What Are the Health Benefits of Mushrooms?

Low in calories, rich in nutrients, fits any meal

Low in calories, rich in nutrients, fits any meal

Mushrooms are known for adding a delicious flavor to dishes and side dishes. But they also pack a powerful nutrition punch. In fact, they are often touted as a superfood, and for good reason.

“Mushrooms are good for you because of their many health benefits. They are low in calories, cholesterol and sodium and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are a great addition to any diet,” says Kosha Nathwani, MD, a family medicine physician at Scripps Clinic Encinitas.

Edible mushrooms have numerous health benefits, including:

  • Weight control
  • Lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other illnesses
  • Support healthy immune system
  • Better digestion

Plus, they can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them a powerful addition to any meal.

“In addition to their health benefits, mushrooms are versatile,” Dr. Nathwani says. “You can chop them up and add them to sauces, soups, and stir-fries for extra flavor and nutrition."

Are mushrooms vegetables?

Mushrooms are scientifically classified as fungi, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies mushrooms as vegetables because they contain many of the same nutritional benefits that plant-based foods offer.

Mushrooms can also serve as a low-calorie, low-fat substitute for meat due to their texture and savory, umami flavor.

Mushrooms are a reliable source of:

  • B vitamins, which help to provide energy from foods, and form red blood cells
  • Vitamin D, which helps maintain and build strong bones
  • Antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and inflammation that might lead to chronic diseases
  • Potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Fiber, which helps feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system
  • Copper, a mineral that helps form red blood cells and keep bones and nerves healthy

What are types of mushrooms?

Growers cultivate edible mushrooms year-round. Grocery stores offer a variety.

Some of the most common are:

  • Button or white mushrooms
  • Cremini (baby bella)
  • Portobello
  • Porcini
  • Maitake
  • Enoki
  • Shiitake
  • Oyster

Portobello mushrooms are often served as burgers or steaks because of their meaty texture.

Are all mushrooms safe to eat?

Mushrooms found at stores are generally safe to consume unless you have an allergy to mushrooms. Eating wild mushrooms can be risky because some may be poisonous.

At the store, look for mushrooms that are firm and have a fresh smell and avoid those that are slimy or have a musty smell, as these may indicate spoilage.

To keep them fresh, they should be stored in a paper bag or a breathable container in the refrigerator. Use them within a few days of purchasing, as they can spoil quickly.

Mushroom adobo recipe (watch video)

For a delicious and nutritious meal featuring mushrooms, try this mushroom adobo recipe:

Adobo sauce

1 tbsp. dark brown sugar

½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

½ cup low sodium tamari

6 garlic cloves, peeled

3 dried bay leaves

1 tbsp. black peppercorns

1 tsp. kosher sea salt

1 tsp. cornstarch

3 cups water



  • Place all the ingredients, except the water and cornstarch in a pot and simmer.
  • Once simmering, add 1 cup of water and simmer until it has reduced to half.
  • Add the rest of the water, a cup at a time and simmer until the amount is reduced by half.
  • Once the mixture has reduced, strain the mixture and place back in a pot.
  • Separately, add 3 teaspoons of water to the cornstarch and mix.
  • Simmer the sauce and add the cornstarch.
  • Once thick, remove from the heat and set aside.



 4 cups of mushrooms (your choice of type)

2 tbsp. Butter (cut into cubes)

2 tbsp. Olive Oil


  • Mix oil and butter in a pre-heated pan and add the mushrooms. (Do not over crowd the pan).
  • Do this in batches as to have enough space between the mushrooms to make sure it does not steam.
  • Once golden brown, set aside.



Cooked Sauce

Cooked Mushrooms

1 tsp. Olive Oil

Cooked Rice

Poached Egg

Crispy Garlic (optional)

Vegetables (your choice)



  • Heat the oil and add the mushrooms.
  • Add the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the mushrooms on top of rice and top with poached egg.
  • Garnish with crispy garlic and vegetable of your choice.


Recipe serves 4

Download the printed recipe (PDF, 280 KB).

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