Monthly Archive August 2015

POTASSIUM Functions, Sources and Diseases associated with Potassium

Potassium is the principal intracellular cat-ion. It is equally important in the extracellular fluid for specific functions. It is one of the main blood minerals called “electrolytes” (the others are sodium and chloride), which means it carries a tiny electrical charge (potential). The blood serum contains about 4-5 mg. (per 100 ml.) of the total potassium; the red blood cells contain 420 mg., which is why a red-blood-cell level is a better indication of an individual’s potassium status than the commonly used serum level.

The natural diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is rich in potassium and low in sodium, helping to maintain normal blood pressure and sometimes lowering elevated blood pressure. Potassium is very important in cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism; it participates in the synthesis of protein from amino acids in the cell. Potassium also functions in carbohydrate metabolism; it is active in glycogen and glucose metabolism, converting glucose to glycogen that can be stored in the liver for future energy. Potassium is important for normal growth and for building muscle.

What are the Functions of Potassium in body?

  1. Potassium maintains intracellular osmotic pressure
  2. It is required for the regulation of acid-base balance and water balance I n the cells
  3. The enzyme pyruvate kinase is dependent on potassium for optimal activity
  4. Potassium is required for the transmission of nerve impulse
  5. Adequate intracellular concentration K is necessary for proper biosynthesis of proteins by ribosomes
  6. Extracellular potassium influences cardiac muscle activity

What is the daily recommended allowance for Potassium?

Recommended dietary allowance guidelines vary depending on age. Infants from 0 to 6 months old should receive 400 milligrams daily, and those from 7 to 12 months old need 700 milligrams. The RDA for children from 1 to 3 years old is 3,000 milligrams each day, those from 4 to 8 years old warrant 3,800 milligrams and those from 9 to 13 years old need 4,500 milligrams. Children older than 13 and adults should get 4,700 milligrams per day, except for lactating women, who require 5,100 milligrams

What are the food sources of Potassium?

potassium image

Potassium is found in a wide range of foods. Many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium and, as discussed, help prevent hypertension. Most of the potassium is lost when processing or canning foods, while less is lost from frozen fruits or vegetables.

  • Fruits- banana, orange, pineapple
  • Potato, sweet potato, beans
  • Chicken, liver
  • Tender coconut water is a rich source of potassium
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Yogurt
  • Dried apricots
  • Milk
  • Salmon
  • Pistachios
  • Raisins

What are the deficiency symptoms of Potassium?

Potassium is needed to maintain good health. Although a balanced diet usually supplies all the potassium a person needs, potassium supplements may be needed by patients who do not have enough potassium in their regular diet or have lost too much potassium because of illness or treatment with certain medicines.

Hypokalemia:-decrease in the concentration of serum potassium is observed due to over activity of adrenal cortex, prolonged cortisone therapy, intravenous administration of K ion free fluids, treatment of diabetic coma with insulin, prolonged diarrhea and vomiting.

The symptom of hypokalemia include

  • Irritability
  • Muscular weakness
  • Tachycardia is a faster than normal heart rate at rest
  • Cardiomegaly
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Changes in the ECG are observed
  • Passing large amounts of urine or feeling very thirsty most of the time
  • fainting due to low blood pressure
  • Abnormal psychological behavior: depression, psychosis, delirium, confusion or hallucinations.

Hyperkalemia:-increase in the concentration of serum potassium is observed in renal failure, adrenocortical insufficiency, diabetic coma, severe dehydration, intravenous administration of fluids with excessive potassium salts

The manifestations of hyperkalemia include

  • Depression of central nervous system
  • Mental confusion
  • Numbness
  • Bradycardia with reduced heart sounds and finally cardiac arrest




Sodium Functions, Sources and Deficiency symptoms

About 50% of body sodium is present in the bones, 40% in the extracellular fluid and the remaining 10% in the soft tissues. Sodium helps control blood pressure and regulates the function of muscles and nerves, which is why sodium concentrations are carefully controlled by the body. Without enough sodium in your body, your cellular function and neural communication shut down. However, most people consume far more sodium than their bodies need. Unlike other vitamins and minerals, heat has no effect on sodium. Therefore, it can be used in different ways and preparations without losing its effects. Also, it is an important constituent of nerves and helps regulate muscle contractions.

