LifestyleHealthResearch finds just adding mushrooms make meal many-times healthier

Research finds just adding mushrooms make meal many-times healthier

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Kolkata, India: Just adding some mushrooms could skyrocket the nutritional profile of your plate manifolds, finds new research probing onto the health benefits of the mushrooms. 

Mushrooms, which are generally categorized as fungi are a member of the third-food kingdom. In the recent spurt of demand for plant-based entrees, these mysterious beings have gained massive popularity. 

This research published in the journal Food Science & Nutrition (January 2021) underscores the reason why mushrooms are being increasingly opted for and popular. 

Researchers found, when included at a certain amount, mushrooms were able to heighten the micro-nutritional profile of the serving in several ways, including compensating for the shortfall nutrients like vitamin D, without delivering any fat, sodium, or calories. 

To trace what additional health benefits mushrooms bought onto the table, a team of researchers including Dr. Victor L. Fulgoni III and Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal modeled the NHANES or National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011-2016 dietary data with an addition of a mix of white, portabella and crimini mushrooms at a 1:1:1 ration.

Two scenarios were tested with the mushrooms — one, where the mushrooms were UV exposed, and two, where the serving included oyster mushrooms for both 9-18 and 19+ age-group on an 84g or ½ cup equivalent serving.

What was found?

The results found, just the addition of 84 grams of mushroom (white, crimini, and portabella 1:1:1 mix and the oyster mushrooms) increased the serving’s shortfall nutrients like fiber and potassium. 

The addition of the same amount of mushroom also increased the serving’s dietary fiber percentage to 5%-6%, increased copper (24%-32%), phosphorus (6%), potassium (12%-14%), selenium (13%-14%), zinc (5%-6%), riboflavin (13%-15%), niacin (13%-14%), and choline (5%-6%) in both adolescents and adults.

Photo by Megumi Nachev on Unsplash

The with a gain of these essential micronutrients, there was not hike in sodium, fat, or calories, the researchers noted. Whereas, traditionally, these nutrients are derived from animal protein, which also does its part in supplying fat, sodium, and calories. 

The researchers also noted,  when the mushrooms served were exposed to UV light to provide 5 mcg of vitamin D per serving, the Vit D intake limit was met, and slightly exceed the day recommendation value of 98% – 104% for both the age-groups tested. 

They also found, serving the commonly used mushrooms exposed to UV-light decreased the population inadequacy for Vitamin D from 95.3% to 52.8% in age group 9-18 years (94.9%) and 19+ (63.6%). 

“This research-validated what we already knew that adding mushrooms to your plate is an effective way to reach the dietary goals identified by the DGA,” said Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RD, FADA, and nutrition research coordinator to the Mushroom Council.

“Data from surveys such as NHANES are used to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention and assist with the formulation of national standards and public health policy (CDC, 2020).”

One of the many

Mushrooms are one of the few foods that are naturally known to contain vitamin D, and mushrooms are the only food that is known to contain vitamin D in the Ailes, For instance, one serving of UV-exposed, raw crimini (80g) white (90g) and mushrooms contains 23.6mcg (118% RDA) and 25.52mcg (128% RDA) of vitamin D, respectively.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Part of the reason why mushrooms have gained increasing popularity in the climate-change and plant-forward movement is because of the presence of nutrients commonly found in meat, beans, and grains and the low environmental footprints this fungus cast. 

Some variety of mushrooms are a storehouse of several, immensely needful dietary sources of ergothioneine, tripeptide glutathione Ergothioneine and glutathione contents — all sulfur-containing antioxidant amino acids.

Notably, oyster mushrooms are more prone to these sulfur-containing antioxidants than commonly consumed mushrooms: white button, crimini, or portabella mushrooms.

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