The healthiest way to cook mushrooms is to microwave or grill them to preserve their goodness, researchers say. These cooking methods significantly increase levels of antioxidants which protect cells against diseases, but boiling or frying reduces them.
A study, from Spain, looked at the properties of four different types of mushrooms before and after cooking. Adding a little oil when grilling can even improve the nutritional value of the mushrooms.
Mushrooms are considered valuable health foods, since they have a significant amount of dietary fiber and are poor in calories and fat. Moreover, they have a good protein content (20-30% of dry matter) which includes most of the essential amino acids; also provide a nutritionally significant content of vitamins (B1, B2, B12, C, D and E) and trace minerals such as zinc or selenium. Mushrooms are also an important source of biologically active compounds with potential medicinal value such as betaglucans.
Most mushrooms are commonly cooked before being consumed. Scientists from Mushroom Technological Research Center of La Rioja (CTICH) aimed to evaluate the influence of different cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, grilling and frying) on proximate composition, betaglucans content and antioxidant activity of four cultivated mushrooms species.