This vegetable can add important nutrients to your daily diet

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In a new study, researchers found that adding mushrooms to a daily diet could increase several micronutrients including shortfall nutrients while having a minimal to zero impact on overall calories, sodium or saturated fat.

The research was conducted by a team at Nutrition Impact, Battle Creek, MI and elsewhere.

Mushrooms are fungi—a member of the third food kingdom—biologically distinct from plant and animal-derived foods yet have a unique nutrient profile that provides nutrients common to both plant and animal foods.

In the study, the team looked at the nutritional effect of substituting a serving of various foods with an 84-gram serving of mushrooms in Healthy US-style, Mediterranean-style and Vegetarian Eating Patterns.

For the mushroom serving, researchers looked at a composite of white, crimini and portabella mushrooms, one scenario including UV-light exposed mushrooms; and one scenario including oyster mushrooms.

They found that simply adding an 84-gram serving, or what would be the equivalent of 5 medium white mushrooms, could increase several shortfall nutrients including potassium as well as other B vitamins and minerals and had minimal to no impact on overall calories, sodium or saturated fat.

The addition of a serving of mushrooms to the diet could increase potassium (8%-12%), copper (16%-26%), selenium (11%-23%), riboflavin (12%-18%) and niacin (11%-26%), but had no impact on calories, carbohydrate, fat or sodium.

The addition of a serving of oyster mushrooms increased vitamin D (8%-11%) and choline (10%-16%).

Mushrooms exposed to UV-light to increase vitamin D levels to 200 IU/serving also increased vitamin D by 67%-90%.

A composite of white, crimini and portabella mushrooms at a 1:1:1 ratio would be expected to add 2.24 mg ergothioneine and 3.53 mg glutathione, while oyster mushrooms would provide 24.0 mg ergothioneine and 12.3 mg glutathione.

The team says the vegetable can lower intake of calories, saturated fatty acids, and sodium while increasing intake of under-consumed nutrients including fiber, potassium and vitamin D.

One author of the study is Dr. Victor L. Fulgoni III.

The study is published in Food & Nutrition Research.

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