Enoki mushrooms are a versatile, tasty fungus known for their crisp texture and mild flavor.
Also known as winter mushrooms or golden needle mushrooms, enoki mushrooms are featured in many types of cuisine and commonly cultivated in regions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia (
They bring a unique taste and aroma to a range of dishes, and they may be linked to a long list of health benefits.
Here are 7 of the top benefits of enoki mushrooms.
Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) are rich in a variety of nutrients, including fiber and B vitamins.
One cup (65 grams) of raw enoki mushrooms contains (
- Calories: 24
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Niacin: 29% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Pantothenic acid: 18% of the DV
- Thiamin: 12% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 10% of the DV
- Copper: 8% of the DV
- Folate: 8% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
Enoki mushrooms are particularly high in niacin, a micronutrient your body uses to regulate cholesterol and promote brain health (
Each serving of enoki mushrooms contains a healthy amount of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which your body uses to synthesize fatty acids (
Additionally, enoki mushrooms are rich in thiamine, which regulates the function of your nerve cells (
Enoki mushrooms are good source of fiber and rich in B vitamins, including niacin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine.
Enoki mushrooms are a great source of antioxidants. These compounds can help neutralize harmful free radicals to protect your cells from damage and oxidative stress (
What’s more, antioxidants may help prevent many chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes (
One review reported that enoki mushrooms contain a variety of antioxidants, including (
- gallic acid
- ferulic acid
- caffeic acid
- chlorogenic acid
- ellagic acid
According to the review, the exact types and amounts of antioxidants found in enoki mushrooms can vary depending on several factors, including where the mushrooms are grown and the specific subspecies (
Enoki mushrooms are high in several types of antioxidants, including gallic acid, quercetin, and ferulic acid, among others.
Although more research is needed in humans, some test-tube studies suggest that enoki mushrooms may have powerful cancer-fighting properties.
For instance, one older test-tube study showed that enoki mushroom extract may have blocked the growth of liver cancer cells (8).
Another test-tube study tested the effects of eight extracts of medicinal mushrooms, including enoki mushrooms, and found that all may have decreased the spread of breast and cervical cancer cells (
Furthermore, one older test-tube study found that certain compounds extracted from enoki mushrooms may suppress the growth of stomach cancer cells by up to 95% (10).
However, keep in mind that these studies were conducted in test tubes and used highly concentrated amounts of enoki mushroom extract.
Therefore, further research should be conducted to determine how enoki mushrooms may affect cancer growth in humans when consumed in normal food amounts.
Some test-tube studies show that enoki mushrooms could decrease the growth and spread of several types of cancer cells.
Studies show that enoki mushrooms can help support several aspects of heart health.
For instance, one animal study found that hamsters who consumed enoki mushroom extract or powder had lower levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol compared with those in a control group (
Another test-tube study concluded that the antioxidant content of enoki mushrooms may help slow the progression of atherosclerosis, a risk factor for heart disease that’s characterized by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries (
Additionally, several older animal studies show that enoki mushroom extract may decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (13,
Still, more research in humans is needed to evaluate how enoki mushrooms may affect heart health when enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
Test-tube and animal studies show that enoki mushrooms may reduce several risk factors for heart disease.
Interestingly, some promising research has found that enoki mushrooms may enhance brain function and memory.
In one animal study, certain compounds extracted from enoki mushrooms protected against impairments in learning and memory caused by a specific medication associated with memory loss (16).
What’s more, this trial treatment with enoki mushroom extract increased levels of certain antioxidants and neurotransmitters in the brain (16).
Another animal study observed similar findings, reporting that pairing enoki mushroom extract with ginsenosides — a compound found in ginseng — may improve brain function in rats with Alzheimer’s disease (
Additionally, one older test-tube study showed that enoki mushroom extract may help prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates attention, learning, and memory (18).
More studies should be conducted to determine whether enoki mushrooms offer similar benefits when you consume them in your diet.
Animal and test-tube studies suggest that enoki mushrooms could improve learning and memory by altering levels of certain antioxidants and neurotransmitters.
Full of antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds, enoki mushrooms may have immune-boosting properties.
According to one animal study, administering compounds extracted from enoki mushrooms to mice increased levels of certain immune cells (
In another study in mice with a viral respiratory infection, enoki mushroom proteins reduced airway inflammation (
Multiple other test-tube and animal studies show that enoki mushroom extract may also increase the production of immune cells to help support healthy immune function (
Still, despite these promising results, more high quality studies in humans are needed. If you’re looking to make your immune system more healthy and robust, enoki mushrooms may offer you added defense against infections.
Test-tube and animal studies show that some compounds in enoki mushrooms may help support healthy immune function.
When you eat enoki mushrooms, you’ll notice their crunchy texture and mild flavor. Their slightly earthy taste works well in a variety of tasty recipes.
Enjoy enoki mushrooms raw in salads or cooked and added to dishes like soups, stews, and stir-fries.
When you prepare the mushrooms, be sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris and trim the stems, which can become soft and mushy when cooked.
Gourmet chefs often sautée enoki mushrooms with a bit of oil, along with a sprinkle of salt, sesame oil, or soy sauce.
For a tasty way to enjoy enoki mushrooms, try swapping them in for other types of mushrooms in risotto, ramen, or grain bowls.
You can enjoy enoki mushrooms raw or cooked. Add them to a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, stir-fries, and grain bowls.
Enoki mushrooms are highly nutritious, packing a good amount of fiber, antioxidants, and B vitamins into each serving.
They’ve also been associated with numerous health benefits and may help support heart health, brain function, immunity, and more.
Best of all, they’re versatile, easy to prepare, and have a unique flavor that can complement many different dishes.
Just one thing
Try this today. If you’re feeling extra creative, try whipping up some enoki pancakes, which are a staple in Korean cuisine. Simply combine enoki mushrooms with eggs, flour, chopped veggies, and seasonings, and then pan-fry and enjoy them!