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Mushroom Health Benefits and Side Effects – Healthy or Unhealthy?

Mushroom Health Benefits and Side Effects - Healthy or Unhealthy? / Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay

What are the health benefits and side effects of the mushroom? Is it healthy or unhealthy to consume mushrooms? Let us check it out!

The fungus, which stores vitamins and minerals as much as meat, has incredible benefits to human health. In particular, experts recommend that non-meat-consuming people consume vitamin D and B to meet. 

So what are the benefits of mushrooms? For what diseases are fungi suitable? You can find out in detail what you need to know about mushrooms.


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About Mushrooms

About Mushrooms
Image by adege from Pixabay

Fungus, which gets popularly named as poplar mushroom, shiitake mushroom, portobello mushroom, and the common button mushroom, belong to the same fungi family. 

The mushroom, which has a 250-year history, is used in religious ceremonies in Mexico. In North America and China, alternative medicine is the raw material of drug making. Experts warn about fungi that get also found in poisonous ones. 

Fungi with more than one and a half million species occur spontaneously in tree bottoms after rainy weather conditions. Besides the poisonous ones, there are edible mushrooms. 

These mushrooms provide the same benefits of 100 grams of meat to the body when a full of a plate gets consumed. Four types of fungi are getting most consumed with high amounts of vitamin D in their contents. It is more useful to collect by conscious people.


Which types of mushrooms can we consume?

There are four types of mushrooms we can consume without consideration.


Poplar Mushroom

Poplar Mushroom
Poplar Mushroom – Image by siala from Pixabay

It is a rare but nutritious fungus. The color is brown and gray and can be sauced and consumed with fish and meat dishes.


Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake Mushroom
Shiitake Mushroom – Image by Demo Robi from Pixabay

Shitake mushrooms, which gets widely consumed in Far Eastern countries, are blended with vegetables and consumed on rice. Its also used in sauces made on pasta.


Portobello Mushroom

Portobello Mushroom
Portobello Mushroom – Image by pixel1 from Pixabay

Since it has an enormous hat, it has a lot of places to consume. This type of mushroom gets usually preferred in the oven or grill. Both the taste and vitamin values are the same as red meat.


Common Button Mushroom

Common Button Mushroom
Common Button Mushroom – Image by Anna Armbrust from Pixabay

It is the most common type of fungus. The color is white. It’s easy to find. However, it should be collected by conscious people because it resembles poisonous mushrooms. 



The Health Benefits of Mushroom

The Health Benefits of Mushroom
The Health Benefits of Mushroom – Image by Engin akyurt from Pixabay

Small mushrooms contain a wide range of possibilities. Some species enrich the meal, others cause poisoning, intoxication, or even orgasms, and they are now also used in medicine to treat depression. In any case, common mushrooms have some health benefits.

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High protein content

Mushrooms provide us with a remarkably high content of protein. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain an average of 3.3 grams of protein, more than most vegetables. Therefore they are a tasty and valuable alternative for people who want to reduce their meat consumption and of course, especially for vegetarians and vegans. But also for people who have to do without highly purine-containing foods due to increased uric acid levels, gout or rheumatism.


Increase in vitamin D levels

Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. The causes are many and varied. A possible disruptive factor in the formation of this vitamin is sunscreen, for example, but skin type also plays a significant role in its absorption. The lighter the skin, the better it can form vitamin D. Except for fish, almost no food contains vitamin D. For vegetarians or vegans, however, fish plays no role. It is, therefore, practical that fungi also contain proper amounts. Although the quantity contained in them cannot cover the vitamin D requirement of an adult, it can support the need.


Rich in vitamins

Mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shiitake are also a valuable source of vitamins for our body. Especially productive are the vitamins of the B group. By eating 100 grams of mushrooms a day – for example about three mushrooms – we can do a lot for our supply of the essential B vitamins riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) and biotin (B7).

The vitamins riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3) are essential for our metabolism and cell functions, among other things. It plays an active role in the energy production of our body cells from carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. It’s regularly a good idea to have a small snack with mushrooms in between. For example, you can put some mushrooms on your breakfast toast or add them to your salad.

One hundred grams of mushrooms contain, on average, 0.37 mg vitamin B2 and 3.7 mg vitamin B3. For men, this corresponds to 28% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin B2 and 25% of vitamin B3. For women, the values are even slightly higher: 36 % of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin B2 and 29 % of vitamin B3.

