Mushrooms : nutrition, shocking adverse effects & 2 food/drug interactions


Mushrooms Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Low
• Protein: High
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: Low
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: High
• Fiber: High
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins, folate
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• Mushrooms are high in dietary fiber, both insoluble cellulose in the outer skin and pectins in the flesh. They have traces of protein and small amounts of the B vitamin folate.

• One-half cup cooked fresh mushrooms has 2 g dietary fiber, 2 g protein, and 14 mcg folate (4 percent of the RDA).

How To Serve Nutritious Mushrooms Food

• Fresh, in salads.

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Smooth, plump, uniformly cream-colored button mushrooms. The cap should be closed tightly, hiding the gills. As mushrooms age, they turn darker; they also lose moisture and shrink, which is why the caps spring open, revealing the pink or tan gills. (Black gills are also an indication of age.)

Older mushrooms are more intensely flavored than young ones, but they also have a shorter shelf life. And they also have less sugar than truly fresh mushrooms.

• By the fourth day after mushrooms are picked, about half their sugar and starch will have turned to chitin, a polymer (a compound with many molecules) similar to cellulose. That is why older mushrooms are “crisper” than fresh ones. Look for dried mushrooms in tightly sealed packages.


Any wild mushrooms. Stick to commercially grown mushrooms from reputable growers.

How To Storing This Food

• Refrigerate fresh mushrooms in containers that allow air to circulate among the mushrooms. The aim is to prevent moisture from collecting on the mushrooms; damp mushrooms deteriorate quickly.

• Mushrooms should never be stored in plastic bags.

How To Preparing Mushrooms Food

• Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water and rub them dry with a soft paper towel or scrub them with a soft mushroom brush to remove dirt on the cap. You can clean mushrooms quickly simply by peeling the cap, but that will make them less tasty.

• The mushroom’s flavor comes from an unusually large amount of glutamic acid in the skin. Glutamic acid is the natural version of the flavor enhancer we know as MSG (monosodium glutamate).

• bSlicing mushrooms hastens the loss of riboflavin. According to the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, boiled whole mushrooms may retain as much as 82 percent of their riboflavin, sliced mushrooms only 66 percent. Slicing also changes the color of mushrooms.

• When you cut the mushroom, you tear its cells, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the mushroom, producing brownish particles that make the white mushroom dark. You can slow this natural reaction (but not stop it entirely) by coating the mushrooms with an acid lemon juice, vinegar, or a salad dressing that contains one or the other.

• Button mushrooms lose moisture and shrink when you cook them. If you choose to cut off their stems before you cook them, leave a small stub to help the mushroom hold its shape. Dried mushrooms must be soaked and rinsed as directed on the package.

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What Happens When You Cook Mushrooms Food

• The B vitamins in mushrooms are all water-soluble. They will leach out into the cooking water, which should be added to your recipe along with the mushrooms. Cooking toughens the stem of button mushrooms but does not affect their nutritional value since riboflavin is not destroyed by heat and remains stable in a neutral solution or an acid one such as a tomato sauce or a stew with tomatoes and bell peppers.

How Other Kinds of Processing Affect Mushrooms Food


Canned mushrooms with their liquid may contain up to 100 times as much sodium as fresh mushrooms. Riboflavin, the most important nutrient in mushrooms, is not destroyed by heat, but it will leach out into the salty liquid. Riboflavin is sensitive to light; mushrooms in glass jars should be stored in a cool, dark cabinet.


Dried mushrooms should be sold and stored in a tightly closed package that protects the mushrooms from moisture, and they should be kept in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight. They should be stored in the refrigerator only if the refrigerator is less humid than the kitchen cabinet.

• Properly stored dried mushrooms may remain usable for as long as six months. To use dried mushrooms, cover them with boiling water and let them stand for about 15 minutes. Then rinse them thoroughly to get rid of sand and debris in the folds of the mushroom.

mushrooms dish

Adverse Effects Associated with Mushrooms Food

Mushroom poisoning.

About 100 of the more than 1,000 varieties of mushrooms are poisonous. In the United States, nearly 90 percent of all mushroom poisoning is due to two species of Amanita mushrooms, Amanita muscaria and Amanita phalloides. Amanita muscaria contains muscarine, a parasympathetic-nervous-system poison that can cause tearing, salivation, sweating, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea, dizziness, confusion, coma, and convulsions.

• bThese symptoms may show up anywhere from a few minutes to two hours after you eat the mushrooms. Muscarine poisoning is potentially fatal. Phalloidin, the toxin in Amanita phalloide mushrooms, is a liver poison whose symptoms include all those attributed to muscarine poisoning, plus jaundice from liver damage.

• These symptoms may not show up until two to three days after you eat the mushrooms. Phalloidin is a potentially lethal poison; the death rate for phalloidin poisoning is 50 percent.

Mushrooms Food/Drug Interactions

False-positive test for occult blood in the stool.

The active ingredient in the guaiac slide test for hidden blood in feces is alphaguaiaconic acid, a chemical that turns blue in the presence of blood.

• Alphaguaiaconic acid also turns blue in the presence of peroxidase, a chemical that occurs naturally in mushrooms. Eating mushrooms in the 72 hours before taking the guaiac test may produce a false-positive result in people who not actually have any blood in their stool.

Alcohol/disulfiram interaction.

Disulfiram (Antabuse) is a drug used to treat alcoholism. It causes flushing, difficulty in breathing, nausea, chest pain, vomiting, and rapid heartbeat if taken with alcohol. Some mushrooms, including the cultivated edible varieties, may contain naturally occurring disulfiram.

• If taken with alcohol, these mushrooms may cause symptoms of a disulfiram-alcohol reaction in sensitive individuals. Since disulfiram lingers in your system, the symptoms may appear half an hour after you drink alcohol, even if you ate the mushrooms as much as four or five days ago. 


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