With a wide assortment of varieties, mushrooms are a versatile veggie staple. From the standard white button to the uniquely shaped oyster or maitake, they all provide an array of nutrients and health benefits. Easily found year round, these hearty and flavorful fungi are perfect for winter meals, lending bulk, meatiness, and depth to casseroles, stews, and pasta.
One cup of sliced white button mushrooms contains 15 calories, 2 g carbohydrates, zero fat, and 2 g protein. Yup, its tiny, but there is a bit of protein in this little, overlooked vegetable. Over 5% DV of riboflavin, niacin, copper, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus can be found in this same single cup. Mushrooms also contain thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin D, folate, and iron.
Mushrooms are particularly rich in selenium and copper, compared to other vegetables, providing antioxidant properties and aiding in red blood cell production. This allows these fungi to be beneficial in providing immunity support to the body.
While low in calories and fat, mushrooms are dense and filling, allowing them to be a terrific addition to any weight management diet. Their high nutrient content also means that for little calories, they provide a lot of health benefits.
Mushrooms are also unique in that they are the only vegetable with a significant amount of vitamin D. Most of us get vitamin D through sun exposure, which can be difficult in the dreary winter months. Vitamin D works with calcium to strengthen bones, promote bone growth, aid in immunity protection, and support brain health.
Add some mushrooms to your winter menu with these hearty and flavorful dishes:
Mushrooms, raw. USDA Food and Nutrient Database. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3009?manu=&fgcd=&ds=
Vitamin D. National Institute of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/