It is said that colorful variety of vegetables and fruits provide nutrients. In contrary, edible white mushrooms are also proven to offer important nutrients.
Apparently, mushrooms are considered to be a superfood because of their powerful health benefits and versatility. They are packed with nutrients, but make sure to eat only the edible ones.
Edible mushrooms are fiber-rich and low in calories. They also contain nutrients including Vitamin B, potassium, copper and selenium.
The commonly used variety is the white button mushroom. It is a staple ingredient in different sauces and dishes. Mushrooms also offer medicinal properties that can treat various health conditions like bronchitis, arthritis, allergies and many others.
Mushroom Nutritional Value
|Amount Per 100 grams
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.3 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0.1 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 5 mg||0%|
|Potassium 318 mg||9%|
|Total Carbohydrate 3.3 g||1%|
|Dietary fiber 1 g||4%|
|Sugar 2 g|
|Protein 3.1 g||6%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||3%|
|Vitamin D||1%||Vitamin B-6||5%|
|* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Sources : USDA|
What You Can Get from Mushrooms
Mushroom is deemed to be a natural remedy for cancer. It increases the number of immune cells that fight the dangerous cancerous cells.
According to a study, mushrooms contain anti-cancer compounds that prevent tumor formation. It stops cell mutation and protect the DNA from potential damage. As it protects healthy cells, it also helps the body to detoxify itself and get rid dangerous substances (1).
Mushrooms also contain selenium that reduces the growth rates of tumor and at the same time prevents inflammation. Likewise, the vitamin D content prevents the proliferation of cancer cells. They also contain folate that helps in DNA repair and synthesis, thus averts the mutation of cancer cells in the DNA.
Prevents prostate and breast cancers
Edible mushrooms have conjugated linoleic acid and beta-glucans that are known to be anti-carcinogens. The beta-glucans helps to prevent developing prostate cancer while the linoleic acid suppresses the production of estrogen after menopause to avoid breast cancer.
Mushrooms are packed with fibers, proteins and enzymes. Likewise, they are low in carbohydrates and fats. With this, it will be easier to burn cholesterol.
The fiber content of mushroom serves as bulking agent. It makes you feel full and eventually reduces your appetite and reduce intake of calorie (2).
Including mushroom in your diet can reduce the waist circumference, ensure healthy body weight and optimum overall health.
Perfect for diabetes
Studies revealed that mushroom is beneficial to diabetics. It’s because the high-fiber content lowers the blood sugar level in type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, mushroom helps to improve the blood glucose, insulin levels and lipids in type 2 diabetes (3).
The natural enzymes present in mushrooms can help to break down the starch and sugars. Likewise, the antibiotic properties protect diabetic people from the risks of infections. They also boost the function of endocrinal glands.
Promotes healthy heart
This particular food is rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber that are essential to ensure cardiovascular health. Potassium helps to regulate the blood pressure, thus reducing the risks of experiencing high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
Many varieties of mushrooms can reduce the bad cholesterol or LDL level. This way, hardening of arteries is prevented. It also contains sterol compounds that restricts the accumulation of fat in the liver and at the same time increases the good cholesterol level.
The phytonutrients prevent the formation of plaque in the blood vessel walls. Thus, better circulation and healthy blood pressure is attainable.
Improves brain function and support energy
Mushrooms are packed with B vitamins that support adrenal function. It also converts the nutrients from the foods you eat into useable energy.
Likewise, the B vitamins also enhance neurotransmitter function. Eating mushroom ensures healthy metabolism and prevents thyroid problems.
There are specific types of mushrooms that lower cortisol. This means that it enables your body to keep your mood more positive and manage stress easily.
If you’re experiencing mood problems, age-related neurodegenerative diseases and deterioration in cognitive function, you should consider adding mushroom in your diet.
Aids with weight management
Mushrooms are good substitute for meat and studies showed that they help in your weight loss efforts. These foods are nutrient dense and low in calorie (4).
Consuming mushrooms regularly can lead to reduced waist circumference, healthy body weight and optimal overall health. Aside from improving your weight, mushrooms also your vital organs such as your heart from potential imbalanced hormones and inflammation.
Prevents Vitamin D deficiency
Exposure to sunlight is the cheapest and effective way to obtain vitamin D naturally. However, there are types of mushrooms that give decent amount of vitamins D.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression and worse heart disease. If you’re growing mushrooms either indoors or outdoors, make sure that they are exposed to UV light to increase the vitamin D concentration.
Consuming foods that are rich in vitamin D such as mushroom can prevent bone loss and the risks of heart disease and cancer (5).
