The Best Mushroom

The Best Mushroom
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Which type of mushroom has the highest antioxidant content?

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And speaking of fungus (which is what keeps tempeh together), which is healthier: button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, or portobello? Okay, for full disclosure, this is a trick question. These are all the exact same mushroom. Those little white mushrooms turn into crimini, and then grow up to be portobellos—isn’t that neat?

Okay, so here’s the real question. Button, chanterelle, morel (which, incidentally, should never be eaten raw, or with alcohol),—oyster mushrooms, porcini—which is Italian for piglet (evidently when the mushrooms are really small, they look like piglets?). And, finally, shiitake. It’s going to be a toughie.

Okay, so here’s the graph. One’s an obvious overachiever; one’s a slacking underachiever. First, the slacker. Of the six, which is the least healthy, based on antioxidant content? Take a second. Do you think it’s the button mushroom? The chanterelle? Morel? Oyster? Porcini? Shiitake? This one’s a surprise: chanterelle mushrooms. Apparently, the least healthy mushroom there is. Interestingly, plain old cheap and easy white mushrooms are way up here at number two! Portobellos and crimini also number two.

Okay, but who’s the superstar? Only one in four now. Who guesses morels? Oyster mushroom? Porcini? Shiitake? The healthiest mushroom on the planet, it seems (so far tested), is the little piggy! Porcini mushrooms.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

And speaking of fungus (which is what keeps tempeh together), which is healthier: button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, or portobello? Okay, for full disclosure, this is a trick question. These are all the exact same mushroom. Those little white mushrooms turn into crimini, and then grow up to be portobellos—isn’t that neat?

Okay, so here’s the real question. Button, chanterelle, morel (which, incidentally, should never be eaten raw, or with alcohol),—oyster mushrooms, porcini—which is Italian for piglet (evidently when the mushrooms are really small, they look like piglets?). And, finally, shiitake. It’s going to be a toughie.

Okay, so here’s the graph. One’s an obvious overachiever; one’s a slacking underachiever. First, the slacker. Of the six, which is the least healthy, based on antioxidant content? Take a second. Do you think it’s the button mushroom? The chanterelle? Morel? Oyster? Porcini? Shiitake? This one’s a surprise: chanterelle mushrooms. Apparently, the least healthy mushroom there is. Interestingly, plain old cheap and easy white mushrooms are way up here at number two! Portobellos and crimini also number two.

Okay, but who’s the superstar? Only one in four now. Who guesses morels? Oyster mushroom? Porcini? Shiitake? The healthiest mushroom on the planet, it seems (so far tested), is the little piggy! Porcini mushrooms.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

More on mushrooms:
Making Our Arteries Less Sticky
Breast Cancer vs. Mushrooms
Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation
Why Do Asian Women Have Less Breast Cancer?

And check out my other videos on mushrooms

For additional context, see my associated blog post: The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

17 responses to “The Best Mushroom

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  1. 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




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  2. 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.)




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  3. 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.




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    1. 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/




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  4. Why should wine never be consumed with morel mushrooms? And may wine be used in sautéing morels?
    Btw, thank you for writing How to Not Die. I am almost finished reading it and have thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be very motivating.
    Kathleen




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  5. Hi Kathleen. Good to hear from you. I’m a volunteer moderator and I’m so glad that you are enjoying the book.

    Some mushrooms have toxins and can cause illness when consumed with alcohol. However, thoroughly cooking mushrooms does inactivate these toxins.

    Thank you for supporting NutritionFacts.org, and I hope you are subscribed to our daily videos!




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