Date published

January 3, 2024

When it comes to discussing the health benefits of mushrooms, the question isn’t just “are mushrooms good for you?” but rather “how good are they?” And as you’re about to find out, the answer is quite impressive. Packed with a variety of essential nutrients, mushrooms are a low-calorie, low-carb powerhouse that can significantly enhance your diet. 

What Vitamins Do Mushrooms Carry?

Mushrooms are a rich source of several vital vitamins and minerals, making them a key component of a healthy diet. Here are some of the key vitamins found in mushrooms, according to researchers:

  • Vitamin D: Some varieties including white mushrooms and baby bella (cremini) mushrooms contain Vitamin D, essential for bone health and immune function.
  • B Vitamins: Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins like B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and B5 (pantothenic acid), which help provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats, and carbs.
  • Antioxidants: Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants such as selenium and ergothioneine, which protect body cells from damage that can lead to chronic diseases.
  • Phosphorus: Mushrooms contain phosphorus, which keeps our blood pH within a normal range, regulates our function of nerves and muscles, and is the building block of our genes. 

Health Benefits of Mushrooms 

The benefits of mushrooms extend far beyond their nutritional value. For thousands of years, they’ve been eaten and used in medicines for their healing and cleansing properties. Studies referenced by Harvard’s School of Public Health have shown that mushrooms may contribute to better cognition, gut health, and even cancer prevention, among other things. 

Here are just a few more health benefits of mushrooms: 

  • Boosting the Immune System: The anti-inflammatory effect of mushrooms has been shown to greatly improve the efficiency of your immune system. Bring on the mushroom soup when you’re sick! 
  • Heart Health: Certain varieties like shiitake mushrooms and oyster mushrooms have been known to contribute to cardiovascular health due to their high fibre, potassium, and vitamin C content.
  • Weight Management: Low in calories and high in fibre, mushrooms can be an excellent food for managing and maintaining a healthy weight.

Are Mushrooms Keto? What About Low FODMAP?

Mushrooms are incredibly versatile in special dietary plans. Because they’re low in carbs, mushrooms are perfect for you if you’re on a keto diet, helping to provide essential nutrients without breaking your carb limit. For those with gut health issues like IBS, most mushrooms are low FODMAP and can be safely consumed day to day. 

The benefits of mushrooms are vast and varied. Whether it’s their rich vitamin content, their ability to aid in various health conditions, or their compatibility with dietary restrictions like keto and low FODMAP, mushrooms are a nutritious addition to any diet. So next time you’re visiting your local Calgary Co-op, remember that these small-but-mighty fungi are not just tasty—they’re fantastic for your health!