Mushrooms have numerous important micronutrients – healing practice

That’s why we should eat more mushrooms

Eating mushrooms makes it easy to add important micronutrients to your diet without consuming more calories, sodium, or fat.

When you add mushrooms to your diet, you absorb numerous micronutrients, including nutrients that many people lack, according to research conducted by experts from NutriScience LLC and Nutrition Impact. The results of the research work were published in the English-language journal “Food Science & Nutrition”.

Benefits of small amounts of mushrooms?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could add vital nutrients to your diet without consuming extra calories, sodium, or fat? According to the research group, this could be achieved with a relatively small amount of mushrooms. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2016, the research team investigated how supplementing with one serving of mushrooms per day affects the nutritional profiles of the participants. They analyzed three different scenarios.

Which types of fungi were examined?

In one scenario, white mushrooms, crimini, and portabella mushrooms were added to the diet in a 1: 1: 1 ratio. In another scenario, mushrooms that were specially irradiated with UV light (higher vitamin D content) were tested. In the third scenario analyzed, oyster mushrooms were used. The effects were determined for people aged nine to 18 years as well as for people over the age of 19.

More potassium and fiber from mushroom consumption

Adding a daily serving of mushrooms (84 grams) increased several so-called deficient nutrients, including potassium and fiber. This applied to the mixture of white mushrooms, crimini and portabella mushrooms in a ratio of 1: 1: 1 as well as to the oyster mushrooms, the researchers report.

Other benefits of eating mushrooms

The addition of mushrooms to the diet led to an increase in dietary fiber (five to six percent), copper (24 to 32 percent), phosphorus (six percent), potassium (12 to 14 percent), selenium ( 13 to 14 percent), zinc (five to six percent), riboflavin (13 to 15 percent), niacin (13 to 14 percent), and choline (five to six percent). On the other hand, according to the experts, adding mushrooms had no effect on calories, carbohydrates, fat or sodium.

Reduce the vitamin D deficiency

If people frequently consume mushrooms that have been irradiated with UV light so that they contain more vitamin D per serving, the vitamin D intake could reach the recommended daily value for the group of 9 to 18 year olds as well as those over 19. Reach and even slightly exceed year-olds (98 to 104 percent). This would help to reduce the shortage of this deficient nutrient in the population, explains the team.

A daily portion of mushrooms irradiated with UV light reduced the percentage of vitamin D deficiency from 95.3 percent to 52.8 percent in the age group of nine to 18 year olds. In the age group of people aged 19 years or older, the vitamin D deficiency was reduced from 94.9 percent to 63.6 percent, the experts report.

The research confirms that adding mushrooms to the diet is an effective way to meet the nutritional goals identified by the DGA (Dietary Guidelines for Americans), explains Mary Jo Feeney of the Mushroom Council in a press release.

Mushrooms are no longer just a side dish

According to the experts, mushrooms have a unique nutrient profile that provides nutrients that are found in both plant-based and animal-based foods. Today, mushrooms are therefore increasingly used not only as a side dish, but also as a main course in a plant-based diet.

Mushrooms make a healthy diet possible

The mushrooms support efforts to lower the intake of calories, saturated fat and sodium while increasing the intake of under-consumed nutrients such as fiber, potassium and vitamin D, the researchers explain.

What does mushrooms contain?

According to USDA FoodData Central, five medium-sized raw white mushrooms (90g) contain 20 calories, zero grams of fat, three grams of protein and very little sodium (less than one percent of the recommended daily amount). Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. A serving of raw, UV-exposed, white mushrooms (90g), however, contains 23.6 micrograms of vitamin D, which corresponds to 118 percent of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances, partly translated as recommended daily dose). For crimini mushrooms (80g) the value was 25.52 micrograms of vitamin D (128 percent RDA).

Mushrooms contain antioxidant amino acids and tripeptides

Mushrooms are one of the best food sources for the sulfur-containing antioxidant amino acid ergothioneine and the tripeptide glutathione. The levels of ergothioneine and glutathione in mushrooms depend on the type of mushroom, and oyster mushrooms contain greater amounts of these sulfur-containing antioxidants than the mushrooms commonly consumed (white mushrooms, crimini or portabella mushrooms), the experts report.

The researchers explain that adding a portion of mushrooms and oyster mushrooms to the NHANES diet for 2011-2016 would probably add 2.24 or 24.0 mg of ergothioneine and 3.53 or 12.3 mg of glutathione based on published literature values.

The USDA FoodData Central database does not currently contain any analytical data on ergotionein. However, the Mushroom Council is supporting research to analyze mushrooms for bioactive ingredients / ergothioneine for possible inclusion in the USDA FoodData Central database, the team adds. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.


  • Victor L. Fulgoni III, Sanjiv Agarwal: Nutritional impact of adding a serving of mushrooms on usual intakes and nutrient adequacy using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2016 data, in Food Science & Nutrition (veröffentlicht 12.01.2021), Food Science & Nutrition
  • Mushroom Council: Just Add Mushrooms: Making Meals More Nutritious (veröffentlicht 01.02.2021), Mushroom Council

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.


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