Mushrooms are one of the healthiest and easiest things to add to any savory meal. The combination of their texture and umami flavoring makes them popular meat substitutes and is just one of the reasons they’re used as a filler in popular dishes or sautéed as a side dish. But if you’re looking to enrich your diet and palate with the healthiest mushrooms, you may wonder if the ones you bulk-buy from your favorite grocer are worth it.

Incorporating any mushroom in your diet adds a good burst of nutrition. Most of them have high concentrations of beta-glucans, polysaccharides, phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamin D, which account for their immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties. They’re also full of amino acids and fiber, and other vitamins and minerals, like vitamin B complex, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc. And they’re low-sodium, low-calorie, fat-free, and cholesterol-free! They’re basically a guaranteed healthy treat.

Most grocery stores carry at least two or three different mushrooms, usually White Button, Baby Bellas, and/or Portobello mushrooms. If you’re lucky, they’ll also have Shiitake mushrooms. But if you want a larger selection, you’ll need to visit a specialized grocer or farmer’s market, where you’re more likely to find “wild” mushrooms as well.

Shiitake, White Button and Baby Bellas mushrooms

Common Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms are THE healthiest common mushroom that you can buy at a store. It has the highest amount of fiber, at 2 g per serving, out of edible mushrooms (except oyster mushrooms). Shiitake is also a potent source of copper, which is known to support cardiovascular health, bones, and immune defense. Additionally, its high levels of eritadenine and lentinan can help lower blood cholesterol and reduce tumors[1],[2] It’s one of six mushrooms we use in MyPure™ MYcoMune, helping round out the immune boosting formula and offering blood circulation improvement.*

Also, shiitake mushrooms contain nearly all the same amino acids as meat, which makes it a great meat substitute for those trying to cut back or exclude meat in their diet.

White Button Mushroom, Baby Bellas, and Portobello Mushrooms. Button mushrooms are also called baby mushrooms or white mushrooms. Button mushrooms are by far the most common type of mushroom that we eat – they account for about 90% of mushrooms consumed in the U.S. They’re commonly used on pizza, in salad, in spaghetti sauce, and so much more.

Baby Bellas and Portobello Mushrooms are part of the same mushroom species as the white button mushroom – agaricus bisporus. [3] The only difference between the three are their maturity levels. Button mushrooms are harvested early, Bellas are harvested a little later, and Portobellos are left growing the longest. When they reach full maturity, the cap is fully extended which makes portobellos the ideal vegan-burger patty.

Since they are the same mushroom, they have the same nutritional value – they contain 300 mg of potassium per serving (serving size: ½ cup), they’re also high in vitamin D, vitamin Bs, beta-glucans, and selenium.

“Wild” Mushrooms

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushrooms have a high concentration of antioxidants and beta-glucans which helps with immune support. Research has also shown that it may have a positive effect on diabetes, [4] can help to lower cholesterol[5] decrease blood pressure, and help maintain or even lose weight – all of which are good for your heart.

The maitake mushroom is another ingredient in our MyPure™ MycoMune™ and MyPure™ MycoMune™ 4X formulas. But to get better use of its adaptogenic properties, you can use MyPure™ Maitake, a pure maitake formula to support immunity and stress response.*


Oyster Mushroom

Oyster Mushrooms are tied with shiitake mushrooms for having the highest amount of fiber per serving. Other than their high fiber content, oyster mushrooms are also a rich source of protein, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and folate. [6] Studies have shown that oyster mushrooms can help lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. [7]


Enoki Mushroom

Enoki Mushrooms are known for being cute little straw-like mushrooms that taste great in ramen. But they’re also rich in vitamins A and B, potassium, iron, and fiber. Enoki mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries, to help treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, liver disease, and stomach ailments. They have been used in cancer prevention studies[8] And research shows that they can help strengthen the immune system, boost digestive health, and prevent diabetes.


