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Daily Wisdom: Save Nutrients In Mushrooms

Throw fungi on the grill or heat them up in the microwave.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, and health stories.

TODAY'S TOPIC: HOW TO COOK YOUR MUSHROOMS

THE SCIENCE

In a recent study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, researchers found that the nutritional properties of mushrooms may be better preserved when they are grilled or microwaved when compared to other cooking preparations.

EXPERT INSIGHT

"For vegetables, fruits, and in this case fungi, the main method to avoid would be boiling, as cooking these foods for an extended period of time in water can leach out some of the antioxidants," says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a nutritionist at Precision Nutrition.  

Although the study didn't weigh in on the potential results from baking, "higher temperatures and a longer duration of cooking is generally associated with some nutrient loss in vegetables," explains Jennifer Senecal, MS, R.D., a nutritionist based in New York City. However, if the heat and time conditions were similar, Senecal believes baking would be comparable to microwaving or grilling since all three methods heat the fungi from the inside out.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Avoid boiling and cooking foods at extreme temps. But: “More than anything I encourage folks not to get lost in the details of cooking methods," says Andrews. "Rather, experiment with a variety of approaches to food prep to figure out which one allows you to eat in a way that you enjoy, incorporates plenty of minimally-processed plant foods, and feels like something you can sustain long-term."