Feed Your Immune System
Taking a Closer Look at Nutrients Found in Mushrooms
The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect the body against infection and maintain overall health. Mushrooms, like other fruits and vegetables, can play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans¹ emphasizes the importance of creating a healthy eating pattern to maintain health and reduce the risk of disease. Suggestions include:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Focus on whole fruits.
- Vary your vegetables.
- Make half your grains whole grains.
- Move to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt.
- Vary your protein routine.
- Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.
Nutrients Important for Overall Wellness
There are a variety of micronutrients, as identified by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University², that are important for supporting a healthy immune system including selenium and vitamins D and B6, which can be found in mushrooms.
|Selenium³||Recommended Daily Allowance in Adults||Selenium in Mushrooms⁴|
|Selenium is an essential trace mineral which means your body must get this mineral in the food you eat. |
Selenium helps your body make special proteins, called antioxidant enzymes. These play a role in preventing cell damage.⁵
|55 mcg/day||EXCELLENT SOURCE|
> 4 crimini mushrooms 20.8 mcg 38% RDA
> 1 piece whole portabella 15.6 mcg 28% RDA
> 5 medium mushrooms 8.35 mcg 15% RDA
|Vitamin D⁶||Recommended Daily Allowance in Adults||Vitamin D in Mushrooms|
|Vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is available via diet, supplements and sunlight, which is why it is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.”|
Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation.⁵
|20 mcg/day||EXCELLENT SOURCE|
> 5 medium mushrooms, exposed to UV light 23.6 mcg 118% RDA
> 4 crimini mushrooms, exposed to UV light 25.52 mcg 128% RDA
> 1 piece whole portabella, exposed to UV light 23.9 120% RDA
> 1 cup diced maitake mushrooms 19.7 mcg 99% RDA
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)⁷||Recommended Daily Allowance in Adults||Vitamin B6 in Mushrooms|
|Vitamin B6 helps convert food into usable energy and assists in the formation of neurotransmitters, red blood cells, proteins and DNA.⁸||1.3 mg/day||GOOD SOURCE|
> 4 whole shiitake mushrooms 0.224 13% RDA
Download as a PDF: Feed Your Immune System
² https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity. Written in March 2016 by: Giana Angelo, Ph.D. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. Reviewed in February 2017 by: Catherine Field, Ph.D. Professor of Nutrition, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta. This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. The Mushroom Council is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.
⁴ U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. fdc.nal.usda.gov.
⁵ U.S. National Library of Medicine. Selenium in Diet. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002414.htm
⁸ https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/immunity#micronutrients. This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. The Mushroom Council is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.