Mushrooms are a nutritious addition to any diet. Baby bella mushrooms, also known as crimini mushrooms, are a variety of mushroom with a rich, earthy flavor. Knowing the calorie content of foods like mushrooms can help you make informed choices when planning meals and managing your diet. This article will provide a detailed look at the calories and nutrients in 1 cup of raw baby bella mushrooms.
Calories in 1 Cup of Raw Baby Bella Mushrooms
According to the USDA FoodData Central database, 1 cup of raw, sliced baby bella mushrooms (70g) contains:
- 21 calories
- 0.3g fat
- 3.6g carbohydrates
- 2.2g protein
So in a 1 cup serving of raw crimini mushrooms, about 21 of the calories come from carbohydrates, with minimal calories from fat and protein. Mushrooms are very low in fat and calories, while providing a range of vitamins and minerals.
Nutrients in Baby Bella Mushrooms
Here is the full nutrient profile of 1 cup (70g) of raw, sliced baby bella mushrooms:
|Nutrient||Amount||% Daily Value|
Mushrooms contain a modest amount of dietary fiber and potassium. They are naturally low in sodium and fat. Baby bellas provide small amounts of B vitamins like riboflavin, folate, and pantothenic acid. They also contain some copper and selenium.
One nutrient that crimini mushrooms contain very little of naturally is vitamin D. However, many commercially grown mushrooms are treated with ultraviolet light. This exposure boosts the vitamin D content, so that a 1 cup serving may provide around 5 micrograms of vitamin D, meeting about 25% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
In addition to traditional nutrients, mushrooms contain various biologically active compounds like phenolic acids, ergothioneine, and terpenoids. These phytochemicals may contribute to some of the potential health benefits linked to mushrooms in studies.
Calories in Cooked Baby Bella Mushrooms
Cooking mushrooms can change their nutrient composition slightly. When baby bella mushrooms are exposed to heat, they lose some water content which concentrates the nutrients.
According to data from the USDA, 1 cup of sliced, cooked baby bella mushrooms (78g) contains:
- 29 calories
- 0.5g fat
- 5.3g carbohydrates
- 3g protein
The calories become more concentrated once the mushrooms are cooked, rising from 21 calories per cup raw to 29 calories per cup cooked. However, mushrooms still provide minimal calories from fat or carbs when cooked. Their protein content increases slightly.
Micronutrients in Cooked Mushrooms
Cooking also impacts some specific vitamins and minerals:
- Potassium decreases slightly from 316mg to 293mg per cup when cooked
- B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, and folate become more concentrated
- Any enriched vitamin D is retained after cooking
- Some antioxidants like ergothioneine are heat stable
Overall, cooked crimini mushrooms retain most of their nutrients, while becoming more nutrient dense in a smaller cooked volume.
Calories in Baby Bella Mushrooms Versus Other Varieties
How does the calorie and nutrient profile of baby bella mushrooms compare to other mushroom types?
White Button Mushrooms
White button mushrooms are the most common variety. One cup of raw sliced white mushrooms has:
- 21 calories
- 0.3g fat
- 3.1g carbohydrates
Button mushrooms are very close in calories and macronutrients to baby bellas. They have slightly less protein and fiber.
Portobello mushrooms are mature cremini mushrooms with large, dense caps. A 1 cup serving of raw sliced portobellos contains:
- 29 calories
- 0.5g fat
- 4.9g carbohydrates
Portobellos are somewhat higher in calories than baby bella or white button mushrooms, with more carbohydrates and fiber per serving.
Enoki mushrooms have small caps and long, thin stems. A 1 cup serving of raw enoki mushrooms provides:
- 14 calories
- 0.2g fat
- 2.6g carbohydrates
With their delicate size, enoki mushrooms are lower in calories and carbs than denser varieties like portobello or cremini.
Oyster mushrooms have a delicate texture and oyster-like shape. One cup of raw oyster mushrooms contains:
- 16 calories
- 0.2g fat
- 2.7g carbohydrates
Oyster mushrooms are close to enoki mushrooms in having very low calorie and carb content per serving.
Shiitake mushrooms have a rich umami flavor. 1 cup of raw shiitake mushroom slices has:
- 20 calories
- 0.2g fat
- 4.2g carbohydrates
Shiitakes contain slightly more calories and carbohydrates than the lowest-calorie mushroom varieties.
Health Benefits of Baby Bella Mushrooms
Beyond their low calorie content, what are some of the health benefits associated with eating crimini mushrooms?
Mushrooms contain a range of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Adding them to your diet provides nutrition and helps meet recommended intakes for nutrients like potassium, copper, vitamin B2, and selenium.
High in Antioxidants
Research shows mushrooms have a high antioxidant capacity, mostly due to ergothioneine. This antioxidant helps reduce oxidative stress in the body.
May Support Immune Function
Compounds like polysaccharides and phenolics in mushrooms may help support healthy immune system function.