What are the functions of sodium in the body?

  • In association with chloride and bicarbonate, sodium regulates the body’s acid-base balance
  • Sodium is required for the maintenance of osmotic pressure and fluid balance
  • It is necessary for the normal muscle irritability and cell permeability
  • Sodium is involved in the intestinal absorption of glucose, galactose and amino acids
  • It is necessary for initiating and maintaining heart beat

What is the recommended dietary allowance of Sodium?

The daily consumption of sodium is generally higher than required due to its flavor. Healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. Adults with high blood pressure should have no more than 1,500 mg per day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.

There are no specific recommended amounts of sodium for infants, children, and teens. Eating habits and attitudes about food that are formed during childhood are likely to influence eating habits for life.

What are the food sources of sodium?

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt.

The common table salt used in the cooking medium is the major source of sodium. The good sources of sodium include

  • bread
  • whole grains
  • leafy vegetables
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • milk

What are the diseases associated with Sodium?

Your body regulates sodium levels carefully to prevent levels from getting too high or too low. The kidneys are responsible for controlling sodium concentrations and retain sodium when your levels are low and excrete sodium in the urine when levels are high. However, people with kidney problems may be more susceptible to dangerous changes in sodium levels due to kidney dysfunction. Your body can also lose sodium in the form of sweat. This means that people who sweat a lot, such as endurance athletes, are susceptible to hyponatremia during periods of increased physical activity.


Hyponatremia:- this is a condition in which the serum sodium level falls below the normal. Hyponatre,mia may occur due to diarrhea, vomiting, chronic renal diseases, Adison’s disease. Administration of salt free fluids to patients may also cause hyponatremia. This is due to overhydration. Decreased serum sodium concentration is also observed in edema which occurs in ciorrhosis or congestive heart failure. The manifestations of hyponatremia include reduced blood pressure and circulatory failure.

Hypernatremia:- this condition is characterized by an elevation in the serum sodium level. It may occur due to hyperactivity of adrenal cortex, prolonged administration of cortisone, ACTH and /or sex hormones. Loss o0f water from the body causing dehydration, as it occurs in diabetes inspidus, results in hypernatremia. The symptoms of hypernatremia include increase in blood volume and blood pressure

Dental Management of the Mentally Handicapped Children

There are many definitions of mental retardation. The most commonly used by all the professionals is the one given by American Association of Mental Retardation. Mental retardation or mental handicap refers to a conditio9n that slows down mental and physical growth. A mentally retarded child is slow or lacking in the development of mental function, when compared to those children of his age level. Therefore, a ten year old mentally retarded child may exhibit behavior like that of a three or four year old child depending on his/her level of retardation.

The number of new special schools for the children with mental retardation is increasing with concern for proper transits, planning and preschool programs. Mental retardation is not an illness. It is a state of arrested development of intelligence, originating in the development period and is associated with diminished adaptive behavior.

What are the causes of mental retardation?

Mental retardation can be caused by many factors: accordingly before birth, at birth or child’s early years.

  1. Prenatal: causes that occur before birth
  2. Perinatal: causes that occur during the birth process
  3. Postnatal: causes that happen after birth or during childhood

Prenatal causes exert their effects before birth. Examples include genetic and heredity, toxins taken by the pregnant mother, disease, and neural tube defects. Genetics and heredity include conditions such as fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome, as well as phenylketonuria (PKU). Prenatal toxins include alcohol, tobacco, and drug exposure resulting from the behavior of the mother during pregnancy. Diseases and infection, such as HIV/AIDS, can devastate an unborn baby. Neural tube disorders, such as anencephaly (where most of the child’s brain is missing at birth) and spina bifida (incomplete closure of the spinal column), are also prenatal causes of mental retardation.

Perinatal causes occur during the birthing process. They include birth injuries due to oxygen deprivation (anoxia or asphyxia), umbilical cord accidents, obstetrical trauma, and head trauma. They also include low birth weight.

Postnatal causes occur after birth. The environment is a major factor in many of these situations. Child abuse and neglect, environmental toxins, and accidents are examples of postnatal causes. An additional reason for being identified as having mental retardation is societal biases, particularly toward diverse students.

