Mushrooms have long since been known to contain antioxidants beneficial for our health. But a new study points out that the cooking method is also very important as they should be grilled or microwaved for the most benefits. It also found that frying or boiling fungi can reduce their natural antioxidant levels.
This new study was carried out by Spanish researchers. They published their results in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. The team analyzed, for its study, four different types of fungi. Namely, they took a look at the properties of oyster, king oyster, white button, and shiitake mushrooms before and after cooking.
Fungi include many proteins, for example, essential amino acids, and also fibers and vitamins such as B, C, D, E, and much more.
Careful How You Cook Those Mushrooms
According to the team, like most other foods, mushrooms are more nutritious when cooked in a particular manner. Frying is not one of them as, during the process, the fungi lose their proteins, carbohydrates, and antioxidant compounds. These were noted to disappear as the oil absorbs them in the frying pan.
Boiling the fungi revealed to have both some useful and other not so good effects. The process also leads to a great decrease in their natural proteins and antioxidant levels. These most likely trickle and are lost in the water in the pan. Still, at the same time, this cooking method increases the mushroom glucans content. These can help reduce heart diseases risks.
So the team determined that the best way of maintaining the mushrooms’ nutrients and vitamins is using short cooking times. This also requires fewer liquids, which also decreases their nutritious losses.
“When mushrooms were cooked by microwave or grill, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly,” stated Irene Roncero-Ramos.
She is part of the study and a researcher at the Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja. The team also found that grilling the mushrooms while also adding a small amount of oil also increased the antioxidant properties. At the same time, when using olive oil, this also did not increase the calories content. Grilling and microwaving the fungi did not result in any significant issues in their nutritional value.
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