The 12 healthiest mushrooms you can eat – Lose 20 pounds in a month diet plan

The healthiest mushrooms

Mushrooms are famous for their beneficial properties, now more than ever. Grocery stores host a wide variety of types, each with its own distinct advantages.

With so many options, finding the healthiest mushrooms can seem difficult. Here we go. This list highlights 12 of the most beneficial mushrooms and why they are so significant.

White mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)

Mushroom with white button

These mushrooms are the most common choice. You can find them at most grocery stores and farmers markets. You will also see brown versions of mushrooms, which have similar health implications.

They may be common, but do not reject these little mushrooms.

  • They are full of essential nutrients such as B vitamins and potassium (1).
  • White mushrooms are even the most nutritionally dense (2).
  • They contain selenium, which has been associated with the fight against cancer.
  • They also have a low calorie content, which makes them an ideal ingredient in weight loss recipes.
  • Mushrooms can also be a good source of protein. Although you don’t get much protein per mushroom, the percentage of protein per calorie is appealing (3).

They also contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has the potential to fight cancer (4,5). Indeed, white mushrooms have been directly linked to reducing the risk of cancer (6).

ToPortobello mushrooms

These mushrooms could be mistaken for a different type – but they are simply the fully mature version of mushrooms. As such, portobello mushrooms offer the same general benefits, including cancer-fighting potential and immune-boosting properties.

However, the size and shape of the portobello mushrooms make them particularly versatile. They also have a fleshy texture and hold well together. This is why you can find them in many unique recipes.

Shiitake Mushrooms (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are the next most common choice after button mushrooms. They are well-known for their medicinal properties – medicinal use in China and Japan dating back thousands of years.

Shiitakes have been linked to other health properties, including:

  • Promoting the function of the immune system (7).
  • Improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients (8,9).
  • Antioxidant functions.
  • Commonly used to protect the liver and improve heart health.

While human impact is still being studied, researchers have isolated antibiotic, anticancer and antiviral compounds from shiitake mushrooms (10).

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatu)

Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushrooms are another common species, they got their name from their wide, oyster-like lids. Mushrooms are grown all over the world and can also be found in the wild.

The species is sometimes considered a delicacy, often used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes. The health benefits include the potential to fight cancer and HIV (11,12).

Golden Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus citrinopileatus)

Golden oyster mushroom

A related species is the golden mushroom, which tends to be cultivated. They are one of the easiest to grow mushroom species and are a significant source of antioxidants (13).

The species can also lower blood sugar and improve cholesterol (14,15).

Porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis)

Porcini mushroom

These mushrooms are large, with a visible lid that can reach a diameter of up to 12 inches. They are a gourmet mushroom that is especially popular in Italian cuisine.

Like other species, porcine mycelium forms symbiotic relationships with plant roots. This can lead to many health benefits, but it also makes the fungus difficult to grow.

As a result, the fungus can be hard to find, especially in specialized markets. Seekers can find the fungus in deciduous forests, especially where the bush is mulched.

Maitake Mushroom (Leafy grifola)

Maitake mushroom

Like many mushrooms, maitake is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are critical to withstand all types of stress (16) and are thought to help the body find balance (17,18).

This effect is why maitake is often linked to supporting the immune system.

Studies have also shown that maitake can help fight cancer (19,20,21), lower blood sugar (22), improve immune function (23) and lower cholesterol (24).



There are several species of chanterelle, which come from the genus Cantharellus. The most common fungus to use the term is Cantharellus cibariuswhich is a golden chanterel found in Europe.

Mushrooms contain many beneficial nutrients, including iron, potassium, vitamin D, phosphorus and B vitamins (25). They are also a key source of beta-carotene (an important carotenoid for eye health) and contain significant fiber (26).

This is another species that forms symbiotic relationships, which makes it difficult to cultivate. You also need to be careful when looking for food, as there are many similar species that are poisonous.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi mushroom

Reishi is a very popular mushroom in traditional medicine – and is often associated with longevity (27,28).

It has been associated with various effects, including lowering inflammation, fighting cancer (29), improving the immune system (30) and improving liver health (31,32,33).

You will find it Ganoderma lucidum extract included in some types of coffee, including coffee from Organo Gold. More research is needed before you know how effective the extract is when used in this way.



Shimeji is a group of fungi, rather than a single species.

Mushrooms are a good source of nutrients, including fiber, protein and B vitamins. They also have anti-cancer properties and can help improve the immune system (34).

Like all fungi, this species is considered a prebiotic. This means that some of the compounds present act as food for the healthy bacteria in our gut.

Black Truffle (Tuber melanosporum)

Black truffle

Black truffles are a coveted mushroom with a unique aroma. The rarity of the mushroom is a key reason for its popularity.

Research shows that black truffles also contain a compound called anandamide. It acts as a mood enhancer that can also reduce depression and pain (35,36).

Mushroom Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga mushroom

You may not recognize the chaga at first, as the fungus looks like a black piece of burnt wood or charcoal. This is partly due to the fact that the fruiting component of the fungus is located inside the host tree.

Chaga is not eaten as a mushroom either. Instead, it is normally grated to form a powder and then brewed as an herbal tea.

The mushroom is especially important as a source of phytonutrients, including those that you would not normally receive in your diet. The Annanda Chaga website provides details on the individual components and their health implications.

Potential health benefits include the ability to fight cancer, improve the immune system, and lower blood sugar (37,38,39,40). The mushroom also contains many antioxidants (41).

lion mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Mushroom with lion's mane

The lion’s mane is the most popular for nootropic functions – helping to stimulate brain function, motivation and creativity. The GreenMedinfo website goes into more detail.

Which is the best?

In many ways, the humble white mushroom is the best for health, simply because of its nutrient density and how easy it is to find. But the other types of mushrooms also offer some distinct benefits.

The best approach is to include a variety of types in your diet. This gives you the best selection of nutrients. In addition, they all have distinctive flavor profiles. They deserve to be used only for this reason.

Turmeric smoothie

Do you want to improve your health?

Turmeric smoothie

Better health starts in the kitchen, with the food you eat and the meals you prepare. Getting the best results involves making good choices about the foods and ingredients you use.

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