How to prevent dental problems in mentally handicapped children?

Creating awareness of the importance of oral hygiene is a step to be undertaken, to ensure lower incidence of dental problems in the mentally handicapped. This can be achieved by bringing the prevention of dental disorders to the forefront. Primary prevention is a prophylactic measure to prevent the onset of the illness, while secondary prevention is to prevent the symptoms of illness at its earliest. The former can be achieved by giving training for proper cleaning of teeth; the latter enhances the resistance of the body to prevent co-morbid conditions affecting ear, nose, throat and sinus. It is to be noted that gingival disorders are found to be more common in mentally handicapped with problems like the Downs syndrome. The bigger size of the tongue prevents full closure of the mouth, thereby encouraging mouth breathing resulting in dry gums and increasing chances of infection. Poor vascularity, plaque and calculus enhance permanent damage.

Thus the saying, “prevention is better than cure” is an idea, which needs to be emphasized to the parents so that there is an organized effort on their part to give attention to proper oral hygiene. In case of children, the parents can star by helping them hold the toothbrush and clean their teeth. Subsequently, allow the child to clean the front teeth without support and then help clean the back teeth and the sides. Finally, watch whether the child properly does so; if the child does well, some incentives can be given to make the routine dental care a habit

Dental management of the mentally handicapped children

Patient management in the case of the mentally handicapped might cause problems because of the lack of co-operation and ineffective communication. There are certain requirements, which cannot be overlooked. It is to be understood that those children lacking logical thinking can be non-co-operative and may require special treatment chairs with belts etc, to restrain them. In extreme cases of non-acceptance, partial sedation may also be required.

Therefore, special facilities and dental care within familiar surroundings like school premises could help soothe their apprehensions, which, in turn, help in giving treatment effectively. Based on the facts mentioned above, the IDA believes that a permanent setup for free check-up and treatment for these unfortunate children by dental surgeons at a school or an institution is a matter that requires urgent attention.

Calcium Functions, sources and deficiency symptoms

Calcium is the most abundant among the minerals in the body. The total content of calcium in an adult man is about 1 to 1.5 kg. As much as 99% of it is present in the bones and teeth. A small fraction of the calcium, found outside the skeletal tissue, performs a wide variety of function. Most of the blood Ca is present in the plasma since the blood cells contain very little of it. The normal concentration of plasma or serum Ca is 9-11 mg/dl. The hormones calcitriol, parathyroid hormone and calcitonin are the major factors that regulate the plasma calcium within a narrow range

What are the functions of Calcium in the body?

  1. Development of bones and teeth:- calcium along with phosphate, is required for the formation of hydroxyapatite and physical strength of skeletal tissue. Bones which are in a dynamic state serve as reservoir of Ca. Osteoblasts are responsible for bone formation while osteoclasts result in demineralization.
  2. Muscle contraction:– calcium interacts with troponin C to trigger muscle contraction. Calcium also activates ATPase, increases the interaction between actin and myosin
  3. Blood coagulation:– several reactions in the cascade of blood clotting process are dependent on calcium
  4. Nerve transmission:– calcium is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulse
  5. Membrane integrity and permeability:– calcium influences the membrane structure and transport of water and several ions across it.
  6. Activation of enzymes:– calcium is needed for the direct activation of enzymes such as lipase, ATPase and succinate dehydrogenase
  7. Calcium as intracellular messenger:– certain hormones exert their action through the mediation of calcium
  8. Release of hormones:– the release of certain hormones insulin, PTH, calcitonin from the endocrine glands is facilitated by calcium

What is the daily Recommended Dietary Allowance of calcium?


Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
0–6 months* 200 mg 200 mg
7–12 months* 260 mg 260 mg
1–3 years 700 mg 700 mg
4–8 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
9–13 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
14–18 years 1,300 mg 1,300 mg 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
19–50 years 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
51–70 years 1,000 mg 1,200 mg
71+ years 1,200 mg 1,200 mg

What are the food sources of calcium?


