Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years both as food and for medicinal purposes. They are often classified as a vegetable or an herb, but they are actually fungi.
While there are over 14,000 mushrooms, only about 3,000 are edible, about 700 have known medicinal properties, and less than one percent is recognized as poisonous.
Today, mushrooms are eaten by people, for their flavor, texture as well as for the health benefits they accord.
Mushroom Nutrition Facts
100 grams of uncooked, white button mushrooms contain the following nutrients:
- Folate (Vitamin B9) – 16.0 mcg ,/li>
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 3.6 mg
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 3.6 mg
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – 1.5 mg
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – 0.4 mg
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.1 mg
- Copper – 0.3 mg
- Iron – 0.5 mg
- Magnesium – 9.0 mg
- Phosphorus – 86.0 mg
- Potassium – 318 mg
- Selenium – 9.3 mcg
- Zinc – 0.5 mg
Mushroom nutrition cannot be overemphasized each kind of mushroom has it’s own value and the more you eat a variety of it, the more likely you are to get a balanced effect on your body. It is a mushroom fact that mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber.
Hence, they are an ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensives.Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke.
Helps keep the right balance of water in fat and muscle tissues, and helps ensure the proper functioning of cells.
One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice. One serving of mushrooms also provides about 20 to 40 percent of the daily value of copper, a mineral that has cardio protective properties. Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Males who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent. A study on aging showed that men with the lowest blood selenium levels were 4 to 5 times more likely to have prostate cancer compared to those with the highest selenium levels.
Fresh button mushrooms especially, possess substances that inhibit the activity of aromatase (an enzyme involved in estrogen production), and 5-alpha-reductase (an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT). The latest findings show that white button mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
An extract of white button mushrooms decreased cell proliferation and decreased tumor size in a dose-dependent manner. The chemo protective effect can be seen with an intake of about 100 grams (3.5 ozs) of mushrooms per day.
Shiitake mushrooms have been used for centuries by the Chinese and Japanese to treat colds and flu. Lentinan, a beta-glucan isolated from the fruiting body of shiitake mushrooms, appears to stimulate the immune system, help fight infection, and demonstrates anti-tumor activity. Shiitake mushrooms comprise of Lentinan, a beta-glucan that has been associated with stimulation of the immune system and thus, is believed to be helpful in fighting against AIDS. It also helps fight infection and exhibits anti-tumor activity.
It has been found that mushroom extract helps stop migraine headaches and is beneficial for people suffering from mental illnesses, like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Oyster mushrooms are said to be useful in strengthening veins and relaxation of the tendons. Being rich in fiber, protein and Vitamin B, mushrooms help maintain a healthy metabolism.0