King Trumpet MushroomKing Trumpet Mushrooms are a potent source of selenium and ergothioneine, which have antioxidant properties and have been shown to help prevent chronic diseases. Ergothioneine can be especially helpful in the kidney, liver, and eyes, where there is the most oxidative stress. [9] Studies have also shown that king trumpet mushrooms can help lower cholesterol, [10] lower the risk of breast and prostate cancers, [11] and support bone health. [12]


Beech MushroomBeech Mushrooms, also known as clamshell mushrooms, are rich in nutrients like most mushrooms. Research done using beech extract on mice showed promising signs of controlling obesity [13] and inhibiting tumor growth. [14] But this research hasn’t been verified to benefit humans.


Shiitake mushrooms on toast

The best mushrooms are the ones you enjoy.

Whichever one(s) you choose, every mushroom provides an array of benefits and is a good nutritional addition to your diet. There literally is no wrong answer for which ones you should choose, it all depends on what you like and which ones you’ll enjoy over and over. So, don’t be afraid to try different mushrooms and different recipes for the complete and whole mushroom experience.




[1] Yu, Shanggong et al. “Diets Containing Shiitake Mushroom Reduce Serum Lipids and Serum Lipophilic Antioxidant Capacity in Rats.The Journal of nutrition vol. 146,12 (2016): 2491-2496. doi:10.3945/jn.116.239806

[2] Isoda, Norio et al. “Clinical efficacy of superfine dispersed lentinan (beta-1,3-glucan) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.” Hepato-gastroenterology vol. 56,90 (2009): 437-41.


[4] Chen, Ya-Hui et al. “Submerged-Culture Mycelia and Broth of the Maitake Medicinal Mushroom Grifola frondosa (Higher Basidiomycetes) Alleviate Type 2 Diabetes-Induced Alterations in Immunocytic Function.” International journal of medicinal mushrooms vol. 17,6 (2015): 541-56. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v17.i6.50

[5] Sato, Mayumi et al. “Effect of dietary Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms on plasma cholesterol and hepatic gene expression in cholesterol-fed mice.” Journal of oleo science vol. 62,12 (2013): 1049-58. doi:10.5650/jos.62.1049

[6] Maurya, K.K. & GOYAL, S. & Rai, Dr & Prasad, Sant & Singh, S.N.. (2018). Medicinal and nutritional benefits of oyster mushroom. International Journal of Green Pharmacy. 11. S86-S89.

[7] Jedinak, Andrej, and Daniel Sliva. “Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway. International journal of oncology vol. 33,6 (2008): 1307-13.

[8] Jedinak, Andrej, and Daniel Sliva. “Pleurotus ostreatus inhibits proliferation of human breast and colon cancer cells through p53-dependent as well as p53-independent pathway.” International journal of oncology vol. 33,6 (2008): 1307-13.

[9] Deiana, Monica et al. “L-ergothioneine modulates oxidative damage in the kidney and liver of rats in vivo: studies upon the profile of polyunsaturated fatty acids.” Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) vol. 23,2 (2004): 183-93. doi:10.1016/S0261-5614(03)00108-0

[10] Alam, Nuhu et al. “Dietary effect of Pleurotus eryngii on biochemical function and histology in hypercholesterolemic rats.” Saudi journal of biological sciences vol. 18,4 (2011): 403-9. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2011.07.001

[11] Zhang, Shu et al. “Mushroom consumption and incident risk of prostate cancer in Japan: A pooled analysis of the Miyagi Cohort Study and the Ohsaki Cohort Study.” International journal of cancer vol. 146,10 (2020): 2712-2720. doi:10.1002/ijc.32591

[12] Zhiming Fu, Liu Y, Zhang Q (2016) A Potent Pharmacological Mushroom: Pleurotus eryngii. Fungal Genom Biol 6: 139. doi: 10.4172/2165-8056.1000139

[13] Iuchi, Takujiro et al. “Influence of Treatment with Extracts of Hypsyzigus marmoreus Mushroom on Body Composition during Obesity Development in KK-A(y) Mice.” Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology vol. 61,1 (2015): 96-100. doi:10.3177/jnsv.61.96

[14] Ikekawa, T et al. “Antitumor activity of Hypsizigus marmoreus. I. Antitumor activity of extracts and polysaccharides.” Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin vol. 40,7 (1992): 1954-7. doi:10.1248/cpb.40.1954

June 14, 2021

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