Calcium rich foods are

  • Cheese, Milk, yogurt
  • Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified orange juice
  • Soy beans
  • Fortified soy milk
  • Fish, egg yolk


the absorption of calcium mostly occurs in the duodenum by an energy dependent active process. It is influenced by several factors

Factors promoting Ca absorption

  1. Vitamin D induces the synthesis of calcium binding protein in the intestinal epithelial cells and promotes Ca absorption.
  2. Parathyroid hormone enhances Ca absorption through the increased synthesis of calcitriol
  3. Acidity is more favourable for Ca absorption
  4. Lactose promotes calcium uptake by intestinal cellos
  5. The amino acids lysine and arginine facilitate Ca absorption

Factors inhibiting Ca absorption:-

  • High content of dietary phosphate results in the formation of insoluble calcium phosphate and prevents calcium uptake
  • The free fatty acids react with Ca to form insoluble calcium soaps. This is particularly observed when the fat absorption is impaired
  • Alkaline condition is unfavourable for Ca absorption
  • High content of dietary fiber interferes with Ca absorption
  • Phytates and oxalates interfere with Ca absorption

What are the diseases associated with calcium?

Hypocalcemia:- is a more serious and life threatening condition. It is characterized by a fall in the serum Ca to below 7 mg/dl, causing tetany. The symptoms of tetany include neuromuscular irritability, spasms and convulsions. Hypothyroidism is associated with a decrease in serum Ca and an increase in serum phosphate, besides the reduced urinary excretion of both Ca and phosphrous

Hypercalcemia:- the serum cxalcium level is increased in hypercalcemia. It is associated with hyperparathyroidism caused by increased activity of parathyroid glands. Decrease in serum phosphate is noticed in this condition.

Rickets:- rickets is a disorder of defective calcification of bones. This may be due to a low levels of vitamin D in the body due to a dietary deficiency of Ca and P or both. The concentration of serum Ca and P may be low or normal.

Osteoporosis:- it is characterized by demineralization of bone resulting in the progressive loss of bone mass. The elderly people of both sexes are at risk for osteoporosis. However, it is most predominantloy occurs in the postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis results in frequent bone fractures which are a major cause of disability among the elderly. So higher dietary intake of Ca is recommended for elderly people.

What are the risks of taking calcium?

Side effects:- At normal doses, calcium supplements may cause bloating, gas, and constipation. Very high doses of calcium can cause kidney stones. Research has found an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in some people taking calcium supplements in addition to a diet high in calcium, though the true accuracy of these findings is being actively debated by experts.

Interactions:-If you take any prescription or over-the-counter medicines regularly, ask your doctor if it’s safe to use calcium supplements. Calcium can interact with drugs for heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and other conditions. Excessive doses of vitamin D can result in dangerously high levels of calcium. High doses of calcium can also interfere with the absorption of other minerals, like iron and zinc. In general, take calcium one to two hours apart from other supplements or medications. When taken at the same time, calcium can bind those products and pass them unabsorbed from the body.

Risks:- People with kidney disease, heart problems, sarcoidosis, or bone tumors should not take calcium supplements unless their doctors suggest it.

Overdose:- Excessive levels of calcium in the blood can cause nausea, dry mouth, abdominal pain, irregular heartbeat, confusion, and even death.


Iron Functions, Sources and Deficiency symptoms

The total content of iron in an adult body is 3-5g. About 7o% of this occurs in the red blood cells as a constituent of hemoglobin. At least 5% of body iron is present in myoglobin of muscle. Heme is the most predominant iron containing substance. It is constituent of several proteins/enzymes- hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, xanthine oxidase, catalase, tryptophan pyrrolase, peroxidase. Certain other proteins contain non-heme iron- transferrin, ferritin and hemosiderin. Iron is an essential element for almost all living organisms as it participates in a wide variety of metabolic processes, including oxygen transport, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis, and electron transport.

Why is iron Important to the human body?

  1. Iron mainly exerts its functions through the compounds in which it is present. Hemoglobin and Myoglobin are required for the transport of oxygen and carbon di oxide.
  2. Cytochromes and certain non-heme proteins are necessary for electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation
  3. Iron is associated with effective immune-competence of the body

Iron absorption and metabolism:-

Iron is mainly absorbed in the stomach and duodenum. In normal people, about 10% of dietary iron is usually absorbed. Iron is mostly found in the foods in ferric form, bound to proteins or organic acids. Vitamin c is necessary to convert ferric iron to ferrous form. Iron in the ferrous form is soluble and readily absorbed. Iron is stored in liver, spleen and bone marrow in the form of ferritin. In the mucosal cells, ferritin is the temporary storage form of iron.