Both pantothenic acid (B5) and biotin (B7) play an essential role as coenzymes in the activation of enzymes. Our body also needs pantothenic acid for the formation of hormones, neurotransmitters, and hemoglobin. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain around 1.15 mg of vitamin B5. It covers 28% of the recommended daily requirement for men and 36% for women.

Mushrooms are also one of the few non-animal food sources of vitamin B12. Through the vitamin D they contain, they also contribute to our bone health.


Strengthening of the immune system

Research announced by the American Society for Nutrition has found that white mushrooms support the immune system by boosting the production of antiviral and other proteins released by cells. Another study found that mushrooms promote the maturation of the cells of the immune system, so-called dendritic cells from the bone marrow.


Essential minerals

Mushrooms from World cultivation also have a lot to offer us in terms of minerals. They contain a lot of potassium, phosphorus, copper, and selenium. They also contain magnesium, iron, and zinc, but in smaller quantities.

We need potassium to maintain our water and electrolyte balance. A diet rich in potassium and low in salt also appears to prevent high blood pressure and lower blood pressure. This mineral is also essential for the function of our muscles and nerves.

One hundred grams of mushrooms contain an average of 310 milligrams of potassium, providing about eight percent of the recommended daily requirement for men and 11 percent for women.

Copper is not only crucial for the production of red blood cells but is also a component of the natural antioxidant enzymes that our body produces itself and is therefore vital for our immune system. Copper is also associated with the production of energy and the structure of tendons and neurotransmitters. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain an average of 342 milligrams of copper and thus cover about 20 percent of the recommended daily requirement for adults.

Phosphorus, in combination with magnesium, supports the building of bones and teeth. This mineral is also crucial for energy metabolism and muscles. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain an average of 110 milligrams of phosphorus and thus cover about 11 percent of the recommended daily requirement for both men and women.

Selenium helps to prevent the formation of free radicals in the body. One hundred grams of mushrooms provide about 15.4 milligrams of selenium, covering 22 percent of the recommended daily requirement for men and 26 percent for women.


Many antioxidants

When we think of antioxidants, we usually think of colorful fruits and vegetables. But did you know that mushrooms also contain antioxidants? Especially maitake and matsutake are considered to be particularly rich in antioxidants. However, a study by Penn State University showed that cultivated mushrooms also have radical scavenger qualities. It is because ordinary supermarket mushrooms contain as many antioxidants as other exotic mushrooms.


Prevents Diabetes

The fungus is one of the ideal low-energy foods for people with diabetes. It does not contain fat and cholesterol, is very low in carbohydrates, is high in protein, and is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. It provides plenty of water and fiber. It also contains enzymes that are effective against starch with natural insulin and sugar. The fungus is known to improve the function of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands, and to benefit insulin formation and activity. People with diabetes may often have an infection problem in their limbs. Natural antibiotics found in the fungus can protect people with diabetes against this dangerous condition.


Suitable for Weight Loss

Mushrooms are an ideal food to control our weight and stay slim. They have a low energy density, are free of cholesterol, and extremely low in fat and calories. For example, 100 grams of mushrooms contain, on average, only 25 kilocalories, mushrooms only 15. It is interesting to note that mushrooms offer a more extensive range of nutrients than vegetables. Furthermore, mushrooms contain dietary fiber. They are suitable for our digestion as they increase the mobility of the large intestine and counteract hard stool or constipation by binding water in the large intestine.

A further advantage: dietary fibers ensure a longer-lasting feeling of satiety. You may have discovered the glycemic index (GI), a measure used to determine the effect of carbohydrate-containing food on blood sugar levels.

This effect is an indicator of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food gets digested and absorbed by the blood. Because the amount of carbohydrates in mushrooms is so low, they have a GI of almost 0, meaning that eating mushrooms has virtually no effect on blood sugar levels.


Rich in dietary fibers

Mushrooms contain dietary fiber that stimulates digestion. Fungi also protect against colon cancer and reduce the risk of a heart attack. The fiber hemicellulose contained in mushrooms creates a feeling of satiety. Chopping mushrooms are simple, making them just as easily digestible finely. The choice of the mushroom type also plays a role: porcini and chanterelles contain more fiber than common mushrooms. Truffles even rank among the top mushrooms. They contain around 16 grams of fiber per 100 grams, whereas mushrooms contain only 2 grams.


