Mushroom Nutrition Facts
Mushrooms are fungi, which is a separate kingdom of life from plants and animals. Technically, they are not a vegetable, but they are used and served as a vegetable. They are a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate food choice that can be used diversely in cooking.
There are many types of mushrooms, ranging from white button, crimini, shitake, portabella, enoki, cloud ear, and more.
The largest cultivated mushroom is the portabella, which can grow up to 6 inches in diameter. Fresh mushrooms are available all year long, with the peak season in the United States being April through June. Wild mushrooms are available seasonally, usually in the summer and fall. Dried and canned mushrooms can also be found all year long.
Nutrition FactsMushrooms Nutrition FactsServing Size 1 cup raw, pieces or slices (70 g)Per Serving% Daily Value*
|Calories from Fat 2|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g|
|Monounsaturated Fat 0g|
|Dietary Fiber 0.7g||3%|
|Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 3%|
|Calcium 0% · Iron 11%|
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet
One cup of raw mushrooms contains only 15 calories and 2.3 grams of carbohydrate, making it a low calorie, low carbohydrate food choice. Mushrooms are also a good source of fiber, particularly the soluble fiber, beta-glucan.
The net carbs, after subtracting fiber, is 1.6 grams per cup of raw pieces. What sugar there is in mushrooms is mostly glucose.
There are no scientific studies of the glycemic index of mushrooms since they are so low in carbohydrates. The glycemic load takes into account serving size and it is estimated to be low at a value of 2.
They are assumed to have little effect on blood glucose or insulin response.
Mushrooms have only a minuscule amount of fat, most of which is polyunsaturated fat. They have 97 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids per cup and no omega-3 fatty acids.
Mushrooms provide a small amount of protein, only 2.2 grams per cup, which is about equal to the grams of carbohydrate. This is only 4 percent of your daily needs, so you should be sure to eat protein-rich foods as part of a balanced diet, such as legumes, nuts, dairy, meat, or fish.
Mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of copper, niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), potassium, phosphorus, and iron. B vitamins assist in the release of energy from carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
Copper assists in energy production and iron utilization. It also maintains the integrity of connective tissues and assists antioxidant enzymes. Potassium is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. It is also required for proper nerve and muscle conduction and may help to lower blood pressure. Iron is a mineral that is needed for the synthesis of hemoglobin, DNA, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and certain hormones.
In addition to the many vitamins and minerals mushrooms contain, they have also been found to have high levels of some antioxidant compounds that may help prevent some cancers.
Are wild mushrooms safe to eat?
Many wild mushrooms are deadly and can look like the safe varieties, so it is risky to gather wild mushrooms on your own to eat. Wild mushrooms that are sold by reputable purveyors should be safe to eat.
Are raw mushrooms safe to eat?
Many people use mushrooms, such as white button, to chop up and put in salads raw. Some experts suggest that you're better off cooking mushrooms because cooking helps to release the vitamins and minerals in the mushroom.
Certain varieties of raw mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, including a compound considered carcinogenic, which is destroyed through cooking. However, cooking will not render highly-toxic mushrooms safe to eat.
Recipes and Preparation Tips
When shopping for mushrooms, look for fresh mushrooms that are clean and free of blemishes, such as soft, moist spots and discoloration. Fresh mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator in an open container for about five days. Do not wash them until just before use.
Mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, broiling, sauteing, and roasting. They are a hearty, vegetarian ingredient that can add texture, flavor, and substance to meals. Use mushrooms when making sauces, stews, and soups, or simply chop them up, saute them, and add them to grains, potatoes, or egg dishes.
Mushroom caps serve as a good vehicle for stuffing. Raw mushrooms can hold spreads and dips, or they can be baked with other kinds of stuffing, such as seafood or cheeses mixed with herbs, spices, and vegetables.
Start your day off with a protein and fiber-rich egg dish or pair your main course with a side of simply grilled mushrooms. Top healthy pizzas with mushrooms or add them to your sides. Use them as a substitute for meat if you are looking to follow a vegetarian or vegan meal plan.
For some delicious main dishes, try these recipes for crustless Smoked Salmon, leek, and mushroom quiche, mushroom barley risotto with chicken, or vegetarian herbed mushroom bolognese
Allergies and Interactions
Food allergies to mushrooms are rare but have been seen. You may have a cross reaction if you are allergic to molds.
Some species of mushrooms can interact with alcohol in unpleasant ways. The inky cap mushroom contains coprine, which acts like the drug Antabuse, causing a racing heart, flushing, tingling, and other symptoms when you have alcohol as long as five days after eating the mushroom. Some other mushrooms give digestive distress to susceptible people who have alcohol with them.
The biggest concerns are with wild mushrooms and a wide variety of poisonous substances they contain. Sometimes this is gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea and may either pass or require hospitalization. Other toxins can affect the involuntary nervous system, kidneys, and liver, or are carcinogenic. Some of these toxins can be fatal in hours and have no antidote. Hallucinogenic mushrooms contain psilocybin and related compounds that produce psychological and perceptual effects.
Video: The Top Nutrients in Mushrooms
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