This is a completely random post but a coworker just asked me about the nutritional value of mushrooms. Told you it was random! My answer to her was that ANY fruit or vegetable packs a nutritional punch and to eat, eat, eat them! However, I did some further investigation on mushrooms and they’re extremely interesting. Perhaps this will convince Matt to start eating mushrooms…or maybe it’s better that he doesn’t, ‘cause we’ve got a good gig worked out where I get to eat them off his plate!
*Mushrooms are the only fresh vegetable with vitamin D. You’ve heard a lot about this “sunshine” vitamin which you get from the sun, as well as certain foods. And many of us, especially women, are deficient in this very important vitamin. A serving of 4-5 white mushrooms provide 15 IU. Studies have shown that the ultraviolet light of the sun can boost the vitamin D levels in mushrooms. Cool, right? (On a side note, the Daily Value of Vitamin D is 400 IU, but experts are saying we need upwards of 1000 IU. I’m taking about 2000 IU/day)
*Mushrooms are fat-free, cholesterol-free (as are all plants!), low in calories (8.7 calories for a ½ cup serving) and sodium
*They are full of nutrients such as riboflavin (helps maintain healthy blood cells), niacin (promotes healthy skin and digestive and nervous system functioning) and selenium (an antioxidant that is important for the immune system and fertility in men). These are typically found in animal products and grains
*Eastern cultures and medicine have been using mushrooms for centuries (mostly shitake and maitaki varieties). They are used to balance the nervous system
*When buying white mushrooms, select ones that are in-tact and firm. They can be found year-round in the grocery store. To clean them, dampen a paper towel and gently wipe them to get rid of the dirt. They will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Next time you’re at the supermarket, pick up some shrooms and experiment. There are so many varieties available, you’re sure to find one you like. Here’s a recipe I found for stuffed mushrooms. Yumm!