Health Benefits of Eating Mushroom (Ero) You Never Know

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From time immemorial, Mushrooms have been consumed in different parts of the world. Different people call it different names.

In Africa, the Igbos call them “Ero” and consider it as one of the special food that nature can give you.

So coming across edible mushrooms in the bush or around your house is seen as a treasure to whoever finds it. The ancient Igbos believed that mushrooms produce red blood cells and protect against diseases.

The ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle, and the Romans perceived them as the “Food of the Gods.”

For centuries, the Chinese culture has treasured mushrooms as a health food, an “elixir of life.”

They have been part of human culture for thousands of years and have considerable interest in the most important civilizations in history because of their sensory characteristics.

Although not all mushrooms are edible, however, people who are used to eating mushrooms knew the edible ones.

White mushrooms are the most edible type and the most cultivated in the world. They are regarded as edible fungi.

According to modern research, more than 100 medicine are produced with mushrooms.

This article explains everything you need to know about white mushrooms, including their potential benefits and how to enjoy them.

What Are White Mushrooms?

White mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) belong to the Fungi kingdom and constitute about 90% of the mushrooms consumed in many parts of the world.

They can be harvested at varying stages of maturity. When they are young and immature, they are known as white mushrooms if they have a white color. A slight brown colour on them shows they have matured.

When fully grown, they’re known as portobello mushrooms in United Stated which are bigger and darker.

White mushrooms are also known as table, common, button, or champignon mushrooms. They have a small stem, smooth cap, and mild flavor that pairs well with many dishes.

White mushrooms grow on composted soil among a wide range of other fungi and bacteria.

You can find them fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or even in powdered form.

Mushrooms have been used as antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiallergic, immunomodulating, cardiovascular protector, anticholesterolemic, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antifungal, detoxification, and hepatoprotective effects (liver).

They also protect against tumor development and inflammatory processes

Nutritional Fact

Like most mushrooms, white mushrooms are low in calories but filled with plenty of nutrients.

One cup (96 grams) of whole white mushrooms provides

  • Calories: 21
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Vitamin D: 33% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Selenium: 16% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 12% of the DV
  • Folate: 4% of the DV

Due to their exposure to UV rays or sunlight, mushrooms are a natural, non-animal source of vitamin D2 that’s capable of increasing blood levels.

Your body turns vitamin D2 into the active form of vitamin D, which it needs to absorb calcium and keep your bones healthy.

Vitamin D deficiency may lead to osteoporosis, mineralization defects, and muscle weakness, causing falls and fractures.

Similarly, research suggests that white mushrooms offer some vitamin B12. Since this vitamin is usually obtained from animal sources, this may be beneficial for those following a plant-based diet.

Additionally, they provide a higher protein content than most vegetables, which would also be beneficial if you follow a plant-based diet, as they may help you increase your protein intake.

Health Benefits Of Eating White Mushrooms

White mushrooms are widely consumed both because of their nutritional value and wide range of medicinal properties.

  1. Fight Cancer

Multiple antioxidant compounds, including polyphenols, polysaccharides, ergothioneine, glutathione, selenium, and vitamin C, are believed to be behind mushrooms’ potential cancer-fighting properties.

These antioxidants help combat the harmful effects of oxidative stress, which leads to cellular damage that can accelerate aging and increase the risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers.

The main phenolic compounds in white mushrooms are flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have the potential to act both as antioxidants and pro-oxidants.

As antioxidants, they help improve cell survival, while as pro-oxidants, they lead to cell death to prevent tumor growth.

One specific type of polysaccharide in mushrooms is beta-glucan. It stimulates your immune system to activate macrophages and natural killer cells, which protect the body from infection, harmful organisms, and diseases, including cancer.

Glutathione acts both as an antioxidant and detoxification agent, meaning that it helps eliminate potentially harmful substances that are foreign to the body.

Meanwhile, ergothioneine protects DNA from oxidative damage.

While vitamin C and selenium offer anticancer properties that enhance your immune system’s production of protective cells, including natural killer cells, which help defend against cancer development.

In addition, vitamin C inhibits certain enzymes, preventing cancer from spreading.

Many studies both animal and human have confirmed the efficacy of mushrooms.

No studies have specifically evaluated the effects of eating white mushrooms on cancer, so further research is needed to verify these claims.

2. May Promote Heart Health

Oxidative stress, inflammation, and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are strongly linked to heart disease, and the ergothioneine and beta-glucan found in white mushrooms’ may help reduce this risk.

Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber that lowers blood cholesterol levels through its ability to form a gel-like substance when digested.

It then traps triglycerides and cholesterol, preventing their absorption.

Similarly, research suggests that ergothioneine may help reduce triglyceride levels after a meal.

One study of 10 men found that consuming either 2 teaspoons (8 grams) or 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of mushroom powder as part of a meal significantly reduced their blood triglycerides levels, compared with the control group.

Researchers attributed this effect to ergothioneine in mushrooms.

Also, ergothioneine may help inhibit arterial plaque development, a risk factor for heart disease that may lead to high blood pressure and stroke.

3. Blood sugar control

The polysaccharides in white mushrooms may help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance

Improved gut health. Their polysaccharides also act as prebiotics, or food for your beneficial gut bacteria, which help improve gut health.

Related: What Does It Mean to Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Related: What Causes Blood in Your Stool?

How To Use

How are mushrooms used?

You can find white mushrooms in various forms, such as fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and powdered.

Fresh mushrooms have a short shelf life of 3–4 days. Thus, freezing, canning, and drying are some of the methods used to extend their shelf life without compromising their nutritional quality.

You can enjoy your fresh and dried mushrooms cooked or raw. If you want to, you can also rehydrate dried mushrooms by soaking them in water.

However, you might want to cook the frozen and canned varieties, as their texture may have changed a bit during processing.

Powdered white mushrooms are mainly used to enhance the nutritional value of foods, specifically to increase the protein content of baked products.

How to add them to your diet

Due to their mild flavor and soft texture, white mushrooms make a great addition to a variety of dishes.

Both the caps and stems are edible, and you can eat them cooked or raw.

Here are a couple of suggestions regarding how to add them to your diet:

Slice them and add them raw to your favorite salad.

Cook them in olive oil with garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper for a side of cooked mushrooms.

Use them to cook all soups of your favourite.

Add them to a stir-fry along with other vegetables and your choice of protein.

Cook them with scrambled eggs or add them as a filling to an omelet for a healthy breakfast.

Roast them at 350°F (176°C) with sprigs of rosemary and thyme for a crunchy snack.

Cook them with carrots, leeks, garlic, and onions, and boil them in water to make a hearty and healthy mushroom broth.

You can also buy the powdered form and add it to your next baked treat.


The nutritional value of edible mushrooms is due to their high protein, fiber, vitamin and mineral contents, and low-fat levels.

They are very useful for vegetarian diets because they provide all the essential amino acids for adult requirements. Also, mushrooms have higher protein content than most vegetables.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion, or criticism if any. Cheers!


The content provided in Living Good is for informational and educational purposes only. It’s not intended to provide medical advice or take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal doctor. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Living Good takes no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person(s) reading or following the information in this educational content. Viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medication, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

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