9 Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been a part of many cuisines around the globe because of their immense benefits. This little umbrella-shaped fungi food is widely used in many cuisines as either flavor or main ingredients. It is one of the healthiest and most likable cuisines that is widely used for its nutritional and taste exclusivity.

What is a Mushroom?

It is a fleshy, fruiting body, a reproductive structure of certain fungi. Mushrooms have been used in many traditional medicinal practices because of their healing abilities. It is low in calories and rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants which explains its health benefits.

Is Mushroom a Vegetable?

Although mushrooms are used as vegetables, it is basically a fungus. Mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also popular amongst vegetarians for its umami flavor that gives it the texture of meat or fish. It is a good source of Vitamin D because of the presence of ergosterol which reacts with ultraviolet light and converts it into Vitamin D.

Health benefits of mushrooms can include minimizing risks of various chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart condition, cancer, etc. Common mushrooms widely used in foods are crimini, shiitake, oyster, portobello, button or white mushroom, maitake, beech, enoki, etc.

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Nutritional Value of Mushroom

brown mushroom for heart

This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in 80gm of mushroom:

Nutritional Value of Mushroom
Nutrients (in 80 grams of Mushroom) Its amount
Calorie 6 Kcal/23 KJ
Protein 0.8g
Fat 0.2g
Carbohydrate 0.2g
Fiber 0.6g
Potassium 302mg
Folate 32mcg

Apart from these, the mushroom is a good source of Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, and B9. It is also a source of Vitamin D which isn’t available in most food and is responsible for bone health & immunity. In addition, it also contains minerals like potassium, iron, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin, and copper which are essential nutrients for health.

Furthermore, antioxidants like selenium, vitamin C, and choline help in inflammation and reduces the risks of many diseases.

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Glycemic Index of Mushroom 

The Glycemic index and glycemic load of food determine its ability to affect blood sugar levels. Low GI & GL food impacts blood sugar less as compared to high GI & GL foods. It is determined by the carbohydrate content in the food that eventually converts into glucose.

A low GI ranges between 1-55 on a scale of 100 whereas a low GL ranges from 10 and below.

The mushrooms have a low GI of 10-15 and GL is less than 1 (70gms servings). Thus, this white vegetable is a perfect food to treat diabetes and can be added as a diabetic-friendly food to your diet. It does not spike blood sugar levels.

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Health Benefits of Mushroom

single mushroom in jungle

Mushrooms are a magical dietary food that is low in calorie, sodium content, and fat. It is rich in multiple minerals, fiber, and vitamins that make it stand out amongst other healthy foods. The Health benefits of mushrooms include:

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Keep Your Heart Healthy

Mushrooms have many health benefits that keep your heart healthy. It is a rich source of vitamin B that aids in maintaining heart health. It also contains an adequate amount of Beta-glucan, a soluble fiber, which helps improve cholesterol levels and thus helps the heart to stay healthy. Many nutrients found in mushrooms help in managing blood pressure and circulation as it protects cells to build plaque at vessel walls. Antioxidants in mushrooms nullify the damaging impact of free radicals on cells and strengthen heart health. As per sodium content, one cup has 5 mg of sodium. The overall mushroom diet reduces cholesterol, and calories, and protects the body from accumulating fat resulting in a healthy heart. 

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Good for Diabetes

Mushrooms are found beneficial for diabetes due to their certain qualities. Mushrooms are a good source of beta-glucan, it helps in regulating blood sugar and mitigates the risk of type 2 diabetes. As per some research, its rich vitamin content helps in gestational diabetes during pregnancies. As per statistics, around 14% of women face the risk of gestational diabetes which impacts the health of both mother and child. One of the effective nutritional compounds polysaccharides are found in mushrooms that are anti-diabetic. These polysaccharides are responsible for reducing sugar levels and pancreatic tissue damage as well as improving insulin resistance. In addition, these polysaccharides slowly absorb the sugar in the body during the digestion process. Therefore, mushrooms are good for diabetes management and prevention due to their nutritional capabilities although a lot of studies need to be done to back these benefits.

Also Read: Is Dragon Fruits Good For Diabetes?

