What Are The Nutritional Value Of Mushrooms?
Last Updated on May 15, 2020 by Ephraim Iyodo
Mushrooms are packed with nutritional value. They’re low in calories, are great sources of fiber and protein (good for plant-based diets).
They also provide many important nutrients, including B vitamins, selenium, potassium, copper, and (particularly when exposed to the sun) vitamin D.
And even though they’re commonly white, they’re packed with as many antioxidanats as more colorful fruits and vegetables.
Nutrutional Value Of Mushrooms To The Body
Mushrooms contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These can have various health benefits.
For example, antioxidants are chemicals that help the body eliminate free radicals.
Free radicals are toxic byproducts of metabolism and other bodily processes. They can accumulate in the body, and if too many collect, oxidative stress can result. This can harm the body’s cells and may lead to various health conditions.
Among the antioxidant agents in mushrooms are:
- vitamin C
Boosting immune system
Studies also find that eating mushrooms can give you impressive immune-boosting benefits.
A clinicaL study conducted at the University of Florida’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition found that eating shiitake mushrooms daily improves immunity — in a way that is not found in any currently available pharmaceutical drugs. And common white button mushrooms, as well as other mushroom types, may also have anti-inflammatory power.
Plus, mushrooms may be able to alter gut bacteria for the better, which could also help treat obesity.
Dietary fiber may help manage a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
A 2018 review of meta-analyses concluded that people who eat a lot of fiber may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who already have it, fiber may help reduce blood glucose levels.
A cup of sliced, raw mushrooms, weighing 70 grams (g), provides almost 1 g of fiber.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 22.4–33.6 g of dietary fiber each day, depending on sex and age.
Mushrooms, beans, some vegetables, brown rice, and whole-grain foods can all contribute to a person’s daily requirement of fiber.
Antioxidants may help you live a longer, healthier life. A diet rich in antioxidants protects cells from free radicals, helping the body cope with the normal oxidative stress that damages healthy cells.
While almost any edible mushroom will give you a boost in nutrients, the following seven mushrooms are proven to have the most antioxidants and may help you live longer.
Improving digestion with mushrooms
Mushrooms are a gut-friendly food.
They are prebiotic, which means they nourish the good bacteria in your gut. They’ve also been found to balance the microbiome’s beneficial bacteria, such as Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
Mushrooms have a lot of nutritional value with few calories and little fat. They also contain two types of dietary fibers, beta-glucans and chitin, which increase satiety and reduce appetite.
In one study, researchers gave people less meat and more mushrooms in place of meat. After just one year, people reported feeling healthier, and they lost a lot of weight, had less diabetes, and their blood pressure and cholesterol went down.
The antioxidant content in mushrooms may help prevent lung, prostate, breast, and other types of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Some sources have suggested that selenium may help prevent cancer, but a Cochrane review, from 2017, found no evidence to confirm this.
Mushrooms also contain a small amount of vitamin D. There is some evidence that vitamin D supplementation may help prevent or treat some kinds of cancer, though according to a 2018 report, the effect may vary from person to person.
Choline is another antioxidant in mushrooms. Some studies have suggested that consuming choline can reduce the risk of some types of cancer, but at least one other study has indicated that it may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
It is worth noting that consuming a nutrient as a supplement is not the same as consuming it in the diet.
But what mushrooms are best known for and researched is their apparent cancer-fighting powers. Mushrooms contain a class of proteins called lectins, which are able to bind to abnormal cells and cancer cells and label the cells for destruction by our immune system.
Numerous studies have shown that mushrooms help fight breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, uterine cervix cancer, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer, and acute leukemia. In addition, antitumor compounds have been identified in various mushrooms species.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women. So scientists have done a lot of research about the activities mushrooms possess against breast cancer.
Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins, such as:
- riboflavin, or B-2
- folate, or B-9
- thiamine, or B-1
- pantothenic acid, or B-5
- niacin, or B-3
B vitamins help the body get energy from food and form red blood cells. A number of B vitamins also appear to be important for a healthy brain.
The choline in mushrooms can help with muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline assists in maintaining the structure of cellular membranes and plays a role in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Mushrooms are also the only vegan, nonfortified dietary source of vitamin D.
Several other minerals that may be difficult to obtain from a vegan diet — such as selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus — are available in mushrooms.
Many types of mushroom are edible, and most provide about the same quantities of the same nutrients per serving, regardless of their shape or size.
The table below shows how much of each nutrient a 96-g cup of whole, raw mushrooms provides. It also shows how much of each nutrient adults should consume every day, depending on their sex and age.
|Nutrient||Amount of nutrient in 1 cup of mushrooms||Recommended daily intake|
|Carbohydrate (g)||3.1, including 1.9 g of sugar||130|
|Vitamin C (mg)||2.0||65–90|
|Vitamin D (mg)||0.2||15|
|Folate (mcg DFE)||16.3||400|
Mushrooms also contain a number of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, B-6, and B-12.