Opinion: The Upside of Trying New Things

justpene50

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I was told not to eat mushrooms

I remember gazing upon these soft umbrella-like plants nestled upon a rotting log in the front corner of our yard. The tiny brown and white umbrellas ranged in size and were quite intriguing.

On wet days, after a night of heavy rains, this strange plant would appear.

To my child's eye, they were delicate and enchanting. Though they evoked the tiniest of fear. They were reminiscent of images we had seen in our storybooks, usually of a leprechaun or a toad sheltering under them.

The old folks said the spirits used it to shelter from the rain.

Jumbie umbrellas as they were called, usually found a home on old logs, under trees, or in the dark underbrush of our gardens. The logs were so old that they were well into their process of natural disintegration. If one took hold of a piece of the decaying log in your hand and if you rubbed your finger together, it became dust.

Folklore tells that the jumbies, zombies, ghosts, or spirits (words used interchangeably), use the ‘umbrellas’ to hide under during the rain. Kids will believe anything. The absurdity in retrospect is laughable.

I do not know the names of the mushroom species that grew so abundantly everywhere back then, but they were pretty much taboo in our part of the world. No one I knew ate mushrooms, they were undesirable, and the word on the street was that “they ate these things in other parts of the world”. They went on to tell us they were poisonous.

So, we would play with them. They were so delicate that it was easy to crush them under our feet.

Years later, I began traveling and was introduced to edible mushrooms. I immediately fell in love with their musty taste and meat-like texture.

An edible fungus

According to Wikipedia, Mushrooms are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source.

Mushrooms are a low-calorie food rich in nutritional value. Loaded with many health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they can be an important addition to your diet.

Note, their particular circumstance of growth impacts their nutritional components, for e.g., mushrooms grown with exposure to ultraviolet light are a good source of Vitamin DVitamin D is an important component for optimum health.

Nutritional Value

Mushrooms, according to the FDA, contain, sodium, potassium, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamin C, iron, and various trace elements.

Benefits of eating mushrooms

  1. Aids weight loss
  2. Lowers blood pressure
  3. Nutritional value and trace elements

The takeaway

Though my first encounter with mushrooms was negative. I am glad I kept an open mind when it came to trying new things. In making a decision to try something new, I found a new low-calorie food that I now love.

It is important to take some time and see another perspective, to give new experiences, and new places a chance.

In doing so, you may find a new joy, a new love, or a new friend.

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