Nutrition In Mushrooms
Our today topic is nutrition in mushrooms.We will share the best benefits of mushroom.Mushrooms are just the perfect addition to our diet menu, there’s that special feeling that comes with being served a bowl of mushroom soup, if only you know what I mean. As unpopular as it is in some parts of the world, you would be surprised at how many special delicacies is made from mushrooms, in this article you will discover the nutrition in mushrooms, shall we?
What are mushrooms?
So, what really are mushrooms? I mean, I would be curious if I was you, are you not?
Anyways, mushrooms are also known to be called a toadstool but the name mushroom itself was coined from the French word mousseron (in respect to mousse), unlike plants it lacks chlorophyll which makes them green, so, it usually comes in different colors with white being the most common, then brown, black, yellow, pink etc. That makes it even more interesting, seeing it comes in different colors, right?
Mushrooms are actually a type of fungus that is edible, it produces millions of microscopic spores that form in the pores underneath the mushroom’s cap and that is what serves as its seed as it could be spread through different means. They are usually fleshy and produced above the ground or it could be produced on its food source (which could be dead or still decaying organic material).
Now, it is important to also note that not all mushrooms are edible, as some are known to be poisonous or maybe unpalatable, as we unravel the nutrition in mushroom and its benefits, then we will also do well to inform you on the ones to avoid.
Nutrition In Mushrooms
Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms come in different types, shapes and colors, some are quite edible while others are very poisonous. So, it’s important that we know some of the differences in the different types of mushrooms discovered.
Below are some types of mushrooms;
- Button mushrooms: Which are the most common type of mushrooms, everyone knows and has seen a button mushroom. They are popularly known as baby mushroom or white mushroom and are grown all over the world. They are usually small too and may be used in pizzas and as garnishes in other delicacies.
Examples of its dishes include Button Mushrooms , garlic mushrooms, mushroom chips etc.
- Portobello Mushrooms: with the name meaning ‘beautiful door’, you may wonder where it originates from. Think of button mushroom as the child and then Portobello mushroom as the adult because Portobello mushrooms are the full-grown stage of button mushrooms life. They are meaty (which is fantastic), rich in flavor and larger in size. They are baked, fried and always a vegetarian’s choice of food.
Examples of their dishes include garlic butter Portobello mushroom, baked Portobello mushrooms, grilled honey balsamic Portobello mushrooms etc.
- Cremini Mushrooms: With cremini being the market name, it is called crimini and it is brown and quite rich in flavor. Also, closely related to the common white mushroom but it is quite firmer and also known as “baby bella”.
Examples of their dishes include sauteed crimini mushroom, roasted crimini mushroom with fresh herbs, pickled crimini mushrooms and much more.
- Chicken of the woods mushroom: Talk of a mushroom that can perfectly substitute meat for vegetarians. The name is Laetiporus sulphureus and it tastes almost like chicken (yes, that is true), it is found throughout the world and also called crab of the woods mushroom. It grows in clusters and is orange in color and it is found growing mostly on the side of trees. Although care should be taken and ensure it is well cooked to avoid problems. Examples of its dishes include chicken fried chicken of the woods, chicken mushrooms hash browns, buffalo chicken of the woods and blue cheese etc.
- Hedgehog mushrooms: usually hanging down and forming shapes that could resemble a hedgehog, they are yellow/orange in color or at least their caps and they also have a fruity odor. Also known as sweet tooth as they have a nutty like taste.
Examples of their dishes include shingled hedgehog mushroom soup, sautéed fresh hedgehog mushrooms, hedgehog mushroom and turkey pot pie etc.These are just a few amongst the various types of mushrooms that exist, others include oyster mushroom, chanterelle mushroom, porcini mushroom (used mainly in Italian cooking), king oyster mushroom, enoki mushroom, giant puffball mushroom, reishi mushroom and so on
Also, there are poisonous mushrooms that should be properly avoided for our health sake, some are Death cap (Amanita phalloides), deadly dapperling (Lepiota brunneoincarnata), podostroma cornu-damae, autumn skullcap (Galerina marginata), webcaps (Cortinarius species), destroying angels (Amanita species), conocybe filaris etc. It is quite dangerous to feed on any of the mentioned types of mushrooms.
It is clear that with the information above that you know what type to choose to eat or use for medicinal purposes and the ones to avoid.
Nutrition In Mushrooms
Nutrients in Mushroom
Mushroom unlike most people may think is nutritious and filled with varieties of vitamins, it may greatly improve your immune system and give a load of other benefits when added to your diet menu. So, when properly added to your diet, you can enjoy the most benefits from it.
The 100g weight of a mushroom (brown, Italian) or crimini (raw) according to the USDA nutrient database, 2019 contains the following;
Nutrition value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 94 kJ (22 kcal)
Carbohydrates 4.3 g
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 2.5 g
Thiamine 0.1 mg
Riboflavin 0.5 mg
Niacin 3.8 mg
Pantothenic acid 1.5 mg
Vitamin B6 0.11 mg
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin D 3 IU
Magnesium 9 mg
Folate 25 μg
Calcium 18 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Phosphorous 120 mg
Potassium 448 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Manganese 0.142 mg
Zinc 1.1 mg
So, with these loads of nutrients, I am sure you know how great an addition mushrooms will make to your diet. It doesn’t end here, let’s check some of the benefits it has to your body.
Note: Mushrooms have different uses ranging from medicinal to culinary but we will consider only the health benefits in this article.
Health Benefits of Mushroom
Some of the health benefits of mushrooms include but is not limited to;
- Improved Immune System: Eating healthy is one essential means to ensure you maintain and build a good immune system. You may want to ensure you eat foods that contain a lot of vitamins, antioxidants, proteins, essential minerals etc., and mushrooms have a load of these in them. They help the body create a strong defense against all kinds of diseases. It is important that I also mention that mushrooms are used widely for medicinal purposes since ancient times to date. A good example is the reishi mushroom which is strong and good for medicinal use.
- Sufficient Vitamin D: Evidence shows that when mushrooms are exposed to sunlight or Ultraviolet light, there is a spike in the amount of vitamin D present, which has made them a very important source of Vitamin D.
It is well known that the role of Vitamin D in the human body cannot be overemphasized, from helping to combat inflammatory diseases in the body, to aiding the absorption of calcium in the body which ensures we have stronger bones, then supporting brain functions and cardiovascular health and a host of other benefits.
In a well-conducted experiment, the US Department of Agriculture took a 100g weight of a mushroom (brown, Italian) or crimini (raw) and it was passed through Ultraviolet light and as a result of that, the Vitamin D measured 1276 IU instead of the normal 3 IU in the one that was not exposed to UV light, according to the USDA nutrient database, 2019.
- Heart and Skin health: with a good supplement of pantothenic acid, riboflavin and niacin in mushrooms, the heart health needs are well catered for. Although, the presence of potassium in all mushrooms makes it more helpful to heart health-related matters because potassium is quite cogent to our hearts and nerves. Also, niacin plays a huge role in our skin health as it helps up maintain its freshness and protect it from severe sun damage.
Actually, there are several other benefits that mushrooms give to our body and I fail to mention everything but with the few ones here, it should tell you how good and nutritious it is.
Please, note that it is important that before you add any food you are unfamiliar with to your diet, you always ask your nutritionists or doctor for guidance.