Iron metabolism is unique as it operates in a closed system. It is very efficiently utilized and reutilized by the body. Further, iron losses from the body are minimal which may occur through bile, sweat, hair loss etc. Iron is not excreted into urine. Thus, iron differs from the vitamins or other organic and inorganic substances which are either inactivated or excreted during the course of metabolic function. Iron entry into the body is controlled at the absorption level, depending upon body needs. Thus the periodical blood loss in menstruating women increases its requirements. Increased iron demands are alsoobserved in pregnancy, lactation and in growing children.

What are the food sources of Iron?

Dietary iron has two main forms: heme and nonheme. Plants and iron-fortified foods contain nonheme iron only, whereas meat, seafood, and poultry contain both heme and nonheme iron. High iron foods include clams, liver, sunflower seeds, nuts, beef, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu.


irony iron


Rich sources:- organ meats such as liver, heart, kidney

Good sources:- leafy vegetables such as broccoli, Spinach, kale, collards, asparagus and dandelion greens. Pulses, cereals, fish, apples, dried fruits and molasses

Poor sources:- milk, wheat, polished rice


What is the recommended dietary allowance of Iron?

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
Birth to 6 months 0.27 mg* 0.27 mg*
7–12 months 11 mg 11 mg
1–3 years 7 mg 7 mg
4–8 years 10 mg 10 mg
9–13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14–18 years 11 mg 15 mg 27 mg 10 mg
19–50 years 8 mg 18 mg 27 mg 9 mg
51+ years 8 mg 8 mg

Factors affecting Iron absorption

  1. Acidity, ascorbic acid and cysteine promot6e iron absorption
  2. In iron deficiency anemia, iron absorption is increased to 2-10 times that of normal
  3. Small peptides and amino acids favour iron uptake
  4. Phytate found in cereals and oxalate found in leafy vegetables interfere with iron absorption
  5. A diet with high phosphate content decreases iron absorption while low phosphate promotes
  6. Tea and eggs decrease iron absorption to a limited extent
  7. Iron absorption is diminished in copper deficiency
  8. Impaired absorption of iron is observed in malabsorption syndromes such as steatorrhea
  9. Administration of alkali decreases iron absorption
  10. In patients with partial or total surgical removal of stomach and/or intestine, iron absorption is severely impaired

What are the symptoms of iron deficiency?

  • Iron deficiency anemia:- this is the most prevalent nutritional disorder worldover, including the well developed countries. Several factors may contribute to iron deficiency anemia. These include inadequate intake or defective absorption of iron, chronic blood loss, repeated pregnancies and hookworm infections. Iron deficiency anemia mostly occurs in growing children, adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women. It is characterized by microcytic hypochromic anemia with reduced blood hemoglobin levels. The other manifestations include apathy (dull and inactive), sluggish metabolic activities, retarded growth and loss of appetite

Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify.

Iron deficiency anemia symptoms may include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent infections
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia
  • An uncomfortable tingling or crawling feeling in your legs

 What is the effect of excessive iron in the body?

The excessive iron can cause hemosiderosis.

Hemosiderosis:- this is a less common disorder and is due to excessive iron in the body. It is commonly observed in subjects receiving repeated blood transfusions over the years. Iron is a one way compound, once it enters the body, it cannot escape. Excessive iron is deposited as ferritin and hemosiderin. Hemosiderosis is sometimes accompanied by hemochromatosis. Bronzed pigmentation of the skin, cirrhosis of liver and pancreatic fibrosis are the manifestations of the hemosiderosis. Hemochromatosis is a rare disease in which iron is directly deposited in the tissues such as liver, spleen, pancreas and skin. Hemochromatosis causes a condition known as bronze diabetes

What is the treatment for the iron deficiency anemia?

Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify. If you or your child develops signs and symptoms that suggest iron deficiency anemia, see your doctor. Iron deficiency anemia isn’t something to self-diagnose or treat. So see your doctor for a diagnosis rather than taking iron supplements on your own. Overloading the body with iron can be dangerous because excess iron accumulation can damage your liver and cause other complications. Oral ferrous iron salts are the most economical and effective medication for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia. Of the various iron salts available, ferrous sulfate is the one most commonly used.

mushroom health benefits

Top 5 Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms, though classified as vegetables in the food world, are not technically plants. They belong to the fungi kingdom and although they are not vegetables, mushrooms provide several important nutrients. One cup of chopped or sliced raw white mushrooms contains 15 calories, 0 grams of fat, 2.2 gm of proteins, 2.3g of carbohydrates including 0.7 g fiber, 1.4 g of sugar. Large varieties of mushrooms are available with the same amount of nutrients.

Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium, fat, cholesterol, and calories and have often been referred to as “functional foods.” In addition to providing basic nutrition, they help prevent chronic disease due to the presence of antioxidants and beneficial dietary fibers such as chitin and beta-glucans. Mushrooms also contain choline; an important nutrient found that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline assists in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, supports proper fat absorption and reduces chronic inflammation.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

  1. Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins:- mushrooms are rich in Riboflavin, folate, thiamine, pantothenic acid and niacin. Thiamine, as a cocarboxylate is involved in energy releasing reactions. The coenzyme of riboflavin and niacin take part in a variety of oxidation-reduction reactions connected with energy generation.
  2. Provide several minerals:- mushrooms also provide several minerals that may be difficult to o0btain in the diet, such as selenium, Potassium, Copper, iron and phosphorus
  3. Improves insulin resistance:-beta-glucans are type of fiber that is found in the cell walls of many types of mushrooms. Recently, beta-glucans have been the subject of extensive studies that have examined their role in improving insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of obesity and providing an immunity boost.
  4. Increase your vitamin D:- mushrooms are the only vegetable source of this critical vitamin. Like humans, mushrooms can produce vitamin D when they exposed to sunlight. The active form of vitamin D is calcitriol which functions like a steroid hormone and regulates plasma levels of calcium and phosphate.
  5. Boost your immune system:- mushrooms may promote immune function by increasing the production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells while they are trying to protect and repair the body’s tissues.

mushroom health benefitsWhat precautions should be taken while purchasing mushrooms?

It is best to consume mushrooms that have been cultivated under appropriate conditions. Wild mushrooms that are toxic to humans can cause severe illness and sometimes even death. The beta glucans in the mushrooms may be risk for those with auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and multiple sclerosis. Mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, as well as air and water pollutants, so healthy growing condition is a critical factor.

Best Way to Store the Mushrooms?

Mushrooms become slimy and develop brown spots within just a few days. Paper bags, plain plastic bags, perforated plastic bags and containers are used to store the mushrooms. It is ideal to use mushrooms in first couple days. Mushrooms can be stored on a paper towel, either in their original container or in a glass bowel with perforated plastic wrap over the top of the container and place them immediately in the refrigerator. Do not leave them out of the fridge for an extended period of time.

  • When buying loose mushrooms, select the closed and fresh mushrooms. If you want to store these mushrooms, put them in a smallest size container that will hold all the mushrooms and then wrap the container with plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap to let air escape.
  • Wild mushrooms keep better in a paper bag in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Paper allows for better air flow while the crisper drawer keeps the air slightly humid and prevents the mushrooms from drying out. It is better to consume mushrooms within one week after purchase.
  • Actually mushrooms continue to grow after picking and refrigeration slows down their metabolism. For commercial mushrooms that are plastic wrapped in the grocery store, keep them directly in the refrigerator with their original packaging. Unopened packs can be stored up to 1 week

How to Clean Mushrooms?

Don’t soak mushrooms in water for cleaning purpose because mushrooms can absorb water. Usually black dirt will appear on the mushrooms. Rinse mushrooms under cold water thoroughly to remove black dirt. Most dirt should wash off; any spots that are toughened or bruised should be cut from edible flesh. Peel off and discard the outer layer of mushrooms. Cleaning them with water and then wiping them is more efficient than soaking in water.

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