What is the nutritional value of mushrooms?

Mushrooms in scientific classification belong to the fungi kingdom, But in the food world, they are classified as vegetables, although they are not plants. Mushrooms give us a lot of significant nutrients.

It is well known that if you want to get a good amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet, you must eat a colorful type of fruits and vegetables. The majority of colorless food usually have small amounts of nutrients, but white mushrooms prove otherwise that and have a good amount of nutrients.

The following article gives you a good look at the health benefits of mushrooms, incorporation of them in your diet and any adverse effects or risks on your health due to their use.

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Health benefits of mushrooms

Consumption of many types of food especially vegetables and fruits has a great effect on reducing the risk on the body health.

Eating whole, unprocessed foods such as mushrooms reduces the chance of diabetes, obesity, overall mortality, and heart diseases.

Mushrooms give you good skin, hair, increased energy and lower weight.

1) Cancer

One of the causes of cancer is free radicals, a type of chemical that causes harm to a person’s body cells. Antioxidants can eliminate free radicals, and thus protect the body. Mushrooms have a large quantity of these antioxidants.

Most fruits and vegetables do not have selenium, but mushrooms have a good quantity of it. Selenium has a great role in detoxification of some compounds that may cause cancer and lowers the rates of tumor growth.

It also assists in some liver functions and helps in stopping inflammation.

If you place freshly cut mushrooms in the sun, the amount of vitamin D will increase. Vitamin D plays a major role in the cell growth cycle and thus prevents the growth of cancer.

Folate (also known as folic acid or vitamin B9) is found in mushrooms and helps in DNA synthesis and repair. It assists in the inhibition of cancer cells formation from the transformation in the DNA.

2) Diabetes

Both grilled portabella mushrooms and stir-fried shiitake mushrooms provide fiber by 3 grams for one cup each. Fibers improve the motility of the digestive system and decrease the chance of heart diseases.

In addition to all of that, high-fiber diets lower down the levels of blood glucose in people who have type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, people who have type 2 diabetes may have better blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.

Men have to get 30 grams to 38 grams per day, and women have to get 21 grams to 25 grams per day according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

3) Heart health

Mushrooms have fiber, potassium and vitamin C, which helps in the improvement of cardiovascular health. Mushrooms have a high amount of potassium and low amount of sodium, and that has a great role in reducing cardiovascular diseases and the chance of high blood pressure. Potassium and sodium work together in the body to regulate blood pressure.

The stem of the shiitake mushrooms is a significant source of beta-glucans. If you take 3 grams of beta-glucans each day, you can reduce the levels of cholesterol by 5 percent

4) Immunity

Mushrooms have a good amount of selenium and beta-glucan fibers that exist in the walls of them. Selenium increases the production of killer T-cells which helps in increasing the response of the immune system to infection.

The beta-glucan fibers also increase the ability of the immune system against cancer cells and tumor formation.

5) Weight management and satiety

The cell walls of mushrooms contain two types of dietary fibers, beta-glucans and chitin. These fibers bulks the digestive system and thus have a good role in the management of the weight, by increasing satiety and decreasing appetite. Mushrooms may lower the amount of calorie intake.

The nutritional profile of mushrooms

The levels of sodium, fat, cholesterol and calories are low in mushrooms, and so they are called “Functional Foods”.

The presence of dietary fibers like chitin and beta-glucans and antioxidants in mushrooms help in reducing chronic diseases. And at the same time, they provide basic nutrition.

The components of one cup of chopped or sliced raw white mushrooms:

  • 15 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 2.2 grams of protein
  • 2.3 grams of carbohydrate, including 0.7 grams of fiber and 1.4 grams of sugar

Despite the shape or size of mushrooms, most of them give approximately the same amount of nutrients.

Vitamins and minerals

The B vitamins have an essential role in forming red blood cells, and in getting energy from food to the body. Mushrooms have a lot of the B vitamins such as: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and folate (B9).

These B vitamins are very important for the health of the brain. Folic acid (folate or vitamin B9) is taken during pregnancy to increase fetal health.

As we know, vegans do not eat any animal products, and dairy products which is a great source of vitamin D is forbidden for them. Mushrooms give them the ideal solution because it is the only vegan, non-fortified source of vitamin D.

There are some other minerals that are hard to get in a vegan diet and available in mushrooms. Examples of them are selenium, potassium, copper, iron, and phosphorus.

As we mentioned before, Many types of mushrooms are rich in the fiber called beta-glucans. Nowadays, beta-glucans are under many studies that propose they improve insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of obesity and increase the strength of the immunity system.

Mushrooms have a good amount of choline. Choline helps in several nervous system functions. It helps in keeping the structure of cellular membranes, and the transmission of nerve impulses. It also assists with sleep, learning, muscle movement and memory.

Another effect of choline is that it decreases chronic inflammation and helps inappropriate fat absorption.

Incorporating more mushrooms into the diet

At the market, you must take a good look at the mushrooms you buy. They must be dry and unbruised, Not slimy or withered. And store them in the refrigerator without washing or cutting.