The portobello mushroom is one of the most consumed mushrooms in the world. Among most other types of fungi, especially the so-called medicinal mushrooms, portbells are known as natural cancer fighters and immune system protectors. Compared to the more expensive and sometimes difficult to find mushrooms, such as shiitakes or reiki mushrooms, for example, portobello mushrooms are widely available in most grocery stores and are generally quite profitable. Whether you follow a plant-based diet, low in the carbohydrate diet, the vegan diet or somewhere in between, there are many reasons why portobellos and other fungi should have a place on their plate. Because they provide plant-based proteins and many essential nutrients, in addition to antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight disease, cooking with portobellos is one of the best ways to “exclude” unhealthy foods from your diet, such as processed red meat or the hard. -I digest soy products, dairy products and cereals. In addition, the benefits of portobello mushrooms are really remarkable, from fighting cancer and inflammation to providing valuable vitamins and minerals that improve health.

What are Portobello Mushrooms?

Portobello mushrooms  (also called “portobellos”) are white button mushrooms and a type of fungus. Not only are they very low in calories and they are a great substitute for meat in recipes, but they are also a good source of phytochemicals, such as L-ergotionein and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which have properties to prevent cancer and other effects. Because they are types of fungi, fungi eliminate organic matter, which means that they grow by absorbing nutrients from the soil and decomposing matter, such as wood or even manure. This allows them to become very nutrient dense, and when consumed by people, their nutrients help eliminate toxins from the body and eliminate free radicals that contribute to the disease. ¿ Where you can find portobello mushrooms? A variety of mushrooms, including those named Portobello mushroom, white mushroom, oyster mushroom and shiitake mushroom, are generally available at most grocery stores. Health food stores usually have a greater variety of species available, including fresh and dried mushrooms. Generally, Portobellos are sold fresh, but they appear differently in terms of size, smell and color, depending on maturity.

Benefits of Portobello Mushrooms:

What are the benefits of portobello mushrooms? Below are several reasons why fungi are an excellent addition to your diet:

1. It can Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer:

It is believed that the anticancer properties of fungal extract are due to phytochemicals within fungi that have positive effects on cell death, growth and proliferation of healthy cells, lipid metabolism and immune responses. Portobellos contain CLA, which has been shown to help inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (death of abnormal or cancerous cells). They are one of the only vegetables / non-meat sources of CLA, which makes them unique and valuable in vegetarian diets. A study that compared the effects of the fungus extract in mice found that those treated with the extract experienced reductions in prostate tumor size and tumor cell proliferation compared to the control group of untreated mice. The researchers involved in the study found that the fungus extract containing CLA contributed to significant changes in gene expression that were observed in the group of fungus-fed mice but not in the control group.

“That CLA content, along with other phytonutrients, is the reason why fungi such as the Portobello mushroom are considered some of the best foods to fight cancer on the planet”.

2. Contains Antioxidants and Natural Anti-Inflammatory:

Mushrooms in general are one of the best dietary sources of L-ergothioneine (ERGO). Studies have found that low levels of ERGO are associated with an increased risk of many chronic inflammatory diseases, especially those that affect red blood cells / hemoglobin. According to the researchers, ERGO is biosynthesized only by fungi and mycobacteria (not humans), which makes fungi one of the only ways that humans and animals consume. In recent years, ERGO has been investigated for its possible therapeutic effects in the treatment of red blood cell disorders that are caused in part by oxidative damage. Research also shows that, as a very stable antioxidant with unique abilities, it can be useful to counteract damage to mitochondrial DNA and protect against neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s disease.

3. Good Substitute for Meat:

Most people can afford to eat more meatless / vegetarian meals, such as stir fry, salads or stews that provide many vegetables and nutrients. Mushrooms are a popular alternative for meat, with the added benefit of being lower in calories, fat, sodium and being free of dairy, nuts or soy. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, portobellos are one of the best foods to use in vegetarian burgers, fajitas, etc., since they can acquire a texture and taste similar to those of meat and are also often easy to digest. Although most people do not know, fungi are actually relatively high in protein, considering that they are not a source of meat. Most types contain approximately 20 percent protein based on their weight / dry mass. Even if you are not following a plant-based diet but want to reduce the amount of meat you eat, try using portobellos as a substitute instead of processed tofu products, frozen vegetable burgers (which commonly contain ingredients such as isolate from soy protein) or Legumes / beans that can be difficult for some people to digest.

4. Great Source of B Vitamins:

For a vegetable, the Portobello mushroom is exceptionally high in B vitamins, including niacin (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2). What are the health benefits of eating foods rich in B vitamins? B vitamins are necessary to maintain high levels of energy, cognitive health and help the body recover from stress. Niacin helps support the functions of the cardiovascular system and a strong metabolism, even playing a role in controlling cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Riboflavin is useful for preventing or treating headaches and migraines, can reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, protect the eyes from diseases such as glaucoma and help prevent anemia. B vitamins are also compatible with healthy skin, are beneficial for preventing diabetes by helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels and can help overcome fatigue, joint pain and arthritis.

