While out for breakfast on the weekend, my boyfriend said to me – what’s so good about mushrooms? if he’s intrigued, I’m sure others are too. This inspired me to write this post about mushrooms. I find they are one of those foods that you either love or are happy to leave. Perhaps it’s something to do with the texture or maybe it’s their umami taste (1 of the 5 basic tastes including sweet, sour, bitter, and salty)1.
Personally, they are one of my favourite foods and here’s why.
Vegetables, in general, protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They promote a healthy immune system and assist with maintaining a healthy weight1.
Mushrooms can be admired for what they don’t contain as well as what they do offer: No fat, cholesterol, sugar, and negligible sodium (salt).
1 cup provides 55kJ (13 calories), 2.0g of protein, 0.2g carbohydrates, and 1.2 g of fibre.
Mushrooms offer the B vitamin niacin –used in the body for energy metabolism1.
All mushrooms contain minimal amounts of vitamin D, interestingly similar to humans when they exposed to the sun and UV their vitamin D content is raised2. You will see these in supermarkets now, which is one way to increase your vitamin intake.
Foods that provide health benefits beyond the traditional nutrients they offer are called functional foods3. Mushrooms are one of these functional foods containing beta-glucans that lower cholesterol and antimicrobial properties, which help to fight bacteria and infections3
How much should you be having?
Aim for at least 5 serves of vegetables every day 4
1 raw cup (75g) of mushrooms = 1 serve
Mushrooms are easy to include in your diet as they go well with meals at any time of the day. With a cooked breakfast, added to a salad or my favourite – mushroom risotto.
 E. Whitney, S. R. Rolfes, T. Crowe, D. Cameron-Smith and A. Walsh, Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edition, Melbourne , Victoria : Cengage Learning, 2011.
 K. M. Phillips and A. S. Rasor, “A Nutritionally Meaningful Increase in Vitamin D in Retail Mushrooms is Attainable by Exposure to Sunlight Prior to Consumption,” Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, no. 3, p. 236, 2013.
 Roupas, P, Keogh, J, Noakes, M, Margetts, C and Taylor, P., “The role of edible mushrooms in health: evaluation of the evidence,” Journal of Functional Foods, vol. 2012, no. 4, pp. 687-709.
 National Health and Medical Research Council, “Australian Dietary Guidelines,” 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n55. [Accessed 17 November 2016].