Mushrooms are fungi. These fungi belong in a family of their own, separate from plants and animals; a mushroom is a reproductive instruction produced by some fungi.
The mushroom was first discovered in China, and surprisingly, China is ranked the highest producer of mushrooms in the world.
Research shows that mushrooms have thousands of species, yet some are yet to be discovered while some are not documented. Each of these species has it exceptional taste with their own unique shape.
You can buy mushrooms in dry or fresh form, but usually, it is always ideal for rehydrating with water before making use of it when it is dry.
Things to Note About Nutritional Facts of Mushroom
Mushrooms contain high nutritional profiles; this shows that different species of mushrooms have different nutrient profiles. For instance, portobellos are very high in potassium, while porcini is very high in ergothioneine.
- Mushrooms have a high umami flavor (almost meat-like flavor), making them an excellent flavor enhancer. A bright orange mushroom called “Chicken of the woods” tastes like fried chicken.
- Mushrooms are flavor sponges, soaking up the flavors of any dish they are added to.
- It contains fewer calories than a rice cake. It is a low-energy-dense food meaning that it has few calories compared to the volume of food. It is a healthy addition to your plate.
- In some countries such as European White Truffle (Italy), Yartsa Gunbu (Himalayan regions), and Matsutake (Japan), mushrooms are so expensive because of the high demands.
- Some species of mushrooms are grown in the dark such as Mycena Chlorophos.
- Mushrooms are keto-friendly, Paleo-friendly, Atkins-friendly making them excellent for both vegetarians and vegans.
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom – Human consumption
Basically, the mushroom is categorized into three, edible, inedible, and poisonous.
Edible mushrooms: These mushrooms are common and are eaten worldwide.
Inedible mushrooms: These mushroom categories don’t cause any illness, rather it has a tough texture or unpleasant taste. Some have psychoactive properties, and these are mushrooms with psychedelic compounds like Psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushroom, shrooms) like Liberty cap.
Some contain muscimol, another psychoactive compound such as panther cap. They are potent hallucinogens and can cause anxiety and panic reactions, also euphoria, just like ephedrine.
Poisonous mushroom: This kind of mushroom is dangerous to health. Some of them attack the guts, liver, or kidney or cause death. Make sure to confirm the type of mushroom if you are not conversant with mushrooms.
Mushrooms Botanical name and Predominant Species
Here is a list of some of the predominant species with botanical names.
Mushroom Facts-Nigerian names of Mushrooms
|Botanical Name||Common Name||Nigerian Name (Yoruba)|
|Volvariella Volvacea||Straw mushroom||Ogiri agbe|
|Auricularia auricula||Wood ear/Tree ear Mushroom||Eti ologbo|
|Coprinopsis Africana||Ink caps mushroom||Ajeimutin|
|Pleurotus Ostreatus||Oyster mushroom||–|
|Schizophyllum Commune||Split gill mushroom||Ese adie|
|Lentinium Squarrosulus||–||Oluawo/ erirokiro (Ero atakata in Igbo)|
|Pleurotus tuberregium||King tuber Oyster||–|
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom
Mushroom is a powerhouse of nutrients and an all-natural multivitamin. It contains high-quality proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and fiber.
Study shows that mushroom can be used in producing medicine, although the Chinese and Japanese have been using them in their medicine for centuries.
Hence, research is still on mushroom health benefits and medicinal uses. Their effectiveness also depends on the species of mushroom, dose, harvest time, maturity, whether raw or cooked, etc.
- Vitamine B1 (Thiamine): Helps the body change carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for heart function and healthy nerve cells.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): It helps produce red blood cells and supports the cellular function. It is also important for the breakdown of Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): It helps convert food into energy, maintaining healthy skin and nerves. It also has cholesterol-lowering effects.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Helps with metabolism, immune system, and maintenance of brain function.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): It boosts fetal health and cell development; it is essential for pregnant women.
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): Mushrooms are the only non-animal fresh food source of Vitamin B12, which helps in making red blood cells.
- Vitamin D: Mushrooms are the only vegan non-fortified source of Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium needed for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
- Ergothioneine: An antioxidant that protects the body’s cellsCopperIt helps form red blood cells and is necessary for bone and nerve health.
