Mushrooms are a great source of fiber and vitamins, but new research suggests that the method in which you cook them has an effect on their overall nutritional value. A new study has found that microwaving and grilling mushrooms are the best methods for maintaining their antioxidant properties. Here are some of our best grilled mushroom recipes to ensure that you have a healthy and tasty dinner menu this summer.

Research now published online in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition has found that grilling and microwaving mushrooms ensures that they maintain the highest amount of their nutrients. In fact, these cooking methods actually resulted in increased antioxidant activity. The study found that frying and boiling mushrooms, while delicious, results in a significant loss of the fungi's total nutritional value.

Read: Add Mushrooms To Your Diet To Help Protect Against Alzheimer's, Dementia

In addition, grilling with a slight bit of oil, especially olive oil, helps to further enhance the mushroom’s nutritional value while adding only a few calories.

mushrooms Mushrooms are a great addition to any healthy diet. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

"When mushrooms were cooked by microwave or grill, the content of polyphenol and antioxidant activity increased significantly, and there are no significant losses in nutritional value of the cooked mushrooms," explained study co-author Irene Roncero in a statement. "Frying and boiling treatments produced more severe losses in proteins and antioxidants compounds, probably due to the leaching of soluble substances in the water or in the oil, which may significantly influence the nutritional value of the final product.”

For the study, the team looked at the three most popular varieties of mushrooms: Agaricus bisporus (white button mushroom), Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) and Pleurotus eryngii (king oyster mushroom). The mushroom were grown in special laboratory rooms. Raw and cooked mushrooms were them freeze dried and their composition and antioxidant levels were analyzed.

According to the study, mushrooms are a great source of fiber and protein, and are also very low in calories and fat. In addition, these fungi also have trace amounts of vitamin B1, B2, B12, C, D, and E, as well as zinc and selenium. The tiny plants may also help to fight off cancer, with research suggesting that particularly white button mushrooms, as well as four other common varieties of mushroom, were able to suppress breast cancer cell growth and reproduction, SF Gate reported. They can also strengthen the immune system, and research suggests that eating mushrooms may help recovery time from the flu, a cold, and even a herpes outbreak, SF Gate reported.

Here are some of our favorite grilled mushroom recipes, to ensure you get the best of mushrooms' health benefits, but in the tastiest way!

Healthy Grilled Mushroom: These mushrooms are not only cooked in the healthiest manner, but are also incredibly delicious, while using only four ingredients. Check out the recipe here from Taste of Home. 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms: Portobello mushrooms are a summer favorite, and with their large size, they can be a meal all on their own. Check out this great recipe for grilled portobello mushrooms from AllRecipe. 

Grilled Mushrooms on a Skewer: If you're more interested in tiny mushrooms than one big shroom, check out this tasty healthy recipe for grilled mushrooms on a skewer from The Food Network. 

Source: Irene Roncero-Ramos, Mónica Mendiola-Lanao, Margarita Pérez-Clavijo, Cristina Delgado-Andrade. "Effect of different cooking methods on nutritional value and antioxidant activity of cultivated mushrooms".   International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition . 2017

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