Mushrooms are good dietary sources of plant-based protein. A serving provides up to 3 g of protein.
How much protein do we need per day?
The recommended daily intake of protein for most people is only 0.8 g per kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight.
Only active people require more protein. People with minimal, moderate, and intense physical activity should get at least 1.0 g, 1.3 g, and 1.6 g of protein per kg (2.2 lbs) of body weight, respectively.[1,2]
For instance, an 80 kg (177 lbs) person doing moderate physical activity should get approximately 100 g of protein a day. On the other hand, a 59 kg (130 lbs) person who follows a sedentary life needs only 59 g of protein a day.
Protein deficiency is rather unlikely, though. People who consume adequate amounts of calories and follow a well-balanced diet, probably consume more protein than they need.
Are mushrooms high in protein?
Mushrooms have a high protein content. Actually, they’re 20-45% protein, depending on the variety. A serving of most popular mushrooms provides 2-3 g of protein.
Does cooking affect the protein content of mushrooms?
The protein content of cooked mushrooms is higher than raw mushrooms. Cooked mushrooms have more protein per 100g, as they contain less water.
Moreover, protein isn’t vulnerable to heat. It isn’t destroyed during cooking.
Are mushrooms a complete protein?
Mushrooms are considered a high-quality protein. They contain a total of 17 amino acids, containing all essential amino acids.
But, mushrooms aren’t a complete protein. They contain low amounts of certain amino acids. Most mushrooms contain low amounts of the essential amino acids: methionine, phenylalanine, cysteine, or lysine.[4,5]
In contrast, mushrooms are high in all branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and especially, leucine. These amino acids are usually found only in animal-derived foods. They’re essential for athletes. They stimulate muscle hypertrophy.
Actually, mushrooms contain many compounds that promote muscle growth and endurance!
Eat mushrooms with whole-grain bread or other cereals. You’ll get a complete protein. Amino acids lacking in mushrooms are abundant in cereals and vice versa.
Is protein in mushrooms easily absorbed?
Mushroom protein isn’t easily digestible. It’s less bioavailable than other high-quality proteins, like milk, chicken, or soy.
Scientists measure the digestibility and the overall quality of protein with the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) index. High-quality proteins, like milk, eggs, and soy protein, have PDCAAS values of 1.
Beans, vegetables, fruits, and cereal have PDCAAS values of about 0.75, 0.73, 0.64, and 0.58, respectively.[6,7]
The PDCAAS values of common mushrooms are between 0.35 and 0.70.
Therefore, we should consume mushrooms with a wide variety of other foods in order to get a high-quality protein!
Other foods high in protein
Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs are excellent dietary sources of high-quality, complete protein. Animal-derived foods contain all essential amino acids. Their protein is also highly bioavailable.
Vegan sources of protein
In contrast, only a few plant-based foods are a complete protein. Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and amaranth are the most common plant-based sources of complete protein.
However, it isn’t necessary to eat high amounts of these foods. Consuming a wide variety of plant-based foods rich in protein is enough in order to get all essential amino acids.
Nuts (e.g. walnuts), seeds, whole-grains (e.g. oatmeal, rice), vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach), and even fruits (e.g. avocado), contain protein.
Beans are the richest plant-based foods in protein, though. For instance, a serving of lentils provides about 18 g of protein!
Health benefit of mushrooms
Mushrooms are good for our health, as they have a superior nutritional value.
Just a serving of mushrooms can significantly increase the intake of many minerals, vitamins, and antioxidant compounds.
For instance, mushrooms are great dietary sources of copper, potassium, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, melatonin, beta-glucan, and GABA.
In addition, they have decent amounts of zinc, iron, phosphorus, thiamine, biotin, folate, choline, and vitamin B6.
Furthermore, mushrooms are the only vegan foods containing some vitamin B12 and vitamin D. In particular, mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light are good dietary sources of vitamin D.
Also, mushrooms contain compounds that boost the immune system, control glucose levels, manage cholesterol, and improve gut health. Moreover, they have anticancer and anti-allergic properties.
Mushrooms support weight loss as well. They’re low in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar, while they’re rich in protein and fiber. In fact, mushrooms are super filling foods. They’re even more satiating than meat.