Mushrooms do share some of the benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories, have no cholesterol and are virtually free of fat and sodium. And that's not all. Mushrooms stand alone when it comes to some essential minerals and B-complex vitamins not easily found in produce. For those watching their carbohydrates, mushrooms are another food you can feel good about eating. A serving of mushrooms contain only 3 carbs.
– 5 medium mushrooms is equal to 3 oz.
– 8 oz package of mushrooms contain 2.7 servings
– 8 oz package of mushrooms have 53 calories
Hearty - healthy potassium! Potassium is a mineral your body just can't do without. It maintains normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, muscle and nerve function. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently gave a nod to its disease-fighting capability by stating: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke."
Some mushrooms supply more potassium than foods better known as sources for this mineral. A serving of white mushrooms has more potassium than an orange or a tomato. A portabella mushroom has more than a glass of orange juice or a medium sized banana.
Selenium - A protective antioxidant! Selenium, an essential mineral, works closely with Vitamin E to produce antioxidants that neutralize the cell-damaging "free radicals" that can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases of aging. It plays an important role in the immune system, the thyroid system and the male reproductive system.
Foods of animal origin and grains are sources of selenium, but in produce, only mushrooms are a good source of selenium. This is good news for vegetarians, whose sources of selenium are limited. A serving of shiitake or baby bella (crimini) mushrooms provides one-third of the recommended daily value for selenium. White and portabella mushrooms are also good sources.
Essential B-Vitamins! Mushrooms are good sources of three hardworking B-complex vitamins-riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. They are all found in every cell in our body, helping release energy from the fat, protein and carbohydrate in our food. In addition:
Vitamin D is a steroid vitamin, a group of fat-soluble prohormones, which encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous.
Riboflavin promotes healthy skin and good vision.
Niacin helps make sure the digestive and nervous systems function as they should.
Pantothenic acid is involved in the production of hormones and also plays an important role in the nervous system.