Heart health

Heart Health


As South Africans have one of the highest blood pressure rates in the world2, the leading cause of heart attacks, we should follow a diet that supports heart health. World Heart Day, 29 September, aims to remind us just how easy it is to give our hearts the care they deserve.


So how do mushrooms help? They assist in lowering blood pressure because they are low in sodium - a high sodium diet causes high blood pressure - and they can reduce cholesterol due to their anti-inflammatory compounds that may reduce the build up of fatty deposits in the arteriesas indicated by Australian3 and Spanish4 research:


Researchers at the University of Western Sydney showed that mushrooms lowered blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels while raising the good HDL cholesterol, in laboratory experiments. According to the research there is evidence that mushrooms help in a similar way to statin medication to block an enzyme needed by the body to make cholesterol, thereby lowering the amount of cholesterol in the blood.


Spanish scientists who reviewed the research on mushrooms and their potential impact on cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) concluded that mushroom intake clearly has a cholesterol lowering effect. The study also found that anti-inflammatory compounds in mushrooms might also contribute to reduce the risk of the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries to the heart.


Ross Richardson chairman of the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) said the research reinforced the fact that mushrooms are great natural allies that can assist in maintaining healthy blood cholesterol and blood pressure.  

"Mushrooms are low on the bad guys, fat and sodium and high on the good guys, fibre and provide potassium. They’re also delicious, versatile and available in supermarkets every day of the year.


So if you love your heart and want to keep it healthy, simply add mushrooms to your plate every day!



  1. http://www.health24.com/Medical/Heart/About-heart/Iin-SA-more-die-of-heart-disease-every-day-than-are-murdered-20150929
  2. http://www.heartfoundation.co.za/heart-awareness-month-0
  3. Jeong SC, Jeong YT, Yang BK, Islam R, Koyyalamudi SR, Pang G, Cho KY, Song CH. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels in diabetic and hypercholesterolemic rats. Nutrition Research 2010; 30: 49-56
  4. Gil-Ramírez A, Clavijo C, Palanisamy M, Ruiz-Rodríguez A, Navarro-Rubio M, Pérez M, Marín FR, Reglero G, Soler-Rivas C. Study on the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl CoA reductase inhibitory properties of Agaricus bisporus and extraction of bioactive fractions using pressurised solvent technologies. J Science Food Agriculture 2013; 93: 2789-2796



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