You may have wondered about mushroom calories and whether this superfood is actually good for you. The truth is, the amount of calories in mushrooms is mostly due to the number of nutrients that they contain. This means that you should try and consume mushrooms as often as possible, because they are extremely nutritious.
How many calories are in mushrooms?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one mushroom contains less than 4 calories. However, this is accompanied by a ton of other nutrients!
Here is what you will get from one cup, or 70 grams, of raw mushrooms:
- 15.4 calories
- 64.7g water
- 2.16g protein
- 0.238g fat
- 2.28g carbohydrates
- 0.7g fiber
- 2.1mg calcium
- 0.35mg iron
- 6.3mg magnesium
- 60.2mg phosphorus
- 223mg potassium
- 3.5mg sodium
- 1.47mg vitamin C
- 0.14µg vitamin D
- 11.9µg folate
- 12.1mg choline
While these numbers may not mean a lot to you at first, they are very valuable, because they are vitamins and minerals that we need every day. By consuming mushrooms as often as possible you are giving your body the nutrients it needs, without adding too many calories or fat.
More so, mushrooms contain some protein and few carbohydrates. The caloric content is relative to the number of complex polysaccharides it contains. Beta-glucans are a type of polysaccharides that have been shown to act as prebiotics, which means that they promote healthy bacterial growth in the gut. These complex polysaccharides are also powerful anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants.
By eating mushrooms, you are essentially giving your body the ability to stop inflammatory pathways and fight off oxidative stress that could result in chronic illness.
What else is there to know about mushroom calories?
A new study published in January 2021, shows the impact that mushrooms can have on the diet. The results show a significant increase of many micronutrients while having no impact on calories, sodium, or saturated fat.
The study consisted of substituting certain foods with 84 grams of mushrooms. After adding the equivalent to five white mushrooms, participants had a significant increase in many nutrients that tend to be low in the general public.
With one 84-gram serving of mushrooms, you will likely experience an increase in potassium, copper, selenium, riboflavin, and niacin. All of this without increase your caloric, carbohydrate, fat, or sodium impact.
Similarly, an 84-gram serving of oyster mushrooms increased vitamin D and choline. This is particularly important because vitamin D and choline tend to be deficient in vegetarian and vegan diets. These two micronutrients are not easy to find in plant-based foods, so adding mushrooms to the diet can help prevent deficiencies.
When mushrooms are exposed to UV light, the vitamin D levels can increase to 200 IU per serving. This results in an increase of vitamin D levels between 67-90%. This news is important because vitamin D levels are usually low in everyone living in the Western hemisphere. For individuals that do not consume animal products, obtaining this vitamin may only be available from the sun. However, this is not an easy task and would require very long hours under direct sunlight. Instead, individuals can buy UV-light mushrooms that contain more vitamin D than other foods.
Finally, eating white, crimini, oyster, and Portobello mushrooms can add ergothioneine and glutathione. These two are plant-based antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.
One last thing…
Before you go out to buy more mushrooms, you should consider what to pair them with. These fungi are very powerful foods, but they need to be part of a healthy lifestyle and eating pattern. You can obtain more benefits from mushrooms if you eat them with other legumes, vegetables, and lean meats.
As the research shows, mushrooms can help prevent inflammation and chronic illness, but they can also be essential in reducing blood sugar levels, blood cholesterol, and may help you lose weight. All of this is thanks to their fiber content and the fact that they promote healthy digestion and absorption.
Even more so, mushrooms are undergoing research for their ability to help cognitive function, including focus, memory, attention, and sleep. These properties could be incredibly powerful in preventing cognitive decline in older adults and everyone else.
The current intake of mushrooms is relatively low, and many people consider the food to be a luxury. However, white button mushrooms are relatively affordable, and you can preserve them in many ways. You can also consume mushroom powder or dry mushrooms sold in bulk, which can save you money in the long term.
Start eating more mushrooms, and you will soon notice that you are more satisfied, you have more energy, and your body works more efficiently. Plus, you will not be adding any significant calories to your diet. Keep in mind that the cooking method matters. For better results, you should eat mushrooms raw, or cook them in healthy fats, or bake them. Now you know the mushroom calories content and all the amazing nutrients they provide. Enjoy.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll surely enjoy this article about the 3 Brain-Boosting Mushrooms and Their Health Benefits.