Are Mushrooms Good for You?
Are mushrooms good for you? I’ve got GREAT news for you—they definitely are!
Not only do they pack a powerful nutritional punch, but they’re a guilt-free way to add loads of flavor to your nutritious meals. Seriously, they’re tasty AND nutritious—what’s not to love? 😍
And, there’s more…they are also an excellent meat substitute for anyone wanting to avoid or decrease meat in their diet.
What Exactly Are They???
Here are a few mushroom basics…
Mushrooms aren’t plants OR animals. They’re actually the reproductive structure of fungi. (We can officially add this onto the list of weird things we humans eat.)
But, for cooking purposes, they generally fall into the Vegetable category.
We’ve all heard the warning at some point in our lives—don’t go picking them unless you really know what you’re doing because the toxic ones can kill you.
Now, let’s get to what makes them healthy and why mushrooms can be an excellent part of a healthy eating plan.
Nutritional Benefits of Mushrooms
There are many types of edible mushrooms — and, they’re all cholesterol-free, fat-free, low-sodium, low in calories, but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Nutritional benefits vary a little bit by type, but you’ll find the following nutrients in most varieties:
Free radicals are damaging to our bodies and are what contribute to aging, heart disease, and cancer. Antioxidants fight free radicals and protect us against aging and other diseases, and also boost our immune systems.
Mushrooms contain a lot of the antioxidant selenium. In fact, it would be tough to find anything in the produce aisle that has more selenium than mushrooms!
Your body uses copper in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Copper also helps your body maintain healthy nerves and bones.
One cup of cooked mushrooms provides about one-third of our daily does of copper.
Your heart is the hardest working muscle in your body, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood per DAY! Potassium is SUPER important to keep the heart pumping well and also helps with muscle and nerve functions.
Two-thirds of a cup of portobello mushrooms has about 371 mg of potassium—almost as much as a medium-sized banana.
Mushrooms are packed with B vitamins, including niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin.
These vitamins are another thing that make them so good for your heart. Niacin also helps maintain healthy skin and is great for the digestive system.
Beta glucan is a fancy word for soluble fiber. This type of fiber has a good reputation for improving your cholesterol and your heart health. It also helps your body regulate blood sugar, which lowers your risk for Type-2 diabetes.
If you want more beta-glucan, try the shiitake and oyster varieties.
Are They Good for Weight Loss?
The short answer is YES. As I mentioned earlier, mushrooms are high in fiber, low in calories, and full of nutrition.
The other great thing? They’re dense and meaty and are a great meat substitute if you’re a vegetarian or vegan.
Mushrooms add a rich savory flavor to many dishes and cooking them is easy. They’re super versatile—you can grill, marinate stuff, bake or sauté them! (Some folks have even made coffee out of them!)
Make sure you store them in the fridge in a paper bag—this keeps them from getting moldy and soft.
To clean them, wash, but don’t soak them with cold running water. (You don’t want them absorbing too much water.)
Cut off the end of the stem and slice or quarter them depending on the recipe.
A long as you cook them first, you can freeze them so they’re recipe-ready. For this reason, I use them a lot in my weekly meal prep.
Healthy Mushroom Recipes
Let’s get cooking! I rounded up some awesome healthy mushroom recipes for you…just click on the images to go to each recipe.
Slow Cooker Garlic & Herb Mushrooms
What could be easier than throwing something in the slow cooker for a couple of hours? This healthy mushroom dish will remind you of your favorite steak house! They’re perfect as a side or even on their own.
Egg-White Omelet with Mushrooms, Tomato & Cheddar
Get your day off to a fantastic start with this amazing egg-white omelet. Mushrooms give the recipe a boost and the protein from the eggs keeps you full until lunchtime.
Vegan Mushroom & Black Bean Burger
Mushrooms are PERFECT for vegan dishes! Here a delicious and healthy mushroom and black bean burger recipe when you’re in the mood for a burger, but don’t want the meat. (I skip the bun and just use extra lettuce as a wrap!)
Easy Marinated Mushrooms
These marinated mushrooms are EASY to make—all you need is about 10 minutes and you have a tasty accompaniment to your main dish!
Healthy Low Carb Stuffed Mushrooms
Some stuffings are healthier than others. Here’s a healthy spinach-stuffed mushroom recipe that I think you’ll love! What’s not to love about spinach, garlic and feta cheese???
Healthy Mushroom Sauce
Let’s Cook Healthy Together!
If you haven’t discovered the versatility of mushrooms yet, you’ve got some delicious and nutritious new meals in in your future. They’re great for your healthy, nutritious and SIMPLE lifestyle!
Looking for more help with nutrition and lifestyle changes? I’d love to chat! Feel free to contact me here: