Umami-rich mushrooms are an excellent nutrient-rich food that is low in calories, cholesterol and sodium, and they provide plenty of fiber and flavor. But the big news is that they contain robust amounts of antioxidants, selenium, riboflavin, Vitamin D and other healthful substances that protect the immune system and may even fight cancer.


Mushrooms are an excellent nutrient-rich readily available food for diabetics as they could lower glucose levels.

Additionally, common dietary advice for diabetics is to eat the least processed, low GI foods. That is exactly what fresh mushrooms offer: an angelically low GI that will not raise blood glucose levels2 plus, will assist in keeping glucose levels low3.  Mushrooms provide potassium whilst being virtually sodium (salt) free so they also keep blood pressure normal.

Other very useful health benefits mushrooms offer diabetics include

  • An abundance of antioxidants.
  • Compounds that lower blood cholesterol, and therefore, may help to reduce your risk of heart disease, which is more prevalent in people with diabetes.
  • Being a low kilojoule food and ideally suited for weight control


  1. Source:
  2. Sang-Chul Jeong, Byung-Keun Yang, Yong-Tae Jeong, Rezuanul Islam, Sundar Rao Koyyalamudi, Gerald Pang, Kai Yip Cho, Chi-Hyun Song. White button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) intake alters blood glucose and cholesterol levels in diabetic and hyperlipidemic rats. Nutrition Research. 2010; 30(1): 49-56.
  3. Marsales H, Williams BT, LaMacchia ZM, Rideout TC, Horvath PJ. The effect of mushroom intake on modulating post-prandial glycemic response. Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology vol 28 (1) Suppl 647.48, April 2014

Mushrooms are naturally gluten free

If you are avoiding gluten for any reason, the good news is that mushrooms are gluten free.

There has been confusion as to whether mushrooms are gluten free as they are grown in compost that contains wheat straw. But rest assured.., there is NO gluten in the straw and therefore no gluten in mushrooms!

Further confusion exists around glutamates and specifically monosodium glutamate (MSG). Again you can be assured that there is no MSG in mushrooms.  However mushrooms contain an abundance of flavoursome natural glutamates which give them their natural rich savoury flavour. In fact, as mushrooms mature, their glutamate levels increase and these increases the natural meaty flavour of the mushrooms.


It’s good for you and delicious

JOIN #theblendtrend

 What is it?

You can add spinach to make a dish healthier or soya to make it cheaper but if you want a dish that’s packed with flavour yet light on calories, you need to replace between 30 and 50% of all meat dishes with mushrooms

What’s in it for me?

You will reduce your meat intake AND increase both flavour and nutritional content of your meal whilst reducing your calorie, fat, cholesterol and sodium intake.

 Why should I reduce my reduce meat intake?

In addition to raising the risk for colorectal cancer and other health problems, red meat can actually shorten your life.1

 How do I do it?

Simply add chopped mushrooms into any of your favourite minced meat options whilst reducing the meat content accordingly. And that’s how you join #theblendtrend.

Did you know?

Blending reduces calories, cholesterol and sodium and increases intake of potassium, Vitamins B, D  & C as well as iron, zinc selenium and pantothenic acid (Vit B5).

Mushrooms are a source of dietary fiber, protein and folate.

Adding umami-rich mushrooms to any dish makes everything taste even better!



A high salt intake is a risk factor for increased blood pressure and possible heart disease, making it essential to keep your daily salt intake low.

Unfortunately South Africans consume, on average, 6 – 11g of salt per day, which is double the recommended amount of between 400mg-1000mg per day! Unsurprisingly the statistics issued by the South African Heart Foundation indicate that up to 1 in 3 South Africans adults have raised blood pressure levels putting them at risk for heart disease!

Mushrooms offer a brilliant taste alternative to salt because of their unique flavour known as umami. Their natural glutamates give them a delicious, meaty flavour that makes them a favourite with both meat eaters and vegetarians.

In addition to their flavour punch, mushrooms contain only 14mg of sodium per 100g making them the perfect flavour-packed ingredient for a low salt diet. They’re sufficiently versatile to be added to every dish and even your favourite dish will taste much better… without adding salt!


  1. Mushrooms are an excellent low-calorie food, virtually fat free and brilliant for weight management. (Six medium sized white button mushrooms contain only 22 calories!).
  2. Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source that naturally contains Vitamin D,
  3. Add nuts or beans to mushrooms – a great strategy to help you follow a cancer-protective plant-based protein diet
  4. Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables but can be found in mushrooms. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and could assist in detoxifying some cancer-causing compounds in the body.
  5. Mushrooms support your gastrointestinal health, thanks to their supply of dietary fiber and fungal enzymes.
  6. Because mushrooms are high inpotassium and fiber and low in sodium, they can help to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease



Research continues to suggest that eating more plant-based protein and less meat can increase longevity. Mushrooms are the easy, flavourful, and cost-effective way of enjoying protein-rich foods while cutting back on meat.

