Mushrooms Contain…. Vitamins!

Including fresh mushrooms in everyday meals is a great way to boost vitamin intake but adds virtually no calories, fat or sodium. Tossing some sliced mushrooms into green salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, omelets, as well as pasta and rice dishes is so easy and quick. Grilling whole portabellas makes a tasty low-fat “burger” and sautéed fresh mushrooms lend a savoury depth of flavour to chicken, beef and fish.

According to Canada’s Food Guide, a half-cup of fresh mushrooms counts as one daily serving of Vegetables and Fruit. When it comes to the B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, fresh mushrooms make a good choice. Fresh mushrooms also make an important contribution to daily intakes of folate, thiamin and vitamin B6. Here, we’ve listed the nutrient amounts and % Daily Values of these important water-soluble vitamins for a 100 gram serving of white button mushrooms (approx. 4-5 mushrooms).

6% DV (11 mcg)
• Plays an essential role in building new body cells, by helping to make DNA and
• Works with vitamin B12 to form hemoglobin in red blood cells. Prevents megaloblastic anemia.
• The Dietary Reference Intake or DRI for women of child-bearing age is 400 micrograms. Folate is essential for lowering the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in developing fetuses.

20% DV (3.6 mg)
• Important for the metabolism of carbohydrate and fatty acids.
• Acts as a coenzyme or cosubstrate in many biological reduction and oxidation reactions. Required for energy metabolism.
• Helps enzymes function normally.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
20% DV (0.8 mg)
• Acts as a coenzyme in fatty acid metabolism.
• Has numerous other essential roles in energy metabolism.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
25% DV (0.4 mg)
• Required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids, and supports antioxidant protection.
• Changes the amino acid tryptophan in food into niacin.
• Enzyme cofactor essential to all areas of metabolism particularly that of carbohydrate and fatty acids.

Thiamin (vitamin B1)
4% DV (.05 mg)
• Plays essential roles in carbohydrate metabolism and neural function.

Vitamin B6
4% DV (.02 mg)
• Primarily involved in metabolism of amino acids.
• Helps produce other body chemicals including insulin, hemoglobin and antibodies that fight infection.

What’s your favourite way to serve B-Vitamin rich, fresh mushrooms?

Are you ready to hit the beach?

Summer is coming… I can feel it! This past weekend it was beautiful outside… I spent some time gardening, lounging, and running in the glorious sunshine (which is something we have been lacking in these parts lately). With summer just around the corner, it got me thinking about the beach… and after 7 months of intense winter hibernation you may be looking to maintain your current weight or wishing to loose a few pounds… Either way, you can count on fresh mushrooms to help keep you full, fit and healthy this summer!

Appetite Control

  • Fresh mushrooms are a low glycemic food as they contain very little carbohydrate. That means that they do not raise blood-sugar levels as significantly as carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread.
  • Studies have shown that low-glycemic foods, including fruits and vegetables, may help control appetite longer than those with a high-glycemic index.

Fewer Calories

  • Fresh mushrooms are a perfect choice for low energy-dense diets as they have high water content, are low in fat and contain some fibre: three factors that will help keep you feeling full with fewer calories.
  • Researchers have found that people who eat satisfying portions of foods that are less energy-dense have greater success at weight loss and maintenance

Boosting Flavour

  • Mushrooms add depth-of-flavor to foods, without adding a lot of extra fat, calories or sodium.
  • Fresh mushrooms, shiitakes in particular, have a subtle savory quality called umami that rounds out other flavors and adds taste satisfaction. This comes from the glutamic acid they contain.   

Beach Body Recipes
Do you have any beach body tips to share?

Mushrooms and Vitamin D

Many of us are aware that vitamin D is essential for bone health & strong teeth. Although there are many gaps in our understanding of other health effects of vitamin D, new research suggests that higher levels of the vitamin may also be important for helping to prevent chronic diseases and conditions including certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Lately scientists have been finding that many of us may not be getting enough vitamin D, particularly if we live in more northern climates, are older, spend most of our time indoors, have darker skin or have diets low in the vitamin.

We get our vitamin D from two sources: exposure to sunlight, which allows the body to produce its own vitamin D using ultraviolet light and cholesterol in the skin; and a limited number of food sources including fortified milk, fish, eggs and mushrooms. Mushrooms are the only vegetable that contain natural vitamin D. They contain a compound called ergosterol that is turned into vitamin D in the body.

Currently, the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for vitamin D for adults to age 50 is 15 mcg per day (600 IU). It increases to 20 mcg (800 IU) per day for those older than 70 years.

If you are unsure about how much vitamin D you should be getting consult with your physician, pharmacist or a registered dietitian. A 100 gram serving (approximately ½ cup) of sliced fresh raw white mushrooms has 7
IU of vitamin D.

