Mushrooms don’t belong to the kingdoms of animals or plants. However, they are closer to animals than plants because of how they source energy, consume oxygen, and how they can create toxins to protect themselves from bacteria and other harmful creatures.
Some types of healthy mushrooms are used as meat replacements for vegetarian or “plant based” dishes even though they are not actually “plants”.
Aside from their texture and ability to absorb flavors, mushrooms are low in carbs, calories, and sodium but high in fiber and other nutrients. That is why many people add fungi to their diets to experience the magical qualities of these healthy mushrooms.
Let’s talk about the nutritional value of mushrooms and the health benefits of mushrooms for overall health and wellness.
What are the nutrition facts for mushrooms?
Medicinal mushrooms might not have green leaves, but these healthy mushrooms are powerhouses when it comes to nutritional value and benefits. A single cup of chopped mushrooms (70g) of any kind can contain an average of 0.2g of fat, 15 calories, 2.3 carbohydrates, 0.7g of fibre, 0.4g of iron, 0.2mg of copper, and 223mg of potassium. The nutritional value of mushrooms provided is based on the information provided by the USDA .
Of course, the nutrition in mushrooms will vary depending on the type of functional mushrooms or culinary mushrooms you are ingesting.
Calories, Fats, and Sodium
On their own, healthy mushrooms are low in calories. Per 70g serving, they can contain only 15 calories. They are also cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and low in sodium.
Mushrooms contain small amounts of fats and the majority of it is classified as polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol in the body, the development and maintenance of cells, and the prevention of stroke and heart problems. Another incredible reason why adding healthy mushrooms can be beneficial to strengthen heart health.
Carbs and Fibre
According to UCSF Health, the average fibre an individual needs to consume per day is about 25g to 30g. The problem is that adults typically get only 15g of fibre daily.
One serving of white mushrooms contains 2% to 4% of your daily fibre needs. On the other hand, Enoki contains 2.3g fibre, while Chanterelles have 2.1g fibre. Some types of mushrooms contain even higher levels of fibre.
When it comes to the nutritional value of mushrooms, a serving of healthy mushrooms contains 2.5g of carbohydrates. Mushrooms have a low glycemic index due to their low carbohydrate content and will not cause your glucose or insulin levels to spike or crash.
Mushrooms have a low protein content, with only 2.2g per serving. With these small amounts, it might be necessary to consume other protein-rich foods alongside mushrooms in a meal to meet your body's daily protein needs.
Protein-rich foods include eggs, almonds, chicken breast, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lentils, milk, fish, lean beef, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, corn, potatoes, and more. For people who are bulking and need more protein, protein powders can provide up to 16.6g of protein per scoop.
Potassium is a type of electrolyte that is required for the body to function properly. It keeps your nerves and muscles working properly, as well as your heartbeat normal. Getting your daily dose of potassium is necessary for maintaining balanced electrolytes and water, as well as healthy blood vessels.
Adults should consume between 3.5g and 4.7g of potassium per day.
White healthy mushrooms give about 6% of your daily potassium requirements. While a Portabella contains 9% of your daily potassium needs. Different types of mushrooms contain varying percentages of potassium. If you’re looking to add potassium-rich foods to your diet, try spinach, peas, tuna, halibut, lentils, soybeans, and nuts.
Vitamins and Minerals
Mushrooms are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals such as iron, phosphorus, copper, vitamin D, B vitamins, and more!
Iron is required for the synthesis of DNA, amino acids, hemoglobin, and hormones.
Mushrooms contain thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and folate (B9). B vitamins are crucial to carrying oxygen through the blood and eliminating carbon dioxide. They are also responsible for turning food into energy and promoting brain health.
Healthy mushrooms contain selenium, a type of antioxidant responsible for fighting free radicals associated with heart problems, inflammation, early signs of aging, cancer, and more. The daily recommended selenium intake for adults is about 55mcg.
Including white mushrooms in your daily diet will provide about 8mcg of selenium, which is 15% of your daily requirement. While brown mushrooms provide 40% of your daily selenium requirements. Adding selenium-rich food to your daily diet, such as pork, beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, brown rice, and baked beans can be helpful for those low in this element.
What is the nutritional value of mushrooms?
Mushrooms may be less common than traditional vegetable side dishes, but they are high in beneficial and therapeutic compounds. In general, mushrooms can contain about 15 types of vitamins and minerals. The nutrients in mushrooms are good for our bodies and can provide the daily nutritional value we need for optimal health.
