6 reasons mushrooms make awesome addition meal

Mushrooms are a bit of a mystery. They have various shapes and appearances, most often resembling a stocky umbrella. Some are poisonous, but most are safe to eat.

To the touch, they can be rough or smooth. And on the color spectrum, they jump all over, ranging from white to reddish-brown. But despite all the varied appearances, textures, tastes, and colors, there is one thing that is consistent about this strange little vegetable (or fungus to be more accurate):It’s packed full of powerful nutrients.

Because mushrooms offer an excellent source of vitamins that can benefit your health, they’ve become quite easy to work into a variety of meals throughout the day. It’s no wonder that Nintendo® chose the mushroom as the one thing that turns plain old Mario into Super Mario.

Adding fresh mushrooms to your everyday meals can help you load up on essential proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antibiotics, and antioxidants.

6 Benefits of Eating Mushrooms

Here are just a few of the nutritional benefits of mushrooms:

1. Low Calorie

One cup of mushrooms contains only 20 calories, which helps maintain your waistline. They are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, and very low in sodium.

2. High in Vitamin D

A rarity to find in vegetables, this vitamin can facilitate the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, another key nutrient contained in mushrooms.

3. Excellent Source of Copper and Phosphorus

Copper helps form collagen, a protein that keeps your bones from becoming brittle, and also aids in energy production. Phosphorus aids in protein development and growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues.

4. High in Selenium

Mushrooms contain antioxidants, like selenium, which protect body cells from damage that might lead to chronic diseases. They also help to strengthen the immune system.

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5. Good Source of B Vitamins

Mushrooms contain essential B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

6. High in Potassium

This mineral aids in the maintenance of normal fluid and mineral balance, which helps control blood pressure.

How to Prepare MushroomsMushrooms

Don’t be afraid to add mushrooms to your meals. These preparation tips will help you get the most out of this power-packed fungi:

  • Cook the mushrooms to release more nutrients. Try grilling, stir-frying, and sautéing to limit fat.
  • Refrigerate mushrooms in a paper bag for up to one week. Use within a few days for best flavor and texture.
  • Roasting mushrooms will bring out their natural sweetness.
  • Be sure to thoroughly clean them before eating, as they tend to store dirt in their crevices.

A Delicious Mushroom Recipe

Fettuccine in creamy mushroom and sage sauce recipe

Try this vegetarian recipe that you can put on the table in 30 minutes. (Ingredients and directions intended for two servings)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 8 ounces spinach fettuccine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 ounces chopped fresh oyster mushrooms
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook shallots and garlic until transparent. Stir in mushrooms, and cook until tender. Mix in heavy cream and sage. Cook and stir until thickened.
  3. Toss sauce with cooked fettuccine, and season with salt and pepper to serve.

Whether you’re adding mushrooms to a salad, tossing them in a tasty pasta dish, or sautéing them alongside various other vegetables, they’re a great way to receive nutrients that are necessary for your daily diet.

About UPMC

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.