Boosts Immunity 

Mushrooms have the ability to strengthen your immune system because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants like selenium which boosts immunity and protects cells and tissue damage. In addition, mushrooms have beta-glucan, a polysaccharide, one of the most effective soluble fibers which stimulate macrophages. Macrophages are the killer cells that fight against various infections and protect the body from infection and certain diseases. They are also a rich source of Zinc that strengthen your immune system. Thus, it boosts your immune system and keeps you healthy.

Also Read: Peanuts For Diabetics

Keeps Your Skin Young

Antioxidants present in the mushrooms keep your skin healthy and protect you from aging. There are two powerful antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, found in mushrooms that mitigate the signs of aging and make skin healthy and glowing.

Also Read: Health Benefits of Papaya

Helps in Lowering Blood Pressure

Mushrooms are home to one of the effective nutrients, potassium, that nullifies the bad impact of sodium and keeps the blood pressure maintained.

Also Read: Best Fruits For Diabetics

Good for Bone Health

As we all know Vitamin D is the essential nutrient for bone health and mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D. There is a compound called ergosterol found in mushrooms that reacts with UV light and converts into Vitamin D. You can buy such “UVB” labeled mushrooms from the market which are grown exposed to sunlight. In addition, copper minerals present in mushrooms improve bone health.

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Keeps Brain Healthy

Mushrooms have been considered medicines in treating various health conditions for centuries. It has multiple compounds that treat certain diseases and protect the body from chronic illness. Instead of as a food supplement, they are taken in powdered form as medicines. Antioxidant ergothioneine and glutathione in this fungi food help to prevent Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. It helps older people to improve their brain health and nervous system.

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Improves Digestion and Gut Health 

Another health benefit of mushrooms is their probiotic property. It helps to maintain gut health and increase the good bacteria in the gut. It happens because of the beta-glucan compound in mushrooms. A healthy gut relays better communication with the brain, enhances the immune system, improves digestion, and aids in overall health.

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Stress Reliever

blue mushroom

There was research done in 2021 by Penn State on 25,000 people that concluded that mushroom intake can decrease the chances of depression. Ergothioneine compound of mushroom lowers stress and decreases the risk of depression. They are rich in multiple minerals and nutrients and one of the nutrients Potassium found in mushrooms reduces anxiety and helps in lifting your mood and works as a stress reliever. It also boosts your mem1ory power.

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Prevents Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that prevent many types of cancers. They can be helpful in breast, lung, prostate, and other cancers. Nutritions like Vitamin D, selenium, and choline also help in lowering the risks of cancer. Although more studies are required to back up these facts.

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Apart from these, other Health Benefits of Mushrooms are: 

Components like Vitamins B and copper help in the development of RBC (red blood cells). Increased RBCs help in carrying adequate oxygen to the different parts of the body for healthy functioning. Mushrooms are also rich in potassium which is good for muscles. Beta-glucan helps in hindering the growth of tumors.

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Ways to Consume Mushrooms

mushroom salad in yellow plate

This is a nutrients loaded food that can be cooked and eaten in multiple ways:

Mushrooms are widely available in grocery stores so you can buy any good quality mushrooms to prepare this nutritional food. You can try multiple recipes or can use them with other cuisines as an added flavor. The texture and taste of mushrooms are meaty, which also makes them savory for those who crave non-veg or meat and can’t eat non-veg for some health reasons. Some added usage of mushrooms can be:

  • Add them to salads
  • Use mushrooms on pizza toppings
  • Mix it in pasta sauce to enhance its taste
  • Cook them with chicken or meat
  • Mushroom soup
  • Combine it with eggs as breakfast
  • Stir fry with butter and other vegetables.

These are a few quick methods to use mushrooms as a secondary ingredient. You can also prepare recipes from mushrooms to treat your taste buds. Here are two recipes made of mushrooms:

Garlic Mushroom Recipe

You can use any variety of mushrooms to cook this savory recipe.


Butter or Ghee: 2 tablespoons

Sliced Mushrooms: 5 ounces (Any variety from shiitake, button mushroom, wild mushrooms, or portobello)

Crushed Garlic: 1 clove

Red Pepper Flakes: Pinch size

Minced Parsley: 1 tablespoon

Ground pepper: As per taste spiciness

Sea Salt: As per taste


  • First of all, brush the dirt out from the mushrooms. Do not use water as mushrooms can absorb water easily.
  • Now use a sharp knife to cut the stem out then cut the gills in equal sizes.
  • Take a pan and put butter into it to saute the mushrooms. Since butter is easily burnt so you can replace it with ghee which has high heat tolerance.
  • In the next step, add garlic to it and cook it for some time.
  • Add red pepper flakes, sea salt, ground pepper, and parsley to give it a good taste and look.
  • The spicy, buttery, and aromatic Garlic Mushroom Recipe is ready to serve.

