A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus, hence the word mushroom is most often applied to those fungi (Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes) that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae, sing: lamella) on the underside of the cap, just as do store-bought white mushrooms.
Fresh mushrooms are a source of:
Four to five medium sized white mushrooms (100 g) make an important contribution to your Daily Values (DV) of:
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 24% DV (0.4 mg)
- Riboflavin is an essential enzyme required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. It also supports antioxidant protection.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) 18% DV (3.6 mg)
- Niacin acts as a co-enzyme in the metabolism of carbohydrate and fatty acids, and is required for energy metabolism.
- Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) 15% DV (1.5 mg)
- Pantothenic Acid has numerous essential roles in energy metabolism and fatty acid metabolism.
- Vitamin B6 5% DV (0.1 mg)
- Vitamin B6 helps produce body chemicals including insulin, hemoglobin and antibodies that fight infection.
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 5% DV (0.1 mg)
- Thiamin plays an essential role in carbohydrate metabolism and neural function.
- Folate 4% DV (16.0 mcg)
- Folate builds new body cells with DNA and RNA, and it works with vitamin B12 to form hemoglobin.
- Works with vitamin B12 to form hemoglobin in red blood cells. Prevents megaloblastic anemia.
- Folate is essential for lowering the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in developing fetuses.
Four to five medium sized white mushrooms (100 g) provide important minerals, essential for a healthy body and active lifestyle. They are naturally low in sodium.
- Copper 16% DV (0.3 mg)
- Copper is an essential micronutrient that plays a role in making hemoglobin. It is also involved in energy production.
- Selenium 13% DV (9.3 mcg)
- Selenium acts as an antioxidant with vitamin E.
- Potassium 9% DV (318 mg)
- It helps maintain blood pressure, and regulates fluid balance in body cells. It is important for muscle contraction and transmission of nerve impulses.
- Iron 3% DV (0.5 mg)
- About 70% of iron is found in hemoglobin, about 25% is stored in liver, spleen and bone. A component of numerous enzymes.
- Phosphorus 9% DV (86.0 mg)
- Phosphorus is a major component of bones and teeth. A component of compounds which regulate cell growth, repair and pH.
- Zinc 3% DV (0.5 mg)
- Zinc is a component of many enzymes, proteins and insulin and has an immune factor. It promotes cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair.
- Magnesium 2% DV (9.0 mg)
- Macronutrient with 50% found in bone and the other 50% almost entirely inside body cells.
- Serves as an important part of more than 300 enzymes responsible for regulating many body functions including energy production, making body protein and muscle contraction.
- Also helps maintain nerve and muscle cells.
Whether your concern is lowering cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, diverticulosis or general bowel health, fibre is one of the dietary keys. Getting enough fibre has also been linked to a lower Body Mass Index, an indicator of obesity, as well as being a potential factor in weight loss and maintenance.
- Fresh mushrooms contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.
- The soluble fibre is mainly beta-glucans and chitosans, which are components of the cell walls. Soluble fibre has been shown to help prevent and manage cardiovascular disease by lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels.
- There is some evidence that beta-glucans offer anti-cancer potential.10 A diet high in fibre may have a protective role in preventing breast and bowel cancers. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency currently allows a health claim on food packaging that states “A healthy diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit may help reduce the risk of some types of cancer”.
- Promoting regularity and good bowel health is the main role of the insoluble fibre found in fresh mushrooms. It also helps slow digestion and adds satiety or staying power to foods. When fibre-rich foods are chosen, the diet is lower in energy density and has more volume than a low-fibre diet. More fibre means less room for high-fat, high-calorie choices which can translate into weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.
- Recommendations for fibre generally fall in the range of 25 to 35 grams per day. For children older than 2 years of age, their ‘age plus 5 grams’ is a guide to how much fibre they should get per day.