blood Pressure?
Morel mushrooms are rich in vitamins, and vitamins help to lower blood pressure.
This means that patients with blood pressure also stand to gain other benefits provided by vitamin D. some of these benefits include lowering bad cholesterol, preventing gum disease, and also relieving symptoms of respiratory diseases.
So, if you have diabetes and suffer from high blood pressure, taking morels can help lower your blood pressure.
What Does The Research Say?
Different research points to the single fact that morel mushrooms have various health benefits. They have been found to be very high in vitamins and other essential nutrients. This means that eating morel will expose you to the important nutrients it provides.
Apart from those having allergies, morels are generally considered safe.
When taking already cooked morels, before you get carried away by the taste, it is important that you try to identify the kind of morel it is. This is because some people are not professional hunters and might mistakenly get false morels in place of true morels.
Therefore, you should ensure that your source is highly trusted and professional.
Ensure that you wash out the dirt in morels before preparation to avoid complications.
If you take morels and notice any unusual allergy, it is important that you desist from eating it, or you can reach out to your health care professional.
If you generally react to morels and you are a mushroom lover, you can try other species or types of mushrooms.
When Should You Not Eat Morel Mushrooms?
Although morel mushrooms have been considered very safe, you should bear in mind that in some cases, morel mushrooms can make you sick. Once a morel mushroom is not properly cooked, you should not eat it because it can make you sick or cause other serious health effects which may be detrimental to you.
No matter how attractive morel mushrooms look, you should never eat them raw. Eating raw morel mushrooms can cause gastric upsets.
If you are not sure of the identity of the morel you are being served, it is better that you avoid eating morels, avoid eating false morels by mistake.
If you are diabetic or hypertensive, or if you have other health complications, you should be careful. If you eat morel and notice that you are reacting to it, you should desist from eating it.
Tips For Finding And Preparing Morel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms are very rare and scarce to find, but they are usually abundant in springs.
Knowing that they are abundant in springs is not just enough because you require some special information and skills to be able to find them. Knowing what morel mushrooms are and what to look out for are the first and most important steps to finding morel.
You should know that morels are abundant in moist soil, so you should be looking out for or anticipating snowy winters and rainy springs. Morels are also very abundant in woody areas.
Rick Hill, a wildlife artiste, observed that once the oak leaves become the size of a mouse ear, you should set out to look for morels. As funny as this sounds, it has been tried steps many and observed to be true.
Also, morels are usually found near trees, but not just any tree. It is important to discover the best trees where morels can be found.
So far, the best trees are sycamore, hickory, ash, and elm trees. Also, morels favor fruit trees. Also, monitor when the temperature is at 50 degrees or above 50 degrees. You should also look out for areas that are well-drained and also receive plenty of rainfall. You can also find morels in grassy areas.
Once you have found your morels, there are things you should not do. The first is that you should never eat your morel raw because they will make you sick.
Brown your morels so that you will improve the flavor.
Once you are sure that you found the perfect morels, you can cook them whole. Note that some people have allergies, so they might still react even after the morel has been cooked. Opt for simple preparations when preparing your morel.
Morel mushrooms are very beneficial because of their numerous health benefits. If you have a way of finding them or if you are in regions that have them in abundance, then you should consider yourself lucky. If you can overcome the difficulty that finding it poses, then you are good to go.
The numerous health benefits that morel mushrooms provide an account for how well it is usually recommended.
If you are a diabetic, you are also free to take morel mushrooms.
Ensure that it is well cooked and prepared.
We have also emphasized on the possibility of getting false morels. Having that in mind, ensure that your source is safe enough. If you notice any reaction in the course of consumption, you can choose to desist from eating it.