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The Best Mushroom

Which type of mushroom has the highest antioxidant content?

October 2, 2008 |
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And speaking of fungus (which is what keeps tempeh together) which is healthier, button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, or Portobello mushrooms. Who can tell me why this is a trick question??? Right, these are all the exact same mushrooms. Those cute little white button mushrooms grow up to be portobellos—isn’t that cool? Ok, so here’s the real question. Button, Chanterelle, More-el—never eat raw or with alcohol, oyster mushrooms, porcini—Italian for piglet (evidently when the mushrooms are really small they look like piglets?) And shiitake. Ooh, this is going to be a toughie.

Here’s the graph. One’s an obvious overachiever; one’s and slacking underachiever. Which is which? First the slacker. Which is the least healthy of the six (based on antioxidant content)? Take a moment… OK, who’s the slacker—who says button mushrooms? Chanterelles? Morels? Oyster? Porcini? Shiitake? This one’s a surprise: Chanterelles. Least healthy mushroom there is. Interestingly, boring old cheap & easy white mushrooms are way up here at number 2! Blew me away. I think that stumped everyone else too. Did anyone get that right? All right, no winners this gamer. Should we try another round? OK, everyone back up.

Who’s the superstar? Only one in four now. Morels? Oyster? Porcini? Shiitake? The healthiest mushroom on the planet (so far tested) is… the little piggies!

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on mushrooms. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on mushrooms. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/ja827/ ja827

    Doc, have you looked into Siberian Chaga? not a typical ‘mushroom’, but the highest ORAC value of all ‘fungus’

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my associated blog post The Best Foods: Test Your Nutrition Knowledge!

  • bee

    Are mushrooms ok to eat raw?  Do mushrooms aggravate dysbiosis issues?

  • Ilana

    Have you heard anything about Chaga mushrooms – http://www.radsoap.com/The-Magic-of-Chaga-Mushroom-Tea-p/wteachaga.htm

  • Marcia

    Are dried herbs (such as marjoram and mint) as healthy fresh herbs? And what about mushrooms – dried vs fresh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mel.haynes Mel Haynes

    Since becoming vegan I try to make sure I eat lots of mushrooms for the Vit D (and because I LOVE THEM) and I recently discovered “mock beef jerky” which is vegan and made with mushrooms. Someone pointed out to me however that being made in Taiwan, its possibly its loaded with heavy metals – as are most asian grown Shiitaki as well. Although this was purely word of mouth I noticed there are some global concerns about heavy metals in mushrooms – I would love some more info on this if you (or anyone else) can find it in the literature.

    Kind regards,

    Mel

  • http://robertroose.info/ Robert Roose

    Looking at the source cited, there’s actually no reference to mushrooms.

    It appears that Crimini mushrooms are the healthiest (USDA Database for the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2. May 2010.)

  • Richard Horn

    Hello Dr. Gregor,
    I’ve eaten button mushrooms for years and only recently through your efforts discovered their toxic nature. Two questions please: Will boiling thinly sliced button mushrooms for 30 min. then discarding the water and rinsing take care of the problem? And two, Will all this heat do substantial damage to the benefits? Thanks for your time, and a great website.

    • Thea

      Richard: I’m not an expert, but from what I understand is: you just don’t have to be so careful and worried about it. The benefits of mushrooms are well documented. Dr. Greger has several pro-mushroom videos in addition to this one. The only video where Dr. Greger talks about the potential problem with raw mushrooms, it seemed to me that simple, basic cooking destroys any problems. So, you wouldn’t have to worry about how thin it is sliced, cooking forever, or even throwing away the cooking water. That’s my understanding.

      Here’s the link to the “Toxins In Raw Mushrooms” video if you are interested:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/toxins-in-raw-mushrooms/