Do you consider mushrooms as vegetables? They should be, since they’re such perfect blend with most vegetables in soups, stir-fries and salads. Wrong! Mushrooms are in fact fungi which grow and feed on decomposing plants or trees.
Interestingly, some mushrooms grow only on certain trees or under certain conditions such as truffles. Truffles are so rare and difficult to find that their prices are many times more than that of shiitakes.
– 1 g of protein
– 0.1g fat
– 2.7g carbohydrate
– 0.5g fibre
– 16 calories
You can also find essential vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin) and minerals (iron, selenium, potassium, phosphorus) in mushrooms . For example, selenium works well with vitamin E (antioxidant) to prevent prostate cancer. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke.
1. Middlesex University in UK
2. Penn State University in US
When it comes to antioxidant level, portobello and crimini mushrooms are as powerful as carrots, broccoli and red peppers. Antioxidants are useful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and cancer. These two mushrooms contain two kinds of antioxidants, polyphenols and ergothioneine.
3. University of Illinois in US
Six specific mushrooms – white button, crimini, portobello, maitake, shiitake and enoki, are rich in dietary fiber like chitin and beta-glucan. Chitin lowers cholesterol while beta-glucan is good for the heart.
4. Oral Roberts University School of Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma
5. National University of Singapore
A complex carbohydrate compound, lentinan, found in shiitake mushrooms has anti-viral and cancer-fighting properties. Another protein found in enoki also increases our immunity to fight cancer, allergies and viral infections.
Each type of mushroom has its own distinct aroma and taste. Hence, they should be lightly stir-fried with a bit of coconut oil (coconut oil can help to fight cancer) to best retain its nutritional value and taste. You can even toss some mushrooms into your salad bowl – they sure can liven up your palate.
Dried and canned mushrooms provide almost the equivalent amount of calories, protein, fat and fiber as fresh mushrooms . The only thing you have to take note is the high salt content in canned mushrooms which is added during the processing. They also contain lower vitamin B and potassium content compared to fresh and dried mushrooms which are lost in the water during processing.
Though mushrooms are armed with lots of nutrition, they should not be eaten as a meal. That’s because mushrooms still lack certain nutrients such as vitamin C. Since it’s low in calorie, mushrooms also do not provide adequate energy for a normal person’s daily activities. Hence, for all its goodness, a healthy person can still eat mushrooms in moderation daily as part of a well-balanced diet.
Due to high potassium content of fresh mushrooms , people with kidney disease, especially those serious cases and those on hemodialysis, should avoid eating this fungus. Kidney patients can still consume canned mushrooms and dried mushrooms which are lower in potassium, but eat in moderation. Be sure to soak and drain the mushrooms well before cooking.
Those suffering from gout and urate kidney stones should also cut down on mushrooms , which contain moderate amounts of the organic compound purine. Excessive intake of purine may lead to an accumulation of uric acid, leading to the formation of urate crystals in the joints and kidneys.