Last updated on October 20th, 2023
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. There are many health benefits to eating mushrooms. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. It is also popular amongst vegetarians for its umami flavour 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.
The 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.
Nutritional Content of Mushrooms:
This table represents the nutritional content of mushrooms with the help of their several nutrients and the amount present in 80 gm of mushroom:
|Nutritional Value of Mushroom|
|Nutrients (in 80 grams of Mushroom)||Its amount|
|Calorie||6 Kcal/23 KJ|
Apart from these, there are a lot of nutrients in mushrooms like 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. Some other nutrients in mushrooms also include 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 reduce the risks of many diseases.
Also Read: Grapes Good For Diabetes?
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 15–30, and GL is less than 1 (depending upon the type of mushroom and preparation method). Thus, this is one of the biggest advantages of eating mushroom. 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.
Advantages of Mushroom
Mushrooms are a magical dietary food that is low in calorie, sodium content, and fat. There are a lot of mushroom benefits. They are rich in multiple minerals, fiber, and vitamins that make them stand out amongst other healthy foods. Some of the main mushroom benefits are:
1. Improves Heart Health
There are many mushroom 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 that helps improve cholesterol levels and thus helps the heart stay healthy.
Many nutrients in mushrooms help manage blood pressure and circulation as they protect cells from building 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 advantages of eating mushrooms are that they reduce cholesterol and calories and protect the body from accumulating fat, resulting in a healthy heart.
2. Good for Diabetes
Advantages of mushrooms also include their anti-diabetic function. Mushrooms are a good source of beta-glucan, which helps regulate blood sugar and mitigates the risk of type 2 diabetes.
As per some research, the benefits of eating mushrooms is their rich vitamin content. This helps in gestational diabetes. Statistics say that 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, is found in mushrooms. These polysaccharides reduce sugar levels and pancreatic tissue damage and improve insulin resistance.
In addition, these polysaccharides slowly absorb the sugar in the body during digestion. Therefore, mushrooms are good for diabetes management and prevention due to their nutritional capabilities, although many studies are required to back these benefits.
3. Boosts Immunity
Another one on the list of mushroom benefits is improved 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 strengthens your immune system. Thus, it boosts your immune system and keeps you healthy.
4. Prevents The Signs of Aging
Some may find it surprising, but anti-aging is one of the significant advantages of mushrooms. Antioxidants in the mushrooms (ergothioneine and glutathione) help keep your skin healthy and protect you from aging.
These antioxidants work towards minimizing the impact of stress on your body that causes the signs of aging. This helps keep your skin healthy and glowing.
5. Helps In Lowering Blood Pressure
Advantages of mushrooms also include blood pressure regulation. Mushrooms are home to one of the effective nutrients, potassium, that nullifies the bad impact of sodium and keeps the blood pressure in check.
6. Good For Bone Health
Improved bone health is one of the common mushroom benefits. 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” labelled mushrooms from the market which are grown exposed to sunlight. In addition, copper minerals present in mushrooms improve bone health.
7. Keeps Your Brain Healthy
Enhanced brain health is one of the amazing mushroom benefits. Mushrooms have been considered a medicine in treating various health conditions for centuries.
It has multiple compounds that treat certain diseases and protect the body from chronic illness. Instead of 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. Moreover, some studies have shown that mushroom effectively improves memory and cognitive functions.
8. 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 boosts overall health.
9. Helps Relieve Stress
There was research done in 2021 by Penn State on 24,000 people that concluded that mushroom intake can decrease the chances of depression. The ergothioneine compound of mushrooms lowers stress and decreases the risk of depression.
Stress reduction is one of the proven advantages of mushroom. Mushrooms are rich in multiple minerals and nutrients, and one of the nutrients – potassium found in mushrooms, reduces anxiety, helps lift your mood and works as a stress reliever. It also boosts your memory power.
10. 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.