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Pasta 


Any Pasta: 225gm

Sliced & chopped mushrooms: 450gm

Minced garlic clove: 2 large

Vegetable Broth: ¾ cup

Cashew Cream: ⅔ cup

Salt: As per taste (generally 1tbsp)

Ground Black Pepper

Cashew Parmesan Cheese: ¼ Cup

Fresh or dried thyme leaves: 1 tbsp


  • Firstly, take a pan, add water to it and cook pasta over medium heat.
  • Take another skillet, add oil or butter and cook garlic and mushroom over medium heat. Cook it for about 7-8 minutes until it releases all of its juices.
  • Add vegetable broth to the mushroom and cook it for 2 minutes.
  • Now add cashew cream and salt and lower the heat.
  • For the next step, drain the water from the pasta and add it to the skillet with mushroom and garlic.
  • Stir it and cook over low heat.
  • Add thyme, black pepper, and parmesan cheese to it.
  • After it thickens, serve it with extra cheese.

Side-Effects of Mushroom

benefits of mushroom

Mushrooms are not just great in taste but they have multiple health benefits. But all mushrooms are not safe to eat. You should be careful while choosing the best mushrooms to eat. Also, not all raw mushrooms are safe to eat so understand which mushrooms can be eaten raw. Apart from this, many people experience various side effects after consuming mushrooms. Some mushrooms have psilocybin compound categorized as A class drug and can cause conditions like hallucination, nausea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, etc. Other side-effects of different mushrooms can be:

  • Tiredness
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Skin Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain

So before consuming mushrooms in high amounts considering their nutritional value, always cross-check with your body compatibility.

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Can Diabetics Eat Mushroom?

Mushrooms are good for diabetic people. It has low GI and GL which do not increase your blood sugar levels. Beta-glucan in mushrooms lowers the type 2 diabetes risk. They are rich in Vitamins that protect pregnant women from developing gestational diabetes. Anti-diabetic compound polysaccharide in mushrooms aids in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This fungi regulates, manages, and maintains your blood sugar because of the low carb and low-calorie content. They help in diabetes management and reduce diabetes-borne complications. So mushrooms can be an excellent dietary option for people with diabetes.

Also Read: Madhunashini Vati For Diabetes


Mushroom is a native food from North America and Europe but it is globally popular because of its unique and savory taste. Its nutritional properties make it an even more desirable food amongst people with some health conditions. Its meaty texture is also one of the qualities that attract vegetarians and those who are cutting meat consumption off. It is a rich source of multiple vitamins and vitamins. There are various varieties available in the market that are used in finger-licking cuisines. One of the best qualities of mushroom is that it is a low-carb and low-calorie food that is a feast for people who are on a weight loss journey. You also can add this quality ingredient to your kitchen to have a healthy, tasty, and rich diet.

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Why are mushrooms called superfoods?

Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and protein. They are not just healthy but delicious and tasty foods. It improves heart health, lowers blood sugar levels, boosts immunity, helps in weight loss, maintains blood pressure, reduces cholesterol levels, strengthens bones, reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, is good for skin, and is good for mental health. These are the health benefits of mushrooms that put them into the Super Food category.

Why are mushrooms good for bone health?

Mushrooms are one of the very few foods that are rich in plant-based Vitamin D. Vitamin D is the key factor for bone health and is usually received from sunlight. Mushrooms have ergosterol that reacts with UV light and converts into Vitamin D which eventually helps bone strength.

How do mushrooms help in weight loss?

Mushrooms are a rich source of fiber, protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, and minerals. They are also low carbohydrates and low-calorie food that helps you to lose weight without compromising essential nutrients to the body.

Can I eat mushrooms every day?

Mushrooms are rich in potassium which is an essential part of heart health. It regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. It is also good for diabetic people as it has a low GI, GL, and low calorie and carbs.


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278858#benefitsLast Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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