Mushrooms are edible fungus that can provide several important nutrients. The many kinds of mushroom have varying compositions and nutritional profiles.
From puffballs to truffles, mushrooms can range from everyday fare to a costly delicacy. People can buy them fresh, canned, or dried.
In 2015, each person in the United States consumed, on average, around 3 pounds of mushrooms, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
Beyond the diet, mushrooms feature in some types of traditional medicineTrusted Source.
In this article, learn about the nutritional contents and possible health benefits of eating mushrooms. We also give some tips on preparing and serving them and describe the risks.
For example, antioxidants are chemicals that help the body eliminate free radicals.
Free radicals are toxic byproducts of metabolism and other bodily processes. They can accumulate in the body, and if too many collect, oxidative stress can result. This can harm the body’s cells and may lead to various health conditions.
Among the antioxidant agents in mushrooms are:
- vitamin C
Learn more about antioxidants here.
Some sources have suggested that selenium may help prevent cancer, but a Cochrane review, from 2017, found no evidence to confirm this.
Mushrooms also contain a small amount of vitamin D. There is some evidenceTrusted Source that vitamin D supplementation may help prevent or treat some kinds of cancer, though according to a 2018 report, the effect may vary from person to person.
Choline is another antioxidant in mushrooms. Some studiesTrusted Source have suggested that consuming choline can reduce the risk of some types of cancer, but at least one other studyTrusted Source has indicated that it may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
It is worth noting that consuming a nutrient as a supplement is not the same as consuming it in the diet.
What links are there between cancer and the diet? Find out here.
Dietary fiber may help manage a number of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of meta-analyses concluded that people who eat a lot of fiber may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For those who already have it, fiber may help reduce blood glucose levels.
A cup of sliced, raw mushrooms, weighing 70 gramsTrusted Source (g), provides almost 1 g of fiber.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults consume 22.4–33.6 g of dietary fiber each day, depending on sex and age.
Mushrooms, beans, some vegetables, brown rice, and whole-grain foods can all contribute to a person’s daily requirement of fiber.