Nutrition like Vitamin D, selenium, and choline also help lower cancer risks. However, more studies are required to back up these advantages of mushrooms
Other Mushroom Benefits:
Components like Vitamins B and copper help develop RBC (Red Blood Cells). Increased RBCs help carry 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.
Since mushrooms are known to improve the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory actions, they help relieve the symptoms of obesity. People often consider mushrooms for weight loss other than diabetes and other metabolic syndromes.
Also Read: Is Multigrain Atta Good For Diabetics?
Types of Mushrooms And Their Benefits:
Mushrooms, with their diverse flavors and textures, not only enhance culinary experiences but also offer a range of health benefits. Let’s explore the advantages of three popular mushroom varieties: oyster mushrooms, paddy straw mushrooms, and button mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms, scientifically known as Pleurotus, are a popular variety appreciated for their mild, delicate flavor and a wide array of potential health benefits. The dietary value of mushrooms includes B-vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
According to the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, oyster mushrooms are proven to reduce blood sugar levels significantly. They are known for their potential to boost the immune system due to the presence of beta-glucans, compounds that stimulate the body’s natural defenses.
Oyster mushrooms are also valued for their potential to support heart health. They are low in fat and calories, which can aid in weight management and cholesterol control. Moreover, these mushrooms contain ergosterol, which, when exposed to sunlight, can be converted into vitamin D, making them a natural source of this essential nutrient.
Paddy Straw Mushrooms:
Paddy straw mushrooms, or Volvariella volvacea, are a staple in many Asian cuisines and offer their unique set of benefits. These mushrooms are notable for their low calorie content and high protein content, making them a valuable addition to vegetarian and vegan diets. They are also a good source of important minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.
One of the most intriguing attributes of paddy straw mushrooms is their potential to boost cognitive health. They contain hericenones and erinacines, compounds that may stimulate nerve growth and protect against neurodegenerative conditions. Additionally, they’re rich in antioxidants, which can combat oxidative stress in the body.
Button mushrooms, scientifically known as Agaricus bisporus, are perhaps the most commonly consumed mushroom variety worldwide. Despite its unassuming appearance, there are a lot of button mushroom health benefits. These mushrooms are a great source of vitamins, especially B-vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which are essential for energy metabolism and overall well-being.
Button mushrooms also contain the mineral selenium, known for its role in antioxidant defense, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases. They are also linked to potential immune system enhancement through the presence of beta-glucans and other bioactive compounds.
Also Read: Natural Home Remedies For Diabetes
Ways to Consume Mushrooms
This is a nutrient-loaded food that can be cooked and eaten in multiple ways.
Mushrooms are widely available in grocery stores, so you can buy good-quality mushrooms to prepare this nutritional food. Due to the amazing food value of mushrooms, you can try multiple recipes or use them with other cuisines to add flavor.
People have mostly heard of mushroom soup, but other than mushroom soup benefits, the usefulness of mushrooms extends further. The texture and taste of mushrooms are meaty, making them savory for those who crave non-veg or meat and can’t eat non-veg for some health reasons. Some added usefulness of mushrooms are mentioned below:
- Mushrooms salads
- Can be used as pizza toppings
- Mushrooms are a good addition to pasta
- Can be combined with chicken or meat
- Mushroom soup
- Make a good combination with eggs as breakfast
- Can be stir-fried 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
- 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 1 tbsp)
- 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
Mushrooms are not just great in taste but they have multiple health benefits. But it’s not just limited to benefits of eating mushrooms, they come with side effects too. 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. Many people experience various side effects after consuming mushrooms.
It’s all about the dietary value of 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:
- Upset stomach
- Skin Allergies
- Weight gain
So, before consuming mushrooms in high amounts considering their nutritional value, always cross-check with your body compatibility.
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 fungus regulates, manages, and maintains your blood sugar because of its 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 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 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 on a weight loss journey. You can add this quality ingredient to your kitchen for a healthy, tasty, and rich diet.
Read More: Best Homeopathy Medicines For Diabetes?
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.
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.