Mushrooms are an excellent food for weight loss. They are low in calories, contain nearly zero fat, and are generally rich in protein and minerals. They provide minerals and trace elements such as potassium, copper, vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, and folates. Mushrooms are widely used in Chinese medicine. (Cheung, 2010) There is a wide variation in nutritional properties in mushrooms.

Shiitake has the highest macronutrients, sugars, tocopherols, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and saturated fats.

White and brown mushrooms have similar macronutrient compositions. Oyster and king oyster mushrooms contained the highest monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and similar other nutrients. Chemical compositions vary between cultivated and wild samples. (Reis et al., 2012)

Variations in the quantity of dietary fiber from species to species of mushrooms exist. A 100-gram serving of mushrooms provides anything from 9 to 40 percent of dietary fiber’s daily recommendation. (Manzi et al., 2001)

The most common cultivated mushroom is the white button mushroom – Agaricus bisporus.

White or brown mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus), Lentinus edodes (shiitake), and Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushrooms) are the first, second, and third most cultivated mushrooms.

White mushrooms are of lesser nutritional and medicinal value than other mushrooms grown mainly in Asia. Variations in the bioactive properties of each of the three mushrooms have been noted and recorded. (Beelman et al., 2003)

Wild mushrooms can easily absorb poisonous substances from a substrate exposed to pollutants or mining sites where harmful elements have leached into the soil. It is best to consume mushrooms cultivated in controlled conditions grown under necessary phytosanitary conditions.

Additional reading:

Natural Solutions for Obesity

Nutrition Facts – a guide to good health

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