Cathy Isom explores the healthiest way to eat a mushroom. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
When it comes to mushrooms they can be consumed either cooked, or raw, depending on your preference. However, a study done by Spanish researchers shows that cooking mushrooms in the microwave, or grilling them, are the best processes to maintain their nutritional profile.
Mushrooms are considered valuable health foods. They have a significant amount of dietary fiber. They have very few calories or fat and are full of vitamins. Mushrooms are also an important source of biologically active compounds with a potential medicinal value such as beta glucans.
Scientists from Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja – or C-T-I-C-H – aimed to evaluate the influence of different cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, grilling and frying) on proximate composition, beta glucans content and antioxidant activity of four cultivated mushrooms species.
They examined the most widely consumed mushrooms worldwide. All of the mushrooms examined were harvested in the research center’s lab. After the cooking process, raw and cooked mushrooms were then freeze-dried. The proximate composition and the antioxidant activity were analyzed. Their findings revealed that frying induced more severe losses in protein, ash, and carbohydrates content, but, increased the fat and energy.
Boiling improved the total glucans content by enhancing the beta glucans fraction. A significant decrease was detected in the antioxidant activity especially after boiling and frying. Grilled and microwaved mushrooms reached higher values of antioxidant activity.
Scientists also noted that when mushrooms were cooked by microwave or grill, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly. There were no significant losses in the nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms. They also gave the ok to add a little olive oil to the grilling process.
The results of this study can be found in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.
I’m Cathy Isom…