- Protein is an essential macronutrient that our body needs to perform numerous body processes.
- Mushrooms should not be consumed as a main source of protein; however, they can add additional protein to your diet, as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
- Human Tonik’s Red Tonik and Greens and Reds powder contains a good source of the adaptogenic mushroom cordyceps, along with many other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to meet your daily nutrient needs.
Eating a plant-based diet has become very popular over the past decade.
Not only are there many associated health benefits of eating more plant foods, but it provides a positive impact on our environment.
Are you wondering do mushrooms have protein? Learn about the protein content of mushrooms and how they can fit into a healthy, plant-based diet. Read now.
The Importance Of Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient our body requires for numerous processes, including building and maintaining our tissues, such as muscles. Without adequate protein, our body will begin to lose muscle mass which can lead to weakness, fatigue, and malnutrition.
Protein deficiency can impact every part of your body. It will affect the integrity of your hair, skin, and nails. It could lead to conditions such as fatty liver, edema, decreased immunity, and increased risk for bone fractures among many other negative implications.
Those who are at a higher risk of developing protein deficiency include those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer, elderly individuals, and those following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
It’s recommended that the average healthy adult consume at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, which is about 0.36 grams per pound. (Source)
Protein Content Of Mushrooms
So how much protein do mushrooms have?
The answer depends on the mushroom however, most do contain some amount of protein which can make them an excellent addition to any diet.
There are thousands of different species of mushrooms. Although they are often lumped together with plants, mushrooms are considered a fungus. They work by decomposing and utilizing nutrients from plants and animals.
Mushrooms are very versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways. They can be eaten raw, cooked into casseroles, soups, stews, and stir fry dishes, as well as made into a powdered or capsule supplement.
They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber but low in calories.
Some mushrooms contain adaptogens, which are compounds that help to improve our body’s resistance to stress. Common adaptogenic mushrooms include Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga mushrooms.
The protein content of mushrooms will vary based on type. Some of the most popular types of mushrooms include white, portabella, shiitake, and cremini, all of which contain somewhere between 2-3 grams of protein per 100-gram serving. (Source)
However, this is not an extremely high amount of protein. For example, the same 100-gram serving of chicken breast contains 31 grams of protein and tofu contains 8 grams of protein.
You will find the highest protein content in animal products. When it comes to vegan protein options, edamame, tofu, and tempeh are the best sources.
However, including a variety of different plant products, such as mushrooms, can help to ensure you are getting enough protein overall, as well as a broad variety of vitamins and minerals.
So, are mushrooms high in protein? The answer is no.
Mushrooms should not be consumed as a main source of protein however, they can add additional protein to your diet, as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber but the amount is substantially less than other plant sources of protein.
Amino Acid Profile Of Mushroom Protein
Amino acids are the building blocks for protein.
There are 20 different amino acids, but our body can make about 11 of them. This leaves 9 that are considered essential, and our body requires that we get them from the food that we eat.
Animal protein sources are considered complete proteins. This means they contain all 9 essential amino acids to form a protein.
Many plant protein sources are considered incomplete, meaning they are low or lacking in one or more of the 9 essential amino acids.
Most mushrooms are considered a complete protein, which is relatively rare in a plant source. This means that although mushrooms don’t contain a huge amount of protein per serving, the protein that they do contain is of high quality compared to other plant sources.
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Benefits Of Mushroom Protein
Consuming good sources of protein daily is essential for optimal health. Ideally, most of these protein sources, such as those found in mushrooms, should be complete.
Good amounts of protein in the diet can provide various benefits, including improved satiety and weight management, muscle growth, strength, recovery, and bone health, among many others. (Source)(Source)
Because of their many health benefits, some consider mushrooms a superfood. These are foods that are particularly nutrient-rich and have many associated health claims. Other popular superfoods include spirulina, moringa, kale, and blueberries.
Because mushrooms are so nutrient-rich, we want to incorporate more of these foods into our diet.
However, mushrooms are also available in supplement form for those who don’t like the taste or texture of mushrooms or who struggle to get adequate nutrient-rich foods in their diet in general.
Both products contain a good source of the adaptogenic mushroom, cordyceps, along with many other superfoods for an excellent dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
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Mushrooms are a great protein alternative to meat. They contain a complete protein source along with a good number of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Mushrooms do not contain a large amount of protein compared to other protein foods and should not be used as your sole source of protein in your diet but they can be an excellent addition.
Aside from eating mushrooms, you can also choose to get them in the form of a powder, specifically adaptogenic mushrooms which may provide additional health benefits.
Meghan is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist from San Jose, California. She received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 2015. Following an unexpected cross-country trip that landed her in Florida, she completed her didactic training through AdventHealth Orlando.
Meghan has extensive experience in multiple aspects of dietetics including critical care, motivational interviewing, writing, and research. She is passionate about health and wellness and has dedicated her free time to breaking down complicated nutrition topics and disseminating them to the public through the arena of writing.