Do Mushrooms Count as Vegetables?
Mushrooms have been a staple of diets across the world for centuries and, chances are, you may have wondered if they are classified as vegetables. This question has a complex answer, as it depends on who you ask and what context you’re discussing.
Are Mushrooms a Plant?
Yes, technically, mushrooms are a plants. They are classified as fungi, which is a form of plant that, similar to certain types of microorganisms, lives on dead or decaying organic matter and can’t generate its own energy from the sun like other plants.
Are They Vegetables?
The simple answer is yes — if you’re shopping in the produce department, mushrooms, like many types of fungi, are usually grouped among the vegetables, as mushrooms do not contain seeds and are not considered to be fruits.
Are Mushrooms Nutritious?
Most types of mushrooms are very low in calories, but highly nutritious. They’re a good source of several key nutrients, including:
- Vitamin B: Including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid
- Vitamin D: Helping to support healthy bones
- Minerals: Zinc, selenium, and copper
- High Amounts of Protein: For supporting muscle growth
- Fiber: For digestive health
Are Mushrooms Healthy?
Mushrooms are considered excellent medical foods, providing benefits for many conditions, such as boosting immunity, regulating blood sugar, and fighting inflammation. Eating mushrooms on a regular basis may also help promote weight loss, increase cognitive function, and improve heart health.
All in all, mushrooms are an excellent dietary addition, adding a range of nutrients to meals while providing heart-healthy benefits. So, while you may not typically consider them to be vegetables, there’s no doubt that they add valuable nutrition to your plate.