You can use them like other mushrooms, grilled, sauteed or stuffed, but what makes the morel mushroom a standout is its honeycomb top and hollow stem. It's a difficult mushroom to find at your supermarket, but you might see them at your local farmers market. Morel mushrooms are low in calories and a good source of fiber, iron and vitamin D.
Low Calorie Content
A 1-cup serving of morel mushrooms, which weighs 68 grams, has just 20 calories. With 0.3 calories per gram, these mushrooms are considered a very low-energy-dense food. That means the mushrooms are very low in calories compared to their weight, so you get to eat a larger portion of them without consuming an excessive number of calories. Including more low-energy-dense foods in your diet can help control hunger when trying to eat fewer calories.
Carbs and Fiber
The morel mushrooms are low in carbs but a good source of fiber. A 1-cup serving contains 3 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. Fiber helps move food through your digestive system. Additionally, getting more fiber in your diet lowers blood cholesterol levels, prevents constipation and helps you feel full faster. Your daily fiber needs vary depending on your age and gender. In general, women need 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day and men 30 to 38 grams.
Some Protein, Negligible Fat
The morel mushrooms also supply a small amount of protein and even a smaller amount of fat. A 1-cup serving contains 2 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of fat. Both protein and fat are essential nutrients you need for good health. Protein repairs tissue and supports immune health, while fat provides energy and helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins. A healthy diet should get 10 percent to 35 percent of its calories from protein and 20 percent to 35 percent from fat.
Vitamins and Minerals
While morel mushrooms are very low in calories, they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium and vitamin D. A 1-cup serving of raw morel mushrooms contains 8 milligrams of iron, 271 milligrams of potassium and 136 international units of vitamin D. Iron carries the oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Potassium is necessary for proper functioning of your muscles and nervous system. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and supports bone health.
- Time: What to Eat Now: Morel Mushrooms
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Mushrooms, Morel, Raw
- British Nutrition Foundation: What Is Energy Density?
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: What Is Fiber?
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- KidsHealth: Minerals
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin D