A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source. A mushroom is the reproductive structure produced by some fungi. It is somewhat like the fruit of a plant, except that the "seeds" it produces are in fact millions of microscopic spores that form in the gills or pores underneath the mushroom's cap. The term "mushroom" and its variations may have been derived from the French word mousseron in reference to moss (mousse). Delineation between edible and poisonous fungi is not clear-cut, so a "mushroom" may be edible, poisonous, or unpalatable. Although mushrooms are classified as vegetables, technically they are not plants but part of the kingdom called fungi. However, they share some characteristics with plants and, as you will find out, even with animals! Mushrooms are low in calories, have virtually no fat and no cholesterol, and are very low in sodium. Mushrooms are a rich, low calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They may also mitigate the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They're also great sources of: Selenium. One can find mushrooms at the edge of forests, within the darkness of the forest itself, at the base of trees, in a ring in the grass, growing upon dead and decaying organic matter, and even on one's lawn. Basidiomycota: This family includes mushrooms and toadstools. Ascomycota: Sometimes called sac fungi, members of this family often have vivid, eyecatching fruiting bodies.