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Why did the mushroom get invited to so many parties?

Because he’s such a fun guy!


Do you like mushrooms? You may want to get to know them better after reading this. 

A study published in Food Science & Nutrition found that adding just a half-cup of mushrooms to your diet can significantly increase the number of nutrients and antioxidants you consume without adding extra calories, sodium, or fat to your meal.

Researchers examined the effect the added mushroom consumption had on participants lacking in particular nutrients. Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2011-2016, lead researchers Drs. Victor L. Fulgoni III and Sanjiv Agarwal studied two different scenarios involving the produce.

One model added 84 grams, about a half-cup, of common mushrooms, including white, cremini, and portabella. The other added the less common oyster mushrooms to meals. In both scenarios, the addition of a single serving of mushrooms showed that they compensate for potassium and fiber insufficiencies. In fact, adding a serving of any of the mushrooms in the study also increased nutrients like copper (24%-32%), phosphorus (6%), selenium (13%-14%), zinc (5%-6%), riboflavin (13%-15%), niacin (13%-14%), and choline (5%-6%) in both children and adults.

Mary Jo Feeney, nutrition research coordinator to the Mushroom Council, in a media release stated, “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. Data from surveys such as NHANES 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.”

The Mushroom Council which is comprised of fresh market producers and importers who provide over 500,000 pounds of mushrooms annually, commissioned the study. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service supervises them.

Mushrooms are rich in sulfur-containing antioxidant amino acids such as ergothioneine and tripeptide glutathione. Some varieties contain more than others, with the oyster mushrooms packing the most impressive punch.

Another bonus of upping your mushrooms consumption is the boost in vitamin D. Researchers say few foods naturally carry this vital nutrient. UV-light exposure provides mushrooms with several micrograms of vitamin D per serving. Eating one serving of white mushrooms (90g) or cremini mushrooms (80g) can add 23.6mcg and 25.52mcg of vitamin D, respectively.

So how much is half a cup?

According to the USDA’s FoodData Central, five medium, raw white mushrooms adds up to about 90 grams or about a half-cup. That serving contains only 20 calories and zero grams of fat. It also accounts for three grams of protein and has very little sodium in it. 

In short, if you like mushrooms, you’re in luck! Eat up! 

If you don’t care for them, try hiding them in recipes you do like. It doesn’t take much for the little fungi (or, fun guy) to do its thing.