Why are mushrooms healthy?


Mushrooms are fungi. The word ‘fungi’ doesn’t sound very healthy. But we still eat all kinds of mushrooms. A tasty mushroom risotto, stuffed Portobello and fried mushrooms on bread. Yummy! But are mushrooms also healthy?

What are mushrooms?

Are they vegetables? No. They are fungi. Or actually the fruiting bodies of fungi and fungi. There is another network of fungal threads underground. Some fungi form mushrooms above the ground.

The fungi underground do not exist for anything. They even have an important function. They clean up organic matter such as leaves and wood. They convert this into food for plants and trees.

They also ensure that less erosion takes place. The fungal threads keep the soil together, as it were. As a result, the soil and nutrients wash away less quickly.

Fungi and fungi are synonyms. In science, the name ‘fungi’ is used for both. Hence the name of the famous pizza with mushrooms: pizza Funghi.

Most mushrooms consist of a number of parts (not all!):

  1. Hat
  2. Picture
  3. Ring
  4. Stock market
  5. Steel

Even though they are fungi, mushrooms can be found with the vegetables in the supermarket, because you prepare them in the same way.

Depending on your supermarket, you can find all kinds of them. The white mushroom is best known, of which we eat about 3 kilos per person per year. Other types that you often see in the supermarket are:

  • Shiitakes
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Portobello
  • Beech fungus
  • Chanterelles

Useful nutrients

Of course, we don’t eat mushrooms for nothing. They seem to be healthy. But why? In a nutshell, they contain few calories and no fat, but do contain fiber , vitamins and minerals. Even more, nutrients are released during baking.

The nutritional values ​​differ per species. Below see the nutritional value of a raw mushroom, a cooked one and when they are fried in oil and salt :

Raw Cooked Baked
Kcal 18 21 54
Protein 2.3g 3.8g 2.6g
Carbohydrates 0.4g 0.4g 0.5g
Fat 0.5g 0.3g 4.1g
Dietary fiber 1.5g 1.1g 4.1g
Potassium 320mg 250mg 410mg
Calcium 6mg 5mg 4mg
Phosphorus 80mg 64mg 101mg
Magnesium 9mg 7mg 12mg
Iron 0.2mg 1.0mg 0.3mg
Copper 0.2mg 1.0mg 0.3mg
Selenium 0mg 7mg 13mg
Zinc 0.3mg 0.3mg 0.56mg
Vitamin B1 0.07mg 0.07mg 0.07mg
Vitamin B2 0.3mg 0.3mg 0.29mg
Vitamin B6 0.12mg 0.07mg 0.067mg
Vitamin C 4mg 1mg 1mg
Vitamin K. 0.3mg 0mg 0.8mg
Vitamin E. 0.1mg 0.1mg 0.6mg
Vitamin B11 ) 44 µg 8 µg 11 µg


Antioxidants such as selenium help protect the body against harmful substances that can cause illness. Hence, they are good for the immune system! Mushrooms are one of the best foods to eat for selenium.

B vitamins

Mushrooms contain various B vitamins. These are good for your heart, nervous system, hormone balance and red blood cells.

Copper and potassium

Copper helps the body make red blood cells that are necessary to carry oxygen around the body. A serving of about 75 grams is equal to one-third of the daily recommended amount of copper.

Potassium is important for the heart, muscles, and nervous system. Together with other minerals, it ensures a good fluid balance and healthy blood pressure.

Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is not mentioned in the table above. That’s because mushrooms do not contain vitamin D. They are grown in a dark place without sunlight or artificial UV light.

However, there are mushrooms, including mushrooms, with vitamin D. They must be exposed to UV light, which ensures that the ergosterol in the mushroom is converted into vitamin D2. Wild mushrooms that grow outside in the sun always contain vitamin D.

Poisonous mushrooms

They grow wild in summer and autumn. It is strongly discouraged to pick mushrooms yourself in the forest. Poisonous species are sometimes difficult to distinguish from non-poisonous ones.

A poisonous mushroom can cause stomach pain, vomiting and hallucinations. There are also species that are deadly, so you better stay away from them. Picking mushrooms in the wild is not an option.


Raw mushrooms contain harmful substances. The most famous poison is agaritine. Research has shown that agaritine is carcinogenic in mice. So it may also be dangerous for humans too.

Agaritine is released into the liver. There it is broken down. The substances that are released are the substances that are potentially dangerous. Because agaritine is also partially broken down during baking, you reduce the risk. You also kill other bacteria during baking.


Arsenic can be in the ground. Mushrooms absorb raw materials from the soil, including bad substances such as arsenic. Wild mushrooms can therefore contain arsenic. And too much arsenic is not good.

Cultivated mushrooms also contain arsenic, but in very small quantities that are not harmful. Mushrooms are always monitored.

Mushrooms as a meat substitute?

A Portobello sandwich instead of a hamburger. Finely chopped mushrooms instead of minced meat. It’s all possible, but can you completely replace meat with mushrooms?

There are several possible answers to this. Because when you want to replace meat with a product with the same amount of proteins. Then the answer is no. Mushrooms contain less protein than meat.

Doesn’t it matter that there is less protein in it? Then you can say that it is a meat substitute because you literally replace the minced meat or the burger in a recipe. The nutritional values ​​of a recipe change, but that does not have to be a problem.

In addition, mushrooms contain less iron than meat and no vitamin B12 at all. So make sure you also get enough of it. Do you eat completely plant-based? Then it is advisable to take a B12 supplement.

The question of whether mushrooms are a meat substitute, therefore, depends entirely on what you want and are looking for. A healthy diet consists of variety and the right amount of nutrients. A Portobello burger fits in perfectly if you know that you have a healthy diet.


Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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