Why you should be eating more mushrooms

A recent study has found mushrooms can add vital nutrients to your diet.Adding a half cup of mushrooms to your daily diet can lessen vitamin D defiency.Mushrooms also add protein and fiber to a person's diet. .The study also found you can't eat too many. Mushrooms added no significant calories, fat or sodium.Mushrooms are fungi, but they have properties similar to both meat and vegetables

There’s a fungus among us, and you might want to put it on your dinner plate.

A study published this week in the journal Food Science & Nutrition found that adding a serving of mushrooms each day increased several micronutrients, including vitamin D, without raising calories, sodium or fat.

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“This research validated what we already knew that adding mushrooms to your plate is an effective way to reach dietary goals identified by the [Dietary Guidelines for Americans],” researcher Mary Jo Feeney said. “Data from surveys such as [National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey] are used to assess nutritional status and its association with health promotion and disease prevention and assist with formulation of national standards and public health policy.”

Drs. Victor L. Fulgoni III and Sanjiv Agarwal modeled the addition of mushrooms to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2016 dietary data looking at a composite of white, crimini and portabella mushrooms at a 1:1:1 ratio; one scenario including UV-light exposed mushrooms; and one scenario including oyster mushrooms for both 9-18 years and 19 years and older, based on an 84g or ½ cup equivalent serving.

The researchers’ key findings include:

> The addition of an 84 gram serving of mushrooms to the diet resulted in an increase in dietary fiber (5%–6%), 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, but had no effect on calories, carbohydrate, fat or sodium.

> When commonly consumed mushrooms are exposed to UV-light to provide 5 mcg vitamin D per serving, vitamin D intake could meet and slightly exceed the recommended daily value (98%-104%) for both the 9-18 year and 19+ year group,s as well as decrease inadequacy of this shortfall nutrient in the population.

> A serving of the UV-light exposed mushrooms decreased vitamin D deficiencies from 95.3% to 52.8% for 9–18 year-year-olds and from 94.9% to 63.6% for those 19 years and older.

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According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, five medium, raw, white mushrooms (90g) contain 20 calories, 0g fat, 3g protein and are very low in sodium (0mg/<1% recommended daily value). Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, and mushrooms are unique in that they are the only food in the produce aisle that contain vitamin D. Specifically, one serving of raw, UV-exposed, white (90g) and crimini (80g) mushrooms contains 23.6mcg (118% RDA) and 25.52mcg (128% RDA) of vitamin D, respectively.

Mushrooms are fungi — a member of the third food kingdom — biologically distinct from plant and animal-derived foods yet have a unique nutrient profile that provides nutrients common to both plant and animal foods.

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