There has been much ado about eating colorful produce for health. While it’s true that deep color is an indicator of phytonutrients; that might lead you to believe mushrooms, especially the white button variety, may pale in nutritional comparison. Not so. Turns out mushrooms are a very good source of a number of nutrients for example, selenium. They contain more of this immune-enhancing mineral than any other form of produce. They are also a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
Read more about how vitamins and minerals perform mini miracles in your body in The Essential Guide to Healthy and Healing Foods, a book I co-authored with R.D. Victoria Shanta Retelny.
WHAT’S INSIDE THE WHITE
The button is the most widely available and least expensive mushroom variety. Research published in the Society of Chemical Industry’s Journal of Food and Agriculture cites that the humble white has as much anti-oxidant properties as its more expensive rivals, the maitake and the matsutake mushrooms – both of which are highly prized in Japanese cuisine for their healthful benefits including lowering blood pressure and their suggested ability to fight cancer. Mushrooms are also the only veggie with vitamin D. About five white button mushrooms provides 15 IU of D (or 4% of the daily recommended value).
Check out this cast-iron mushroom recipe to get all the mushroom benefits plus iron!
Farmers markets and produce aisles will soon be bursting with blueberries, tomatoes and the ubiquitous white mushroom. Eat to your heart’s content. Then freeze some to enjoy in smoothies and stir-fry.
For more information on how to freeze food, check out the recipe section of The Green City Market. In Chicago, this market dedicated to local and organic farmers is now open.