Scientists have found another good reason to increase intake of mushrooms in our diets. According to a study published in January 2021, adding mushrooms to your diet can increase the intake of various micronutrients, including nutrients that the body falls short of such as Vitamin D, without increasing calories, fat, or sodium. Researchers added mushrooms to dietary data of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2011 – 2016 considering the composition of crimini, portabella, and white mushrooms at 1: 1: 1 ratio. One study included use of mushrooms exposed to UV-light; and another study involved use of oyster mushrooms. Additionally, study participants groups were 9 to 18 years and 19 + years of age. Both groups were given equal serving of an 84 grams or half cup of servings of UV-exposed mushrooms and oyster mushrooms.
Results showed that adding 84 gram or half cup of servings of white, crimini and portabella 1: 1: 1 ratio mix and oyster mushrooms, the mushrooms helped in increasing various shortfall nutrients which include fiber and potassium. A detailed report showed that addition of a 84 grams mushrooms serving to diet helped in increasing levels of dietary fiber (5% – 6%), Phosphorus (~6%), Copper (24% – 32%), Potassium (12% – 14%), Zinc (5% – 6%), Selenium (13% – 14%), Riboflavin (13% – 15%), choline (5% – 6%) and Niacin (13% – 14%) in both adolescents ( 9 to 18 years) and adults (19 + years); however, had no effect on levels of fat, calories, carbohydrate, or sodium. Commonly consumed mushrooms could meet or even slightly exceed required daily value of Vitamin D (98% – 104%) if they are exposed to UV-light. One serving could provide 5 mcg Vitamin D, which is recommended for both the groups. It can decrease inadequacy of various shortfall nutrients in and individual, and also decrease inadequacy of Vitamin D from approximately 95.3% to nearly 52.8% and from about 94.9% to around 63.6% for age group 9 to 18 years and age group 19 + years, respectively.
Mushrooms are basically a fungi, biologically different from animal- and plant- derived foods that contain unique nutrients that provide various nutrients combining that of both, animal and plant foods. The use of mushrooms is increasing among individuals, as it supports consumers’ dietary chart to lower the intake of saturated fatty acids, sodium, and calories, and increase the intake of required nutrients such as Vitamin D, fiber, and potassium among others. Mushrooms offer various nutrients and attribute found commonly in grains, beans, or meat.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s FoodData Central, five medium-sized white raw mushrooms or 90 grams contain around 20 calories, 0 grams fat, 3 grams protein and very low level of sodium (0mg / <1% required daily value). Mushrooms are one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. One serving of raw and UV-exposed, crimini (80 grams) and white (90 grams) mushrooms contain 23.6 mcg (118% recommended daily value) and 25.5 mcg (128% recommended daily value) of Vitamin D, respectively. With growing awareness of health benefits of mushrooms and increasing consideration to add mushrooms in daily diet among consumers across the globe, in 2019, the Mushroom Council invested US$ 1.5 Million in research and development in order to spread knowledge and understanding of nutritional value and health benefits of mushrooms. In addition to the investment made for analysis of the mushrooms for ergothioneine/ bioactives, there are various other projects that have been approved and study will be conducted for possible addition in USDA FoodData Central database.