When it comes to food and health trends in 2021, the humble mushroom is having quite the moment.
According to TODAY contributor, Samantha Cassetty, RD, mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses thanks to their key vitamins and minerals thanks in part to the vitamin D they offer.
“Mushrooms are rich in a range of nutrients that aren’t typical of many veggies,” Cassetty shared with TODAY revealing they are the only plant-based, unfortified food that provides a substantial amount of vitamin D – essential for immune regulation and bone health.
Mushrooms are also rich in selenium – a mineral that’s involved in immune functioning – and potassium, which helps expel sodium from the body.
Mushrooms are also good sources of B vitamins, riboflavin, niacin, and copper.
Cassetty told TODAY mushrooms also contain two important antioxidants – ergothioneine and glutathione. These antioxidants protect your brain from illnesses such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s and “you won’t find many other foods with higher amounts than mushrooms,” Cassetty revealed.
Lastly, mushrooms can help with weight loss due to their meaty consistency, with Cassetty telling TODAY readers that eating a meal with mushrooms can leave you just as satiated as eating a meal containing meat.
“In a small, year-long study that involved mostly women, those who swapped meat for mushrooms lost about seven pounds and achieved healthier body measurements and improvements in blood pressure and inflammatory markers,” Cassetty told TODAY.