Mushroom Nutrition Facts

Calories in Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits

Picture of Mushrooms
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Mushrooms are members of plants called fungi. Although, technically, they are not a vegetable, they are used and served as a vegetable. There are so many types of mushrooms, ranging from white button, crimini, shitake, portabella, enoki, cloud ear, and more. The largest cultivated mushroom is the portabella, which can grow up to 6 inches in diameter.

Wild mushrooms are more rare but can be gathered and sold by specialty purveyors.

These types of mushrooms have a strong earthy or nutty flavor.

Mushrooms are available fresh, dried, or canned. Fresh mushrooms are available all year long, with the peak season in the United States being April through June. Wild mushrooms are available seasonally, usually in the summer and fall. Dried and canned mushrooms can also be found all year long. They are a low calorie, low carbohydrate food choice that can be used diversely in cooking.

Mushrooms Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup raw, pieces or slices (70 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 15 
Calories from Fat 2 
Total Fat 0.2g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 222.6mg6%
Carbohydrates 2.3g1%
Dietary Fiber 0.7g3%
Sugars 1.2g 
Protein 2.2g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 3%
Calcium 0% · Iron 11%

*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

One cup of raw mushrooms contains only 15 calories and 2.3 grams of carbohydrate, making it a low calorie, low carbohydrate food choice.

Mushrooms are also a good source of fiber, particularly the soluble fiber, beta-glucan.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are full of vitamins and minerals. They are a very good source of copper, niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), potassium and iron.

B vitamins assist in the release of energy from carbohydrate, protein, and fat.

Copper assists in energy production and iron utilization. It also maintains integrity of connective tissues and assists antioxidant enzymes.

Potassium is important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. It is also required for proper nerve and muscle conduction and may help to lower blood pressure.

Iron is a mineral that is needed for the synthesis of hemoglobin, DNA, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and certain hormones. It is also critical for keeping a normal immune system.

In addition to the many vitamins and minerals mushrooms contain, they have also been found to have high levels of some antioxidant compounds that may help prevent some cancers.

Common Questions About Mushrooms 

Are wild mushrooms safe to eat?

Some wild mushrooms are deadly, therefore, it is not advised to ever gather wild mushrooms on your own to eat. Other wild mushrooms that are sold by reputable purveyors are safe to eat.

Are raw mushrooms safe to eat?

Many people use mushrooms, such as white button, to chop up and put in salads raw. While this is okay, some experts suggest that you're better off cooking mushrooms. The reason for this is two-fold. Cooking mushrooms helps to release the vitamins and minerals in the mushroom.

In addition, certain varieties of raw mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, including a compound considered carcinogenic, which is destroyed through cooking.

Picking and Storing Mushrooms

When shopping for mushrooms, look for fresh mushrooms that are clean and free of blemishes, such as soft, moist spots and discoloration.

Fresh mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator in an open container for about five days. Do not wash them until just before use.

Dried mushrooms can be stored in a cool, dry place for months. To use them, soak them in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes.

Canned mushrooms can be stored until their expiration date and should be rinsed before using to get rid of some of the sodium.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Mushrooms 

Mushrooms can be cooked in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, broiling, sauteing, and roasting. They are a hearty, vegetarian based ingredient that can add texture, flavor, and substance to meals. Use mushrooms when making sauces, stews, and soups, or simply chop them up, saute them, and add them to grains, potatoes, or egg dishes.

Mushroom caps serve as a good vehicle for stuffing. Raw mushrooms can hold spreads and dips, or they can be baked with other kinds of stuffing, such as seafood or cheeses mixed with herbs, spices, and vegetables.

Recipes With Mushrooms

Start your day off with a protein and fiber rich egg dish or pair your main course with a side of simply grilled mushrooms. Top healthy pizzas with mushrooms or add them to your sides. Really, you can add them to anything.

Sources:

American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fun with funghi: garnish your meals with mushrooms. http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/fun-with-fungi-garnish-your-meals-with-mushrooms

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 628-629.

Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrients for Health. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/sites/lpi.oregonstate.edu/files/pdf/mic/micronutrients_for_health.pdf

Linus Pauling Institute. Pantothenic Acid. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/book/export/html/90

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