Promotes Gut Health
The prebiotic fiber, polyphenols, and polysaccharides in mushrooms may act as prebiotics to feed healthy gut bacteria. This supports digestive health.
May Have Anti-Cancer Effects
Studies indicate mushroom extracts may inhibit cancer cell growth and angiogenesis. Specific mushroom components show anti-cancer potential, but more human research is needed.
Can Help Increase Vitamin D
As a source of UV-exposed vitamin D, mushrooms can help improve vitamin D status, especially during the winter months.
May Support Heart Health
Mushrooms contain lovastatin compounds that are thought to help regulate cholesterol levels and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Linked to Healthy Aging
Antioxidants like ergothioneine may help protect against inflammation and oxidative damage associated with aging through their anti-aging effects.
May Aid Blood Sugar Control
Compounds in mushrooms may help increase insulin secretion. Animal and human studies show mushrooms could benefit blood sugar control in diabetes.
Contains Umami Flavor
Mushrooms contain glutamate and 5′-ribonucleotides that give them a savory, satisfying umami taste. This flavor profile enhances palatability of low calorie, nutritious foods.
Selecting and Preparing Baby Bella Mushrooms
Selecting Crimini Mushrooms
When selecting fresh baby bella mushrooms:
- Look for mushrooms with intact, dry caps. Avoid any with slimy spots.
- They should feel firm and dense.
- Look for crimini mushrooms with a rich brown color.
- Size can range from small to large caps.
- For sliced mushrooms, choose uniform, sliced pieces.
Storing Baby Bellas
To store crimini mushrooms:
- Place fresh mushroom in a paper bag or wrap in a dry paper towel.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Do not wash mushrooms until ready to use.
- Avoid placing in plastic bag, as this causes excess moisture.
Cleaning Baby Bella Mushrooms
Clean crimini mushrooms just before cooking:
- Use a soft brush or paper towel to gently brush off any dirt.
- Trim the mushroom stems if needed.
- Rinse briefly under cool water.
- Pat dry with a paper towel.
Cooking Baby Bella Mushrooms
Baby bella mushrooms are very versatile. They work well:
- Sautéed, grilled, or roasted
- Added to soups, stews, casseroles, and pasta dishes
- Used on pizzas or in omelets
- Chopped and used raw in salads
Their rich, earthy flavor and meaty texture stands up well to cooking. Roasting or grilling brings out the most intense umami notes in crimini mushrooms.
Baby Bella Mushroom Recipes
Here are some simple, delicious ways to use nutritious baby bella mushrooms:
Roasted Balsamic Mushrooms
Roasted crimini mushrooms tossed with balsamic vinegar make a flavorful side dish.
Mushroom Spinach Quiche
Add sautéed mushrooms to a veggie and spinach quiche for extra flavor.
Mushroom & Zucchini Frittata
Cook sliced crimini mushrooms with zucchini, onion, and spices then add to egg mixture for frittata.
Simmer baby bella mushrooms in broth with onions and thyme for a creamy, comforting soup.
The rich umami taste of mushrooms enhances creamy risotto rice dishes.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Grilled portobello caps can replace meat as the burger patty for a satisfying, low calorie veggie burger.
Layer lasagna with baby bella mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and tomato sauce for added nutrition.
Mushroom & Tofu Stir-Fry
Stir-fry sliced shiitake or crimini mushrooms with tofu, veggies, and teriyaki sauce for a fast weeknight meal.
Are Mushrooms Good for Weight Loss?
With their low calorie and fat content, mushrooms can be an excellent addition to a weight loss eating pattern. Ways that mushrooms may aid weight loss include:
- Low calorie density – mushrooms provide few calories per gram
- Increase satiety – they may improve fullness
- Add nutrition without calories
- Replace higher calorie ingredients
- Provide volume and texture
- Part of balanced, plant-focused diet
Enjoying mushrooms in place of higher calorie meats, cheeses, or other dense foods can help reduce overall calorie intake. Their water and fiber improves fullness and may curb overeating. For successful weight loss, combine crimini mushrooms with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant proteins.
Mushrooms are generally safe for most people to enjoy regularly as part of a balanced diet. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind:
- Allergies – Some people may have allergic reactions to mushrooms. Discontinue use if any symptoms like itching, rash, or swelling occur.
- Medication interactions – Mushrooms may interact with lithium, immunosuppressants, or anticoagulants. Check with your healthcare provider.
- Digestive issues – Large amounts of raw mushrooms may be hard to digest for some. Cook mushrooms to reduce digestive upset.
Baby bella mushrooms are a versatile, flavorsome variety of mushroom low in calories and high in nutrients. One cup of raw, sliced crimini mushrooms contains just 21 calories and provides beneficial nutrients like selenium and potassium. The calorie count increases slightly to 29 calories when they are cooked. Baby bellas contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that may contribute to better health. With their delicious taste and nutrition benefits, enjoying crimini mushrooms as part of a varied diet can support your health goals.