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October 19, 2020 • Healthy Eating & Nutrition

4 Reasons to Eat More Mushrooms

Sauteed Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms are very low in calories, containing just 20 per half cup.
  • Mushrooms are a source of key nutrients including B vitamins, copper, potassium, selenium, and even vitamin D.
  • Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, in many cases offering more than most vegetables.
  • Mushrooms are home to a unique family of compounds called polysaccharides, which are revered for their medicinal value, particularly boosting immunity.

According to Penn State food scientist, Jay Dubost, the common mushrooms found on produce shelves at the grocery, like white buttons, criminis, and portabellas, provide more antioxidant power than most vegetables.  As an added bonus, mushrooms, especially the Asian varieties, are uniquely high in a class of beneficial polysaccharides that enhance immune function.

Cooked mushrooms maintain their antioxidant capacity and make an excellent substitute for meat because of their savory flavor and meaty texture.  I throw mushrooms into most of my soups, stews, spaghetti, and sauces as a quick and simple way to jack up nutritional value and flavor.

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Scallion Sauté

Serves 4-6

This is an easy and scrumptious side dish that is filled with nutritional zip.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut crosswise in half
  • 5 scallions, white and green parts, sliced into one inch pieces
  • 1 eight oz. container of mushrooms of choice, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Juice of ½ lemon


Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add asparagus, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and sauté stirring often to prevent burning but allowing the vegetables to develop browned, roasted spots. When the asparagus begin to release moisture, about 3-4 minutes, add garlic, reduce heat to low, and cover with a lid so they can steam in their own moisture until they are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice, more pepper, and serve.

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