A published report showed that mushrooms have compounds and complex substances. These substances have antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-allergic, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and hypoglycemic properties.
This means that mushrooms have the ability to boost the entire system of your body. Keeping your immune system at par can spare you from various diseases.
This food also helps to alkalize the body that is essential for good immunity. Keeping the right balance of the pH level plays significant role to health because can’t thrive in an alkaline environment.
Mushrooms have strong antifungal and antibacterial compounds that can protect human cells. They can also combat microorganisms and multi-resistant bacterial strains that cause skin and gut problems.
Common antibiotics like penicillin, tetracycline and streptomycin contains mushroom fungal extracts.
Beneficial for the skin
Mushrooms have polysaccharide that acts like hyaluronic acid that is beneficial to hydrate the skin. They also provide internal moisturizer that makes your skin firm and plump.
As mushrooms have high vitamin D content, they have healing properties to acne lesions. In fact, many skin care products contain mushroom extracts that are formulated to treat acne.
Likewise, this plant contains kojic acid that makes the skin lighter naturally. This acid prevents the production of melanin to appear in the surface of the skin. Thus, new skin cells look lighter after exfoliation of the dead ones.
The kojic acid present in mushrooms has anti-aging properties. This is the reason why many lotions, creams and serums contain kojic acid. It eliminates the signs of aging including age spots, uneven skin tone and discoloration of the skin (6).
Mushrooms improves the natural defense of your skin, thus improves the appearance and making the skin healthy.
Treats skin problems
Free radical damages and inflammation may result to skin problems. As mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidants properties, you can ensure that it can fight and heal inflammation (7).
Skin care products that contain mushroom extracts are good and effective to treat skin conditions including acne, rosacea and eczema.
Promotes healthy hair
Mushroom offers nutrients necessary for the hair follicles. This food is rich in vitamin D, copper, selenium and antioxidants that can make your hair healthy.
People suffering from anemia most likely experience hair loss. Mushrooms are also rich in iron that helps fight hair loss. Likewise, iron is also important for the production of red blood cells that also makes your hair strong.
In addition, the copper content of mushroom is beneficial for the hair. It plays a role to melanin production to enhance the color of your hair.
Selenium is a mineral that supports healthy hair. Aside from promoting hair growth, selenium also prevents dandruff as it has the ability to kill fungus on your scalp. Combining selenium with zinc can also prevent hair loss.
Supports healthy vision
Vitamin B2 and riboflavin are vitamins that supports healthy vision and they can be found in mushrooms. These vitamins also keep your red blood cells healthy, thus making your immune system strong.
Increases endurance and stamina
Adding mushroom in your diet can help increase endurance and stamina. It aids your body to produce ATP that fuel up the body to run on.
Chinese folk medicine believed that mushrooms are invigorants and also acts as a stimulant, adaptogen and a tonic, thus reduce fatigue and increase energy.
The anti-inflammatory property of mushroom inhibits mitochondrial swelling and improves the activities of antioxidants making it a natural anti-aging food.
Heart disease is considered to be a leading cause of mortality throughout the world. Mushrooms can prevent formation of plaque in the arteries walls that may lead to atherosclerosis.
To avert developing of this condition, the best thing to do is to include mushroom in your diet. This also reduces swelling of the arterial cells and eventually prevent heart disease.
Boosts functions of T-Cells
Mushroom contains polysaccharides that boosts the immune system. It also enhances the functions of special cells that play significant role in preventing illness and disease as well as mutation of cancer cells.
Helps in the formation of red blood cells
Mushrooms are packed with vitamin B9 also known as folate. It helps in the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Likewise, folate is also necessary for your body’s healthy growth.
Averts iron deficiency
This fungus plant is rich in iron that’s why consuming it can avert iron deficiency. Mushroom is a good alternative to meat. It’s important to obtain the right amount of iron needed by your body to avoid weakness, poor concentration, low energy and the risk of developing anemia.
Retards growth of cancerous tumors
A specific type of mushroom has high content of conjugated linoleic acid. This fatty acid can stop the growth of cancerous tumors and controls estrogen production.
Likewise, mushroom extracts also reduce hormonal imbalances and inhibit breast cancer.
Controls release of energy
Vitamin B1 or thiamin is one of the nutrients present in mushrooms. It controls the discharge of energy from carbohydrates. Thus, consuming mushroom can improve the function of the nervous system particularly the brain.
Knowing all the health benefits of mushroom it makes sense integrating this plant in your diet. Mushrooms are also considered as superfood because of the numerous nutrients they provide.
Janice Thompson is a nutritionist. She loves to share her healthy lifestyle and diet tips.