 Plant based protein make sense:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Affordability
  3. Nutrition
  4. Versatility

 Health benefits

  • lower cholesterol
  • lower blood pressure
  • balance blood sugar
  • lower cancer risk
  • assist with weight loss.

Why South Africans should care:

  • 3m of us live with high blood pressure
  • We have ±130 heart attacks daily
  • We have ±240 strokes daily
  • 70% of SA women are overweight; of which 42% obese

Where to start

  1. Go meatless once a week
  2. Make half your plate fresh produce; you’ll boost nutrition and save calories.
  3. Replace half the meat (lamb, chicken, pork or beef) with mushrooms for greater nutrition and reduced fat, cholesterol and calories.

Mushrooms make the switch easy

  • Natural meaty texture and flavour
  • Kings of umami making every dish taste even better!

 Mushrooms are a good protein source

  • 100g Portabella: 2,1g protein
  • 100g White Button: 3,1g protein




Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique


Mushrooms have a unique nutrient profile as well as provide nutrients found in animal derived foods (meat, fish, chicken) and plant derived foods (grains, vegetables). They contribute a good (10%–19% DV) source of niacin, pantothenic acid, selenium, and copper and an excellent source (≥20% DV) of riboflavin


Mushrooms have been informally categorized among the “white vegetables,” described as the “forgotten source of nutrients.” However, colour as a proxy for nutrient contribution may not always account for the multitude of phytonutrients associated with health benefits. Mushrooms contribute a suite of under-consumed nutrients across plant- and animal-based food groups. .


The texture and umami or savoury flavour properties  especially of steamed or  sautéed mushrooms make them a suitable substitute for meat and an ideal addition to many dishes. They contribute moisture that improves the mouth feel and overall sensory appeal

Blending mushrooms with animal protein lower the energy density (calorie content) of meals and because mushrooms are less expensive than meat, their inclusion into a dish reduces food costs.

Source:  Mushrooms—Biologically Distinct and Nutritionally Unique: Exploring a “Third Food Kingdom” Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, FADA, FAND, Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, and Peter Roupas, PhD.

Mushrooms contain phytochemicals that are found to specifically supress BREAST & PROSTATE CANCER:


Mushrooms contain a fatty acid namely conjugated linoleic acid that has the ability to inhibit two enzymes called AROMATASE & 5-ALPHA-REDUCTASE that are involved in these cancers.

Many mammary tumors are hormone sensitive and the estrogen hormone is a major factor in the development of breast cancer, especially in post menoposal women. One of the reasons is that although the ovaries stop producing estrogen other cells (fat & breast cancer cells) continue to do so.

The enzyme α-Aromatase responsible for the production of estrogen : converts androgen to estrogen which in turn promotes the development of breast cancer in post menopausal women. However mushrooms contain conjugated linoleic acid that inhibits aromatase and thus inhibits cancer. Aromatase has been linked to breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers .

The same applies to the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone that plays a role in the development of prostate cancer.  As in the case of aromatase, conjugated linoleic acid is inhibiting this enzyme thus preventing or controlling prostate cancer.

Tamoxifen is a widely used prescribed drug that works by competing with the estrogen on the same receptor on the tumor cell and obstructs the active estrogen. It is effective but has unpleasant side effects and especially in remission it cannot be taken forever. That’s where mushrooms can act as a natural substitute for controlling the production of estrogen.

Research behind the protective role of mushrooms:

It was found that the occurrence of breast cancer in China was 5 times lower than in developed Western Countries. Whilst also bearing other factors in mind, it is a fact that China is a world authority when it comes to mushroom consumption. And it was the huge mushroom consumption per capita that sparked the research.



Mushrooms  are rich in anti-oxidants wich aids the good for immune system and they also contain selenium in quantities much higher than any other plant food. Selenium has been found have an anti-cancer affect on prostate cancer particularly. These elements work together to protect the body against cancer by getting rid of free radicals and defending the body against invading organisms.

We can again just mention the fact that mushrooms are a low energy dense food that can help lower calorie intake to help prevent obesity which is a risk for breast cancer.


The leading groups researching the cancer fighting potential of mushrooms are:

  • The Beckman Institute at the City of Hope Cancer Centre in California under leadership of Prof Chen
  • The University of Australia in Sydney in collaboration with the medical faculty at the Zhejiang University in China