They are rich in antioxidants, specifically selenium and ergothioneine. These two antioxidants are responsible for some of the anti-inflammatory properties of functional mushrooms. Mushrooms are one of the few superfoods containing both vitamin D and phytochemicals. These phytochemicals have anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits.
Does the nutritional value of mushrooms differ between each variety?
The nutritional value of mushrooms varies due to the different species of healthy mushrooms available around the world. There are many factors that influence the nutrition of mushrooms. If you're looking for specific health benefits of mushrooms, here are a few to look into:
- Lion’s mane mushrooms: Contains zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Cordyceps mushrooms: Contains essential amino acids, vitamins K, E, B1, B2, B12, and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, and copper, to name a few.
Reishi mushrooms: Consists of triterpenoids, amino acids, vitamin D, and B complex vitamins with over 400 various nutrients.
- Turkey Tail mushrooms: Source of antioxidants, vitamin D and B3, Polysaccharides (PSP, PSK), and beta-glucans.
- Tremella mushrooms: Rich in vitamin D, B1, B2, B6, fiber, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc to name a few.
- Chaga mushrooms: Contain B complex vitamins, iron, copper, vitamin D, calcium, manganese, amino acids, fiber, zinc, and magnesium to name a few.
- White mushrooms: Contain potassium, high levels of vitamin D, high vitamin B3, and the lowest calories.
- Cremini and portobello mushrooms: Most antioxidants (ergothioneine), potassium, selenium, niacin, and vitamin D.
- Oyster mushrooms: High source of fibre, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and copper.
- Shiitake mushrooms: High fibre and an excellent source of B vitamins, copper, vitamin D, and zinc.
- Maitake mushrooms: Great source of vitamin D (236% of your daily vitamin D allowance) and contains potassium and phosphorus.
How to add the nutritional value of mushrooms to your daily life?
The nutritional value of mushrooms is tremendous! As a result, many people are entering the world of these superfoods by adding healthy mushrooms to their daily life. Here are 4 ways you can incorporate functional mushrooms into your daily routine.
1. Add mushroom extracts to your morning coffee or tea
No need to be shy when adding mushroom extract blends to your morning coffee or tea.
The benefit of incorporating a mushroom blend into your morning coffee or tea is that it counteracts the negative effects of caffeine such as acidity, jitters, and interrupted digestion.
However, before using mushroom supplements, make sure to read the package and instructions. Remember, there are some types of functional mushrooms that should be taken in the morning, such as AWAKEN Blend, while others are better consumed at night, like those including reishi.
We highly recommend talking to your medical practitioner to find out if these mushroom extracts are a good choice for you.
2. Energy bars with mushroom extracts
Whether you are busy, always on the go, or searching for a quick snack, energy bars offer a delicious and fast fix. If you are making your own energy bars at home, you can turn them into superfoods by adding mushroom extract powder to your recipes.
You can start by adding 1 tsp of your favorite mushroom extract. However, this can vary depending on your ingredients and recipe. We love using plant-based ingredients, such as coconut oil, seed, or nut butter for an added boost.
3. Add mushroom extracts to your smoothies or shake
If you are not fond of the earthy flavors of healthy mushrooms or mushroom extract blends, you can add them to your smoothies and shakes. The naturally sweet or acidic flavors of the fruits and vegetables in your smoothies and shakes often masks the flavors of medicinal mushrooms. We recommend trying mushroom extracts in smoothies with cocoa or coffee flavours for a match made in heaven!
4. Take mushroom extracts in convenient capsules
Mushroom extract capsules can be beneficial if you are always on the go, traveling, or have a busy schedule. Mushroom capsules are practical and convenient for people who are constantly on the move and can’t incorporate medicinal mushrooms into their daily foods, snacks, or beverages.
Also, if you don’t like tasting the flavors of medicinal mushrooms, taking mushroom capsules is a better option for you.
Simply take the recommended number of mushroom capsules daily and you are good to go!
The nutrition value of mushrooms takeaways
Aside from their delicious, unique flavors and lovely texture, mushrooms are rich in many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. As a result, adding mushrooms to your well-balanced diet and routine can help you in meeting your body’s daily nutrient requirements.
There are specific varieties of healthy mushrooms that can provide higher levels of a specific nutrient. It is best to consult your medical practitioner or a trusted nutritionist to know which variety of mushrooms will be most beneficial for you.
We believe that mushrooms are the future of wellness. Our team can help you find the perfect medicinal mushroom extract for every moment of your life. Learn more about our mushrooms for wellness at Eversio Wellness!
 U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Published October 30, 2020. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103362/nutrients