Portobello mushrooms

Mushrooms in general are getting popular as a food dish and various recipes incorporating it are found in the internet and cookbooks. One can easily consume them are many restaurants of the world. Portobello mushrooms are also a type of mushroom that are larger in size.
What are the nutritional facts related to this large mushroom? And what are its various health benefits? Continue to read to know all about it.

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What are portobello mushrooms?

Mushrooms are basically fungi and not vegetables. Its use has been known since the good old days when it was consumed as food as well as put to medicinal use. These mushrooms have a umbrella like cap and a stem below it. On the undersurface of the cap there are gills. Unlike gills of a fish, these gills are not for breathing purpose. But they are used to disperse the spores of the fungi.

Portobello mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms (Source: Nature’s Soul)

Portobello mushrooms are also a type of mushroom that are native in the grasslands of Europe and North America. They have a large-sized cap and are edible. The size of the cap can be as large as 6 inches in diameter. They are the mature forms of the regular mushrooms and are in two colours: white and brown. The undersurface has the softness and gills. The stem of this mushroom is edible but being fibrous and thick, it is hard to cook and eat. Therefore, the cap is the main edible part. Gills are also edible but they can make the dish look unsightly. Hence they are scrapped off and discarded.

Nutritional facts

Portobello mushroom has a meaty texture and an umami taste. But it does not have high proteins. Hence while having them, remember to add protein rich ingredients in the cooked food dish.

One portobello mushroom has 22 calories. There is no fat in it: neither cholesterol nor saturated fats and not even trans fats. Total carbs are 4 g with 2 g sugar. Protein is just 2 g and dietary fiber is 1 g. This one piece has 5 mg sodium and no potassium. There is no vitamin A, C, D, cobalamin or vitamin B6. It had iron and calcium but no magnesium. It has phosphorus, selenium and copper. Some mushroom growers expose them to UV light so that the mushrooms get vitamin D in them. In those mushrooms, vitamin D is present in some quantities.

Portobello mushrooms
Portobello mushrooms (Source: Co+op)

Thus, these mushrooms are a low calories food with some proteins and fiber but no fats.

Health benefits

Mushrooms have a lot of non-nutritive but useful compounds such as polyphenols, polysaccharides, and carotenoids. These have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. These have been shown in animal studies where they arrest the growth of cancer cells and stimulate the immune cells.

Moreover, these mushrooms protect the brain and can reduce cognitive decline with age. In 2019, Chinese researchers did a study on adults above 60 years of age. They showed that those who had 2 or more servings of mushrooms in a week had 52% less risk of showing cognition fall.

Portobello mushrooms
Baked Portobello mushrooms (Source: Caroline’s cooking)

These mushrooms also show gut benefits. Their polysaccharides content serve as food for the healthy bacteria of the gut. Hence, these good bacteria grow, proliferate, and survive. Their proportion increases and since 70% immune system is located in the gut, this function too improves.

Also, read How To Prepare Garlic Mushrooms Recipe?

Buy these mushrooms fresh and cook them at the earliest within a day. Choose firm ones which show no signs of softening or spoilage. One can grill them and use in place of burger or burger buns. Marinate them with your choice of spices and pan fry or grill them. Cut them into thin strips and stir fry them. Stuff them with different foods or eggs and bake them in oven.