In a world of easily accessible processed foods, sometimes it’s easier to grab a quick, packaged food to go when you’re in a hurry. However, that quick bite really isn’t going to fill you up nor give you the true benefits that fresh and natural ingredients do in the long run. While prep time goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be a little daunting to begin. But once you create a schedule and adopt it into your routine, you’ll find that fresh foods — fruit, veg, and grains — will really make a difference to how you feel.
That’s where we can help – bringing you the latest health benefits of different fruits, vegetables, grains, and more – we’ll share why they’re extra special and maybe one or two ways to prepare them. Every week we’ll focus on a new product.
To kick off our new series we introduce the portobello mushroom. The latest vegetable to make it into the limelight featuring various health benefits.
Selenium + Copper
These rich, earthy-flavored mushrooms supply as much potassium as found in one medium-size banana, 21 percent of the recommended daily intake of selenium and one-third of your need for copper. But why are selenium and copper a good thing? Because your body needs both to produce antioxidants (nutrients which help prevent certain diseases like cancer and slow down the aging process). Selenium also produce thyroid hormones, regulates immune system, and inflammation whereas copper is used to form connective tissue and metabolize iron.
“Mushrooms are one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, but the amount they contain depends on their exposure to ultraviolet light. Most portobellos only have a small amount, but some producers significantly boost the vitamin D by treating them with ultraviolet light, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One cup of diced portobello, which equals about one mushroom, has 19 calories, 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of total carbohydrates.” -LiveStrong.com
Our bodies are amazing systems that work only as well as we replenish it with the right foods and nutrients. While our bodies can store certain types of vitamins and minerals, some need to be replenished daily while others last a bit longer. Vitamin B6 and niacin [Vitamin B3] are two of those things that need to be constantly resupplied.
“Niacin helps metabolize food into energy and also synthesizes fatty acids. The Office of Dietary Supplements describes vitamin B-6 as extremely versatile because it’s involved in more than 100 chemical actions throughout your body. It helps metabolize amino acids, produces neurotransmitters and supports your immune system. One cup of diced portobello mushrooms contains 0.13 milligrams, or 10 percent of your recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B6. The same portion supplies 3.87 milligrams of niacin, which is 24 percent of your RDA.” -LiveStrong.com
And it doesn’t stop with just those nutritional benefits above, portobello mushrooms are low in carbs and offer a wonderful substitute for meat. Overall, portobello mushrooms sore in health benefits and are also versatile in the way you can prep them, which make them that much more fun to add to your regular purchases at the market.
How to Eat Portobello Mushrooms
While you can always stop into Ports of Italy The Kennebunks to taste our portobello special when it hits the menu, you can also try our some simple recipes at home to begin!
– Stir Fry: Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth (don’t rinse as they’ll absorb too much water!) and chop them up into cubes or strips. Drizzle a small amount of oil in a pan and cook until they are soft. Serve with other veggies as a side dish.
– Grill: Use portobello mushrooms as a meat substitute. Grill them up and serve with veg and sauce to taste on a soft burger bun.
– Stuffed: Use these mushrooms as an edible bowl to fill with your favorite things whether it’s a couscous and veg mix or a seafood salad.
Add them to sauces! Use as meat substitutes in lasagna, tacos, and burgers. Don’t be shy to experiment with flavors and really discover how you like your portobello mushrooms the best!