Choosing the right foods when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about maitake mushrooms, are they good for weight loss or fattening?
Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen of the woods, are a type of edible fungus. You can eat maitake mushrooms on their own but they can also serve as an ingredient in a variety of recipes.
Like most edible mushrooms, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more maitake mushrooms. Find out just how good maitake mushrooms are, what groups of people should avoid them, and how you want to eat them for more weight loss.
Micronutrients in maitake mushrooms
The first thing to look at is the amount of micronutrients in maitake mushrooms.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of raw maitake mushrooms provides you with approximately (1):
- Niacin: 33% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Riboflavin: 14% of the DV
- Copper: 13% of the DV
- Thiamin: 10% of the DV
- Folate: 7% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 7% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Zinc: 5% of the DV
And some other vitamins and minerals in less significant amounts. The amount of other vitamins and minerals in maitake mushrooms is good compared to many other whole foods.
If you have trouble reaching your daily vitamin and mineral goals maitake mushrooms can help you a nice amount with a few of these goals.
Maitake mushrooms also contain certain kinds of antioxidants, substances that help your body deal with oxidative damage. It is not entirely clear if and to what extent antioxidants help weight loss.
Fiber in maitake mushrooms for weight loss
Another very important factor for weight loss is the amount of fiber in your food.
Raw maitake mushrooms contain around 2.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams.
That’s a good amount of fiber per 100 grams compared to many whole foods.
Fiber has multiple benefits for weight loss. First of all, it feeds your microbiome, the microbes that live in your intestines. The health of your microbiome influences your body’s health and weight. Feeding it well is usually not a bad idea.
Fiber also helps you feel less hungry without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.
With the amount of fiber in maitake mushrooms you can reduce the time you spend craving for food a good amount.
Do maitake mushrooms help you lose weight?
Before knowing whether or not maitake mushrooms deserve a spot in your weight loss diet you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in maitake mushrooms.
Raw maitake mushrooms contain 37 calories per 100 grams. 27.5 of these calories come from the carbohydrates (6.8 g per 100 grams of which 2.7 g fiber).
There are vegetables and other mushrooms lower in calories than maitake mushrooms but maitake mushrooms are still generally low in calories. Fruits, legumes, meats, and everything in between are generally higher in calories than maitake mushrooms.
Maitake mushrooms are a very low-calorie food that can help you feel fuller with its great fiber content. This can help you avoid higher-calorie foods. For most people that, and thus eating more maitake mushrooms, is enough to help them lose weight.
If you don’t like maitake mushrooms you don’t have to go out of your way to force it into your daily eating habits, maitake mushrooms are not a unique weight loss food. There are other foods that are just as good, or even better for weight loss.
If you are gaining weight while eating maitake mushrooms, the first place to look at is the rest of your diet and other lifestyle habits. Maitake mushrooms are generally not fattening.
When to avoid maitake mushrooms
It can be smart to talk to your doctor before implementing any foods in large amounts into your diet. In the case of maitake mushrooms that is especially so when:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have a history of problems with blood sugar levels.
- You have a history of low blood pressure
- You have an autoimmune disease
The message here is better safe than sorry.
How to eat maitake mushrooms for weight loss
There is a wide variety of ways to eat maitake mushrooms. Some are better than others for weight loss.
The best way to eat maitake mushrooms for weight loss would be just boiled. You can also add maitake mushrooms to these popular healthy recipes:
Baking and putting maitake mushrooms on the grill is also acceptable when it comes to losing weight. In this case you preferably want to use a healthy cooking oil.