I always considered white button mushrooms as some kind of neutral food. Very light taste, almost calories free but, from a nutritional standpoint, not that relevant.
Boy I was wrong. Not as to taste or calories wise, but nutritionally; as they’re in fact quite special.
And if you think that white button mushrooms represent around 90% of the total mushrooms consumed in the US, well, we can be happy with our eating choices, at least for once.
White buttons mushrooms are said to be a wonder for our immune system, according to a research conducted by scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
The study was conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University by center director Simin Meydani and his team; and was published in the July 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.
The findings of this animal-model and cell-culture research showed that white button mushrooms may promote immune function by increasing production of antiviral and other proteins that are released by cells while seeking to protect and repair tissue.
In particular, the study showed that white button mushrooms enhanced the maturity of immune system cells called "dendritic cells," from bone marrow.
And this is particularly important, as dendritic cells can make T-cells, which are important white blood cells that can recognize and eventually deactivate or destroy antigens on invading microbes.
When immune system cells are exposed to disease-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, the body begins to increase the number and function of immune system cells. People need an adequate supply of nutrients to produce an adequate defense against the pathogen. The key is to prevent deficiencies that can compromise the immune system.
In other words, consuming white button mushrooms may be beneficial in keeping your immune system in good shape.
Personally, I like to eat them sliced dressed with oil, lemon juice, salt, parsley and parmesan flakes. Also, I like to make this 101Cookbooks mushroom casserole recipe using white button mushrooms instead of brown mushrooms.
The Iron You