Low in cholesterol

The fungus does not contain cholesterol and fat, while its carbohydrate content is shallow. In this way, it provides lean protein to the body. The fiber and certain enzymes it contains also help lower cholesterol levels. Moreover, high lean protein offers the burning of cholesterol when digested. It balances LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels and can prevent diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke.


Improves Bone Health

The fungus is a rich source of calcium, one of the main minerals in bone formation and strengthening. Regular calcium intake in diets keeps you away from diseases such as osteoporosis and prevents joint pain and other bone-related problems.


Protection against bladder cancer

Mushrooms contain selenium, an essential trace element that is essential for the human body to survive. For this reason, it should be supplied to the body in a sufficient quantity every day. Some studies have now found that a high selenium level reduces the risk of bladder cancer. Mushrooms like Crimini and Shiitake are particularly rich in selenium.


Lowers Blood Pressure

Shiitake fungus and maitake fungus contains high potassium levels. Potassium is a natural vein expander and lowers blood pressure by reducing the pressure in blood vessels. High blood pressure is a dangerous condition closely associated with heart attacks and strokes. This mineral also increases mental functions by increasing the amount of oxygen and blood going to the brain. High potassium levels improve memory and learning, according to research.


Support on treating Anemia

Anemic patients are characterized by low iron levels in their blood and experience weakness, headaches, slow neural functions, and digestive problems. The fungus is a good source of iron, and the body can absorb 90 % of the iron it contains with this feature, food benefits to staying healthy, and live a life with high potential.


It Is Rich In Selenium

The selenium content of the fungus is often not given much importance. Although the primary source of selenium for humans is animal foods such as meat, mushrooms are a portion of essential food for vegetarians to meet the need for selenium. With its selenium content, this nutrient benefits bone health and strength. It strengthens teeth, hair, and nails as well. It is a powerful antioxidant. The selenium content in fungi varies significantly from species to species, but in general, the mushroom contains a significant proportion of this mineral.


Healthy and tasty

And now some good news for all those who have to pay special attention to their diet. For example, because dieters suffer from high cholesterol levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity: Mushrooms have hardly any fat, are also free of cholesterol, and therefore do not affect your blood cholesterol level. They are an essential source of potassium, almost salt-free, and consequently suitable for high blood pressure. Since they contain only a few carbohydrates, they have little effect on your blood sugar level.

Due to the low number of calories, they prevent weight gain. Besides, they contain many essential nutrients. As real power vegetables, mushrooms are, therefore, a valuable daily component of a healthy and balanced diet for the whole family.


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Side Effects of Mushrooms

Side Effects of Mushrooms
Side Effects of Mushrooms – Image by adege from Pixabay

Mushrooms are generally safe as long as you know the type of fungi you eat. Excessive consumption can cause fatigue and weakness, stomach problems, cognitive and mental problems, allergies, skin allergies, headaches, and anxiety.

It’s not recommended to consume raw mushrooms, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and to consume an excessive amount of mushrooms. 

Warning: Most types of fungi are not suitable for consumption and are toxic at varying rates. Even the most poisonous species can be eaten very much like mushrooms. Do not collect mushrooms from nature unless you are trained in the types of fungi. Don’t buy mushrooms sold by unfamiliar vendors. Choose safe vendors. If you’re thinking of growing your mushrooms, get the seeds from trusted vendors. Toxic fungi can cause coma, severe intoxication, nausea, vomiting, cramping, and insanity. Most types of poisonous mushrooms can be fatal when digested.


Harms Of Mushrooms

Fungal poisoning is a dangerous poisoning that develops as a result of eating fresh, dried, or canned, raw or cooked mushrooms that grow in natural areas and contain toxic substances in their structure and may result in death.


Side Effects of Mushrooms

It can cause fatigue in some people, stomach upset, problems such as high fever, vomiting such as abdominal pain and twinge. Stomach cramping can harm the nervous system and can lead to hallucinatory problems. It can cause skin allergies, tingling, numbness, dizziness, and mental illness. If possible, contact your doctor immediately.



Most Asked Questions About The Benefits and Side Effects of Mushrooms

Most Asked Questions About The Benefits and Side Effects of Mushrooms
Image by adege from Pixabay


Can you eat raw common mushrooms?

