Boletus edulis, the scientific term says little but it is certainly known to everyone with the name of porcini mushroom, as it is commonly called. The porcini mushroom is certainly among the tastiest mushrooms that can be found in specialized shops and at the greengrocer's. But the porcini mushroom also has some interesting health properties, let's see them!
Porcini mushrooms, properties
The porcini mushroom stands out, compared to other edible mushrooms, for its high protein content. Not only that, this mushroom is also rich in antioxidants, useful in fighting aging processes, it provides vitamins of group B and C, mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, selenium and zinc, and fibers (USDA FoodData central). Porcini mushrooms help to keep cholesterol levels under control (Kosanic et al, Iran J Pharm Res, 2012), but also contain anti-inflammatory substances that have been shown to be useful in fighting asthma and therefore inflammation of the airways that causes obstruction of the passage of air (Ruhui et al, Am J Transl Res, 2016). Finally, porcini mushrooms also show interesting anticancer properties, observed, for example, with regard to colon cancer (Lemieszek et al, Food Funct, 2017).
Porcini mushrooms, how their properties change with cooking
Porcini mushrooms are usually eaten cooked, added to risottos, sauces to season pasta or simply browned in a pan with oil. As for the effect that cooking can have on the nutritional profile, scientific studies (Jaworska et al, J Food Sci Technol, 2015) have shown that braising porcini mushrooms in oil preserves the amount of protein, slightly reduces the presence of vitamin B, halves vitamin C and slightly reduces beta carotene and lycopene. However, the presence of tocopherol, an antioxidant, increases, probably linked to the oil used for cooking.
Porcini mushrooms, warnings
Porcini mushrooms can cause, in rare cases, allergic reactions. In case of symptoms after ingesting these mushrooms it is always good to contact your doctor. Finally, porcini mushrooms, like other mushrooms such as Lycoperdon perlatum or Coprinus comatu, can be contaminated with heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic (Falandysz et al, Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig, 2006). However, this contamination is also observed in the absence of pollution in the soil and away from areas affected by human activity precisely due to the ability of these mushrooms to accumulate such substances (Dojimi by Delupis et al, Report of the Higher Institute of Health). Therefore, never overdo the amount of mushrooms but include them in a varied diet.