5. Provides Copper and Selenium:

Copper is a trace element found in portobello fungi play an important role in the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells, supports a healthy metabolism and is necessary for the growth, development and continuous repair of connective tissue. The body uses copper as part of several enzymatic reactions and to maintain hormonal balance. Finally, copper helps prevent fatigue because it acts as a catalyst in reducing molecular oxygen to water, part of the chemical reaction that occurs when ATP (energy) is created inside the cells to feed the body’s processes. Selenium is another nutrient from which Portobello mushrooms provide high amounts (more than 30 percent of your daily requirement in one serving). Selenium supports the activities of the thyroid gland by acting as a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones, helps fight inflammation, is beneficial for circulation and reproductive health, and can even help decrease the risk of a person develop cancer

6. Low Carb but Still Provides Some Fiber:

If you are following a low carb diet, or even a very low carbohydrate keto diet, Portobello mushrooms can really be useful for increasing the volume of your meals and adding fiber, flavor and nutrients to your diet without supplying sugar or too many carbohydrates. One serving of portobellos has approximately three to six grams of carbohydrates (depending on the specific size and type), but only two to three grams of net carbohydrates when fiber is taken into account. For very few calories, you can add portobellos to foods such as tortillas, salads, soups or sauteed to help you feel fuller and get some fiber and electrolytes such as potassium.

Nutritional Facts of Portobello Mushroom:

Portobello mushroom is a type of fungus  that has the species name Agaricus bisporus. Portobellos can be called by other names depending on how mature the fungi are and where in the world you live. The same species of fungi called portobello mushrooms are also labeled as cremini mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms, brown fungus and brown mushrooms. Most people think that Portobello mushrooms are large mushroom “tapas”, which can grow as much as the size of someone’s hand. The caps generally have a gray-white flesh in the lower part of the mushroom where the thick stem is located and a darker and firmer upper part. Portobellos are classified as basidiomycete fungi, and usually come in two colors: white and brown. When fungi are “immature,” they are usually smaller, round and white to whitish-brown. Once they ripen, they usually turn a darker color, typically medium to very dark brown, and much larger. Like other fungi, portbells are a good source of amino acids (the “basic components of protein”), dietary fiber, B vitamins and many essential minerals. Among the different types of vegetables, they are one of the best ways to get more B vitamins in your diet (even without eating meat), including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and biotin. They also contain some selenium, copper, phosphorus and electrolytes such as potassium. At the same time, they are low in carbohydrates, no meat (vegans), gluten free, no soy, no nuts and very low in fat, sodium and calories, which makes them suitable for many different types of diets.

One cup (121 grams) of grilled and sliced ​​portobello mushrooms contains approximately:

  • 4 calories
  • 9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 7grams of fiber
  • 2 milligrams of niacin (36 percent DV)
  • 6 milligrams of riboflavin (34 percent DV)
  • 4 micrograms of selenium (31 percent DV)
  • 6 milligrams of copper (30 percent DV)
  • 9 milligrams of pantothenic acid (19 percent DV)
  • 182 milligrams phosphorus (18 percent DV)
  • 630 milligrams of potassium (18 percent DV)
  • 1milligram of thiamine (7 percent DV)
  • 23 micrograms folate (6 percent DV)
  • 9 milligrams of zinc (6 percent DV)
  • 1 milligrams of magnesium (5 percent DV)
  • 1milligram of manganese (5 percent DV)
  • 1milligram of vitamin B6 (4 percent DV)
  • 7 milligrams of iron (4 percent DV)

Generally, Portobellos only contain very small amounts of vitamin D (about 0.2 micrograms, 8 IU). However, the concentration of vitamin D (due to the compound called ergocalciferol, which can be converted into vitamin D2) becomes much higher when fungi are exposed to UV light from the sun or from growing special lamps. There is a debate about the amount of fungi with vitamin D that they can really provide, especially if it is considered that for many it is still difficult to find fungi that have been exposed to ultraviolet light. However, research shows that fungi are unique among vegetables because they are able to double or triple their vitamin D content in just a few hours of exposure to light.

Potential Side Effects of Eating Portobello Mushrooms:

While not usually a problem for most people, Portobello mushroom contain purines that are linked to health problems in some cases. Purines break down to form uric acid, which can accumulate and lead to conditions such as gout or kidney stones and kidney dysfunction. If you struggle with one of these conditions, avoid fungi and other sources of purines, or just eat them in moderation. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to other types of fungi, it is better to be careful when eating portobellos, especially because they are related to other edible fungi and can cause similar effects.

Final Thoughts on Portobello Mushrooms:

  • Portobello mushroom are white, ripe button mushrooms and a type of edible and healthy fungus.
  • The benefits of portobellos include high levels of B vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients such as CLA and L-ergotioneine, selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and even some proteins of plant origin.
  • Eating portobello mushroom is a great way to get more nutrients and help avoid deficiencies if you are following a vegan / vegetarian diet, a low carb diet or if you have health problems such as low energy / fatigue, joint pain, indigestion, brain fog or thyroid problems.