Crimini Mushrooms: Health benefits and Side effects



Agaricus bisporus (family Agaricaceae) is the most cultivated and consumed mushroom all over the world for more than three centuries.

It is a potential source of many essential nutrients, therapeutic bioactive or antioxidative compounds, delicious taste, and confirmed beneficial influence on human health.

Based on the color of its pileus two varieties are present in Agaricus bisporus: the immature or white button mushroom, intermediate brown or crimini mushroom (a brownish cap and dark brown gills), and mature or portobello mushrooms mainly grown in Europe and America (1).

Nutritional value of crimini mushroom

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), crimini contains a rich source of dietary fiber (chitin), amino acids, digestible protein, compounds with significant antioxidant activity (sterols, phenolic, and indole compounds), vitamins (especially vitamin D), and bio elements (e.g., selenium, zinc) and other components as follows (2).

Compound                                                                    Amounts per 100 g.
Water 92.12 g
Energy                                                                     22 kcal
Protein 2.50 g
Total lipid (  Fat)s 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 4.30 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Sugar 1.72 g
Calcium 18 mg
Iron 0.40 mg
Magnesium 9 mg
Phosphorous 120 mg
Potassium 448 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Zinc 1.10 mg
Folates 25 µg
Niacin 3.80 mg
Riboflavin 0.49 mg
Thiamin 0.09 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.11 mg
Vitamin B-12 0.10 µg
Vitamin A 0 IU
Vitamin D 3 IU
Vitamin E 0.01 mg
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin K 0  µg

Health benefits of crimini mushroom

1. Rich in nutrient

Crimini mushroom contains a high amount of nutrients such as zinc, magnesium, and iron than white and portobello mushroom. The highest amount of nutrients present in the outer part of the mushroom that is, the cap peel part which attracts consumers (3).

2. Anti-cancer

Crimini mushroom act as a chemoprotective agent because it contains low molecular weight beta-glucan which significantly suppressed tumor growth without inducing adverse effects in the patient.

It also contains agaritine that inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis, or programmed cell death in human breast cancer cells (4).

3. Boost immunity

Crimini mushroom is a rich source of protein, selenium, vitamin B, beta-glucan, and polysaccharides which possess potentially immuno-regulatory properties. Pseudomonas a bacteria associate with mushrooms is also responsible to activate the innate immune response. Therefore, mushroom consumption would induce and boost immune responses (5).

4. Rich in antioxidants

Ergothioneine and glutathione present in Crimini mushroom is an excellent dietary source of the important antioxidants which protect from various chronic diseases and increasing healthspan (6).

5. Healthy heart

Crimini mushroom contains eritadenine, ergothioneine, and polyphenols which help in decreasing plasma cholesterol levels. It also reduces blood pressure. Therefore, beneficial to minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disease (7).

6. Lowers cholesterol level

Crimini mushroom is rich in chitin (dietary fibers) and ergothioneine  (amino acid) and polyphenols which reduce plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase in plasma high-density lipoprotein concentrations (8).

7. Improves gut health

Intake of Crimini mushroom protects against gastrointestinal injury arising from heat stress. As it contains selenium which is a bioactive compound and beneficial against intestinal permeability, epithelial injury, and barrier disruption induced from oxidative stress (9).

8. Antimicrobial

A research study suggested that Crimini mushrooms contain chitin whose concentration increased with mushroom maturity (10).

The presence of chitin and chitosan are responsible for protect against different bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus Micrococcus luteus, Micrococcus flavus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus, Candida albicans, and Candida tropicalis (11).

9. Anti-obesity

Again study shows that addition of crimini mushroom in place of beef not only enhance their flavor but also reduce the amount of sodium, calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol in them. Therefore substitution of mushrooms in place of meat is very helpful in reducing weight and improves nutritional value because of its umami flavor (12).

The side effect of Crimini mushroom

Studies suggested that consumption of Crimini mushrooms poses no toxicological risk to humans (13). But one of the drawbacks of Agaricus bisporus species is, it can bio-accumulate trace metals from the soil hence care should be taken not to cultivate them on polluted soils (14).

What is the difference between the White button and Crimini mushroom

White button mushrooms healthier immediately after harvest because as the day passes detrimental effects on the quality of mushrooms also seen. However, some nutrients concentration and antioxidative ability increased with crimini mushroom maturity. Therefore, crimini mushroom has a prolonged shelf life and high product quality (15).

Healthy Recipes of crimini mushroom

1.     Crimini mushroom soup (vegetable or chicken)

1. Crimini mushroom cut into slices and soaked in water and dried

2. Sauté medium chopped onion, ginger and garlic paste in olive oil until the onion looks translucent.

3. Stir the above for 3 to 5 mins then add crimini mushrooms.

4. Cook until it gets juicy (5 mins-7 mins)

5. Add either half-boiled vegetables or chicken or both along with the broth keep boil and add salt and pepper as per taste.

2.     Crimini mushroom sauteed

1. Crimini mushroom chop into pieces.

2. Take a pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

3. Add mushroom  and stir it continuously until become golden brown  and tender.

4. Add salt and pepper as per taste and ready to serve it.