They add an earthy taste and meaty texture to the foods, be it through sautéing, stuffing, braising, slicing, or even caramelizing. They have a fantastic flavor and as such, are served in a variety of delicacies, ranging from soups to sandwiches and appetizers to casseroles.
These tasty and succulent fungi are called mushrooms, scientifically known as Agaricus campestris. While all of us are aware of their weird taste and unpleasant texture, what most of us are unfamiliar with is their miraculous, magical powers.
A great source of magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium, mushrooms are a chock-a-block of a variety of nutrients, often found missing in those highly processed-food diets that we consume today. They’ve been nicknamed the “Food of the Gods” and have been used for medicinal purposes since times immemorial. Keeping aside the poisonous species, the edible varieties are loaded with numerous wonderful nutritional advantages.
The following section lists some of them. Also, check out the nutritional facts of mushrooms.
Mushrooms Nutritional Facts
Amount of Mushrooms (white, raw): 1 cup
Total Weight of Mushrooms: 96 g
|Calories From Carbohydrate||10.6|
|Calories From Fat||2.7|
|Calories From Protein||7.8|
|Total Carbohydrate||3.1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||1 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||0.3 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||0.1 g|
|Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids||133 mg|
|Vitamin C||2 mg|
|Vitamin D||17.3 IU|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||1.4 mg|
Health Benefits of Mushrooms
- Mushrooms that you find in grocery stores have a surprising amount of copious nutrients, beneficial for reducing the size of certain cancer tumors and combating the production of some cancerous cells, especially those associated with breast and prostate cancer.
- The weight loss benefit that mushrooms offer is known to a very small percentage of people. Low in calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium, mushrooms make a great entry into any weight-reducing diet, due to their high water and fiber content.
- If you had been assuming bananas to be the highest source of potassium, mushrooms are sure to astonish you with this fact as well. Mushrooms outrank bananas on the potassium chart. The potassium found in mushrooms possesses the capabilities of processing sodium and lowering blood pressure. Hence, for people with hypertension or a high risk of stroke, a regular dose of mushroom can assure tremendous health benefits.
- The antioxidant selenium is found plentiful in all varieties of mushrooms. It is known for protecting the cells from being attacked by the damaging free radicals, in accordance with vitamin E. Besides, selenium is also valuable for its cancer-fighting and disease protecting properties.
- The high amount of beta-glucan lentinan in mushrooms is helpful in boosting the immune system and fighting against illnesses that attack the immune system, such as AIDS.
- Mushrooms are an excellent source of copper. Copper is a heart-healthy nutrient, copper, which possesses properties for safeguarding the circular system. A small serving of mushrooms provides more than 20% of the daily copper requirement.
- The fiber and certain enzymes present in mushrooms help in lowering cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the high lean protein amount in these healthful fungi, when digested, helps in burning cholesterol.
- Mushrooms form an ideal part of low energy diet for diabetic patients, due to their low carbohydrate and high protein, vitamin, and mineral content. Plus, the large percentage of water and fiber adds to their advantage. They contain natural antibiotics and certain compounds that help in the formation of insulin and protection from infections, especially those in the limbs.
- Mushrooms are among niacin-rich foods that assist in the prevention or delay of Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. Niacin is also associated with interrupting the activity of homocysteine, an amino acid that elevates cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis.
- They are beneficial for healing wounds and stabilizing blood glucose levels, due to the presence of zinc in adequate quantities.
For those who have always thought of mushrooms as just another food option, you have more than one reason to include these yummy yet nutritious fungi in your diet. So, next time when you are out for veggie shopping, you know what to pick!