Remember that every little bit adds up to better health. Recent studies have shown that the level of vitamin D in both white and brown mushrooms can be boosted significantly by exposure to ultraviolet light.

Ongoing research is being conducted to determine the appropriate UVB light dosage to increase the vitamin D content of fresh mushrooms up to 100% of the Daily Value or 600 IU.

Fresh Mushrooms Can Help!
Combating Cancer

  • A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published in 2007 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who took a calcium Vitamin D supplement that contained 1100 IU vitamin D had a significantly lower incidence of cancer over 4 years compared to women taking a placebo.
  • Another study found that colorectal cancer mortality was inversely related to higher blood levels of vitamin D. While this is great news, much more research is needed to confirm these results.

Diabetes Defense

  • Researchers in the U.K. found that dietary vitamin D supplementation was associated with a reduced risk of type 1 diabetes in children.
  • Analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study in the U.S. found that a combined daily intake of & 1200 mg calcium and & 800 IU vitamin D was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to an intake of & 600 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D.

Potential Possibilities

  • Results from the Iowa Women’s Health Study showed an inverse relationship between both dietary and supplemental vitamin D and risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
  •  A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found evidence that vitamin D intake may have a protective effect on risk of developing multiple sclerosis in women.

Mushrooms Make a Difference

  • ƒAdd 1 cup sliced white button mushrooms to your green salad. Benefit: boost vitamin D by 13 IU.
  • Use ½ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms instead of sausage in pasta sauce or on pizza. Benefit: boost vitamin D by 96 IU.
  • Layer ¾ cup sliced sautéed fresh white mushrooms onto grilled steak or chicken. Benefit: boost vitamin D by17 IU.

Choose Heart Healthy Mushrooms this Month

February. It’s already shaping up to be a very busy month! I mean, we’ve got the Super Bowl a few days away, Valentine’s Day in a little over a week, and Family Day (in most provinces)… so I think that it is very fitting that February is known as “Heart Month.

Of course we all want to keep the good ‘ol ticker in excellent shape, but just how do you go about it? Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping blood cholesterol in check are some of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. Eating more fruits and vegetables can also help protect our hearts against cardiovascular disease by providing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, as well as plant compounds called phytochemicals.

Fresh Mushrooms Can Help!

Watch the Weight
Mushrooms are a perfect choice for weight management, since they have high water content, are low in fat and contain fibre: three factors that help you feel full with fewer calories (that means less room for calorie-laden foods).

Cut the Cholesterol
Fresh mushrooms contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre has been shown to help prevent and manage cardiovascular disease by lowering the levels of total and LDL cholesterol.

Adding the Antioxidants
Fresh mushrooms contain significant levels of l-ergothioneine, which acts as an antioxidant. Ergothioneine doesn’t break down when it’s heated, which means you can enjoy mushrooms raw or cooked!

Mushrooms Make a Difference

  • Add ½ cup white button mushrooms as a side to chicken. Benefit: one 1 extra gram of fibre.
  • Mix 1 cup of diced portabella mushrooms into risotto. Benefit: three 3 extra grams of fibre.
  • Include 1½ cups sliced crimini (brown) mushrooms in pasta sauce. Benefit: five 5 extra grams of fibre.

For more about heart health visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.

The Good on Mushrooms

The Nutritional Value of Fresh Mushrooms
Fresh mushrooms are making their mark! Even though they look simple, mushrooms have a whole lot going for them in the nutrition department.

  • Antioxidants: Fresh mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called l-ergothioneine. Ergothioneine is found in both raw and cooked mushrooms. Portabella and crimini mushrooms have the most, followed by white button mushrooms.
  • Cancer-fighting: Fresh mushrooms offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their chemo-preventive potential. Recent research suggests that mushrooms (and mushroom extracts) may have powerful anticancer activity, for both breast and prostate cancer.
  • Essential Nutrients: A 100 gram serving of sliced fresh white mushrooms has only 25 calories, no cholesterol, is virtually fat-free, is low in sodium and has 1 gram of fibre. They are a good source of riboflavin, copper, selenium, niacin and pantothenic acid.
  • Fibre: Mushrooms offer both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps to maintain good bowel health.
  • Immunity: A strong immune system helps protect against infections from bacteria and viruses. Emerging research indicates that certain mushroom extracts (including extracts from the white button mushrooms), may have a positive effect on the immune system.
  • Weight management: Fresh mushrooms are a perfect choice for low energy-dense diets, as they have high water content, are low in fat, and contain some fibre; three factors that will help keep you feeling full with fewer calories. Researchers have found that people who eat satisfying portions of foods that are less energy-dense have greater success at weight loss and maintenance.

– Brittany