Eat mushrooms raw. Mushrooms can be eaten raw without any problem. Before eating them, however, you must wash them thoroughly and prepare them according to the dish. As mushrooms are very high in fiber, you should only eat small amounts at once at first; otherwise, you will quickly feel unwell.


Can mushrooms be reheated?

Yes, you can reheat mushrooms more than once. The old household rule is no longer valid in times of modern refrigerators. Nowadays, mushroom dishes can be consumed without hesitation even after reheating. For an extended period, it was thought that mushrooms should not be heated a second time after preparation.


How long can you eat fresh mushrooms?

Therefore remove the plastic foil after purchase. An excellent method of storage is to wrap the mushrooms in a dry, clean cloth. In the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, fresh mushrooms keep for a maximum of four days. Without refrigeration, you should not store mushrooms for more than one day.


What ingredients do mushrooms have?

Mushrooms are considered to be low in energy; their physiological calorific value is approx: 100 kJ/100 g (24 kcal/100 g). They also contain essential amino acids, vitamins K, D (in the form of D2), E and B, niacin, as well as the minerals potassium, iron, and zinc.


Are mushrooms dangerous?

The risk of poisoning Mushrooms from the supermarket can also be dangerous. Most mushroom poisonings are not caused by poisonous mushrooms in the real sense, but by mushrooms that are too old or spoiled.


Should mushrooms be washed?

However, when cleaning, many people make the crucial mistake of washing the mushrooms under running water. It makes them soak up the water, and they lose their typical aroma. Instead, clean the mushrooms carefully with a soft brush and remove coarse dirt such as soil residues.


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Can you freeze cooked mushrooms?

Ready-cooked mushroom dishes can be frozen very quickly (warm-up as described in the tip above). Fresh mushrooms can be sliced, briefly sauteed in butter, then left to cool and frozen in tightly closed containers.


Can mushrooms be kept in the refrigerator?

Loose mushrooms should be wrapped in a paper bag or a dry tea towel and placed in the refrigerator – never in a closed plastic bag. The mushrooms need air; otherwise, they spoil quickly.


Can you freeze raw mushrooms?

Mushrooms and oyster mushrooms can be frozen, both raw and cooked — large mushrooms like mushrooms getting best sliced or quartered. Then you can put them in portions in freezer bags or tins.


What is contained in mushrooms?

Besides, mushrooms contribute to a healthy diet. Mushrooms contain calcium, magnesium, and other minerals as well as trace elements – such as manganese, zinc, and selenium. They also contain vitamins, especially those from the B group.


How many carbohydrates do mushrooms have?

Mushrooms contain almost no fat, virtually no sugar, few calories, and, unlike animal protein, are free of cholesterol and purines. But mushrooms have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and valuable proteins. Above all, they contain a lot of dietary fibers that stomach and intestines have to deal with it for a long time.


Which is the most poisonous mushroom in the world?

The toadstool, with its striking red hat and white dots, is probably the most famous poisonous mushroom. Less well known and less colorful, but all the more dangerous is the green bulbous leaf fungus. It is the most toxic mushroom you can find. Even a small piece is enough to poison a person.

Toadstool Mushrooms - most famous poisonous mushroom
Toadstool Mushrooms – most famous poisonous mushrooms. – Image by adege from Pixabay


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Are raw mushrooms challenging to digest?

Mushrooms are particularly low in calories and contain many healthy substances. But mainly people with a sensitive stomach have to be a little careful. Mushrooms also contain chitin and other unusable carbohydrates. It makes them relatively difficult to digest.


How healthy are cultivated mushrooms?

Mushrooms are not just tasty but also very healthy food. For example, they contain vitamins D, B2, biotin, and niacin as well as the minerals potassium, iron, copper, selenium, and phosphorus. Their calorie content of 15 per 100 grams is hardly significant.

Are cooked mushrooms challenging to digest?

Mushrooms are particularly low in calories and contain many healthy substances. But mainly people with a sensitive stomach have to be a little careful. Mushrooms also contain chitin and other unusable carbohydrates. It makes them relatively difficult to digest.

Can you eat brown mushrooms raw?

Yes, you can, even with a big appetite. Cultivated mushrooms are among the fungi that can also be eaten raw.

Do mushrooms have much protein?

Mushrooms provide us with a remarkably high level of protein. One hundred grams of mushrooms contain an average of 3.3 grams of protein, more than most vegetables.



To get the best medical advice about the benefits and side effects of mushrooms, always ask your doctor.

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