From the Miami Herald, 03/04/2008

5 Things You Didn't Know About Mushrooms

Margo Kraus, a registered dietitian and consultant for The Mushroom Council, advises:

1) 20 calories: Just a handful of mushrooms may be nature's hidden treasure for healthier meals. Mushrooms have essential nutrients that are good for heart health and help boost immunity. With just 20 calories per serving, they have fewer calories than a rice cake.

2) Flavor: Mushrooms have umami -- the fifth taste. They add savory flavor when paired with other foods.

3) Vitamin D: Mushrooms contain 4 percent of the daily value of vitamin D. No other fresh vegetable or fruit has vitamin D.

4) Good for you: Mushrooms' antioxidant capacity is comparable to that of brightly colored vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, red peppers and broccoli.

5) Hold the burger: Data suggests if men substituted a 4-ounce grilled portabella mushroom for a 4-ounce grilled hamburger over the course of a year, and didn't change anything else, they could save more than 18,000 calories and nearly 3,000 grams of fat. That's the equivalent of 5.3 pounds, or 30 sticks of butter.

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