There are so many types of mushrooms (at least 14,000) though only about half are safe for human consumption.

But almost all the mushrooms we eat are the white button or chestnut variety. Why not branch out? Other common types include shiitake, reishi, wood ear, and oyster. Each has its own unique shape, flavour, and texture.


1. Low in calories

Mushrooms stand out for their low-calorie intake. To give you an idea, shiitake mushrooms have only 34 kcal per 100 g, which makes this product a perfect food for those who are managing their weight. Their higher fibre content also gives mushrooms a satiating feeling.

2. Group B vitamins

They are especially rich in vitamins B2, B3, B1, and folic acid, which play essential roles in the proper functioning of the nervous system and metabolism.

In addition, folic acid is a vitamin recommended for women who want to become pregnant or who are pregnant, since its consumption can reduce the risk of developmental issues.

3. They may help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar

Mushrooms contain beta-glucan, a type of fibre that can contribute to maintaining normal blood cholesterol levels.

Additionally, foods that have a low glycaemic index (GI) are essential to the diets of those with conditions such as diabetes. Mushrooms have a low GI, which helps control blood glucose levels and may prevent sudden and rapid rises in blood sugar.

4. Source of potassium and selenium

Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, a very important function in preventing heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Selenium is an important nutrient to maintain the proper functioning of the thyroid and help support the immune system.

5. Vitamin D

Although this vitamin can be synthesised through direct skin contact with the sun’s rays, it is also present in some foods such as mushrooms. Vitamin D is important for many vital processes in the body, such as the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus. Expose mushrooms to the sun before eating (such as placing them by a sunny window), and their Vitamin D content will increase!

6. Antioxidants

This property is due to the existence in the composition of ergothioneine, an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, responsible for aging and cell damage.

Types of mushrooms and their benefits


Lentinan is a compound found in shiitake mushrooms that may slow the growth of leukaemia cells and prevent them from spreading. These richly flavoured mushrooms have a powerful polysaccharide component – it activates our immune system.


This fungus plays an important role in HIV research. Since antiretroviral treatment (ART) in patients with HIV raises triglyceride and cholesterol levels. This mushroom has antihyperlipidemic effects, meaning that they may prevent or counteract the accumulation of lipids in the blood.


Porcini mushroom is nutrient-dense, low in calories, supports the digestive health, and helps reduce inflammation issues.


Reishi mushroom has properties that can help relieve fatigue and regulate stress levels; In addition, they can reduce blood sugar and cholesterol, while improving liver function. It has also been the subject of many studies related to cancer development and chemotherapy, as well as immunity benefits.

White button

White button mushrooms may seem simple at first glance, but they have had a huge impact, especially in lowering PSA levels in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. It is also being investigated how its extract can prevent the recurrence of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Want to know know about the benefits of mushrooms? Read our blog on Marvelous Mushrooms: The Incredible Benefits of Adding Mushrooms to Your Diet

By Nadia Pico, dietetic student, revised by Reema Patel, Registered Dietitian at Dietitian Fit & Co.


1 – Neofungi website (1)

2 – Shiitake Mushrooms: Health Benefits (2)

3 – Ucla Health Website (3)

4 – Harvard: The nutrition Source (4)