- Selenium: It supports the immune system, cardiovascular system, prevents cell and tissue damage, and aids sperm motility protein.
- Dietary Fibre: It helps maintain a healthy digestive system, regulate blood glucose, and lower LDL.
- Potassium: Potassium helps control blood pressure; it also helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.
- Chromium: Studies are showing that Chromium can help control blood glucose in diabetics.
- Choline: Helps in sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. It also reduces inflammation.
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom
One cup of chopped or sliced raw white mushroom contains.
- calories 15
- 0 grams of fat
- 2.2 grams of protein
- 2.3 grams of carbohydrate (including 0.7 grams of fiber and 1.4 grams of sugar). 3 cups sliced or chopped mushroom = 225g whole mushroom.
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom – Health benefits of Mushroom
Mushroom is the highest food source of ergothioneine and glutathione, both of which are antioxidants. They have anti-aging properties. They are only found in certain dietary sources, for example, kidneys, liver, black and red beans.
Mushrooms significantly reduce total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL but do not have much influence on HDL. This is especially significant in diabetic subjects.
They have antibacterial and anti-fungicidal properties, which are highly promising, especially for microorganisms resistant to conventional treatments.
4. Immune system
Mushrooms help in maintaining a healthy immune system and controlling inflammatory responses. They improve cell functionality and gastrointestinal health. They also help reduce disease risk; this may be due to lower chances of being overweight, reducing the risk of metabolic disease.
Mushrooms help prevent and delay dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.
6. Weight management
They are high in nutrients, very filling, taste good, but low in calories. Mushrooms are a very low-calorie substitute for meat.
7. Oral health
A mushroom extract, made into an oral mouthwash, reduces plaque, gingivitis, oral bacterial.
8. Cancer risk
There is clinical work on the use of mushrooms to reduce breast cancer risk and the reduction of PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) level in men, especially the relationship between white mushrooms and breast cancer.
9. Heart health
Mushrooms lower blood pressure without any harmful effects on the liver or kidney. They are low in sodium and saturated fat. The umami flavor of mushrooms, a flavor enhancer, makes you use less salt and seasoning cubes when cooking.
10. Digestive health
Mushroom is prebiotic that helps probiotics, which helps with digestive health; it promotes beneficial microorganisms in the intestines. Also, it helps with the inhibition of disease-causing microorganisms.
How to select Fresh Mushrooms
- The mushroom should be firm with little or no bruises.
- The gills should be tight. The older the mushrooms, the more spread out the gills will be.
- The surface should be barely damp and plump, not dried, slimy, wet, or spongy.
- It should smell earthy, fresh, and sweet, and not musty or sour.
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom – Caution
- Buy your mushrooms from reliable sources.
- If in doubt, do not buy. Poisonous mushrooms can look very similar to edible ones.
- Always clean your mushrooms well because of soil and other debris.
- Some mushrooms can’t be eaten raw.
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom – Signs of Mushroom Poisoning
It is not advisable to forage for mushrooms unless you have a good level of expertise. Also, buy only from grocery stores and farmers you trust.
The effects of mushroom poisoning can set in within 4 hours but sometimes much less. Go to a doctor if you suspect you have eaten a poisonous mushroom or have signs of mushroom poisoning.
Some signs include:
- liver failure
- excessive salivation
Nutritional Facts of Mushroom – Storage
Mushrooms start going bad very fast, so you need to store them properly to extend their shelf life.
- If you bought your mushrooms from a store, leave them in the original store packaging in the refrigerator because stores package them for extended storage time. Once opened, cover with paper towels or loose cling film with holes.
- Store in a paper bag in the fridge. Poke holes all over the paper bag, even in the bottom.
- Store in a container with plastic wrap covering it, poke holes in the plastic, and store in the fridge.
- Wrap in a damp paper napkin and place in the fridge.
- Do not store them near smelly food or else, and they will absorb the smell of the food, for example, herbs, allium (onions).
- Would you please not wash your mushrooms before storing them?
NOTE on Nutritional Facts of Mushroom
The information given here is not medical or nutritional advice but purely informative and nothing more. You will need to see a doctor if you have any disorder and a nutritionist for advice on your diet.