Mushrooms – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses

Mushroom, whose other names are
* forest mushroom
* field mushroom
* portabello
* morel
* vegetable meat
* pink-bottom, is the fruiting body of the fungus Agaricus bisporus L., which belongs to the botanical family Agaricaceae of the class Basidiomycota.
Mushrooms are made up of three distinct parts, namely:
¤ The STIPE, a cylindrical shaped part with the annulus
¤ The PILEUS, which is the white and fleshier portion
¤ The LAMELLAE, which is where the spores are formed, and is located under the pileus.


Mushrooms are quite naturally endowed with minerals as well as vitamins. They contain:

* Complete proteins, making up about 2.1%
* Very low carbohydrate content, about 3.45%
* Fewer calories, but however, fried mushrooms increase their calorie content a lot.
* Vitamins in rich amounts, mainly B group vitamins, they include:
– Thiamin,
– Riboflavin,
– Niacin,
– Folates.
Despite their richness in the B group vitamins, they are poor in vitamin C and contain virtually no vitamin E or pro-vitamin A.

* Minerals in significant amounts, such as phosphorus, potassium, iron and trace elements.

Health benefits / medicinal uses of Mushrooms

The main health benefit of mushrooms is their anti-diabetic action. Their low carbohydrate content and richness in B group vitamins and proteins contributes to this effect. Studies carried out with diabetic laboratory animals have shown that “eating mushrooms reduces the need for insulin to regulate blood glucose”. The regular consumption of mushrooms is of immense benefit to the diabetics.

Another minor but important health benefit of mushrooms its their satiating effect to the obese. They have a low calorie content as long as they are not fried or cooked with oil.

By Abbati

Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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