Health and Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

White mushrooms are extremely low in calories- a 100 gm of the fungi packs just 22 calories! They also contain negligible fat and cholesterol, but are rather rich in protein (3.1 gm per 100 gm) and healthy carbohydrates (3.3 gm of carbs per 100 gm), according to data by United States Department of Agriculture. They also contain iron, magnesium and Vitamins C, D and B-6. They are also rich in potassium, which is an important nutrient for maintaining heart and brain health, as well as promote weight loss.

Mushroom is considered to be a complete, health food and suitable for all age groups, child to aged people. The nutritional value of mushroom is affected by numerous factors such as species, stage of development and environmental conditions. Mushrooms are rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. The digestible carbohydrate profile of mushroom includes starches, pentoses, hexoses, disaccharides, amino sugars, sugar alcohols and sugar acids. The total carbohydrate content in mushroom varied from 26-82% on dry weight basis in different mushrooms. The crude fibre composition of the mushroom consists of partially digestible polysaccharides and chitin.

Mushrooms are capable of strengthening the immune system. A diverse collection of polysaccharides (beta-glucans) and minerals, isolated from mushroom is responsible for up-regulating the immune system. These compounds potentiate the host’s innate (non-specific) and acquired (specific) immune responses and activate all kinds of immune cells.

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