Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and scientists believe that what you eat can affect your risk of developing it. However, mushrooms can provide unique nutritional benefits that can keep you safe. In this article, we will examine 3 key reasons why mushrooms are perfect for your heart health.
Good Source of Ergothioneine
Mushrooms are a top dietary source of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory amino acid called ergothioneine. You can find this antioxidant in most mushrooms, but oyster, maitake, king oyster, and shiitake varieties have some of the highest ergothioneine content.
Ergothioneine is also connected to lower triglyceride levels and could prevent arterial plaque formation, a significant factor in heart disease. According to one study, higher ergothioneine plasma levels could suggest a lower risk of early death caused by diseases of the heart or blood vessels.
Good Source of Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is connected to many heart-related problems, including heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and coronary artery disease. Luckily, all mushrooms contain some vitamin D, and some kinds are grown with extra exposure to UV light to give them a vitamin D boost.
Good Source of Fiber
Mushrooms contain two kinds of fiber, i.e., insoluble and soluble. Your body needs both types of fiber, but soluble fiber could provide some unique heart health benefits.
In this case, beta-glucan is a version of soluble fiber found in mushrooms, creating a gel-like substance in your GI tract. The gel “traps” triglycerides and cholesterol, preventing them from being absorbed by your body during digestion. This process also helps lower blood cholesterol levels.
How To Eat More Mushrooms
Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian, said mushrooms are highly versatile in the kitchen due to their umami flavor. Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, a dietitian and recipe developer, said you can use the following tips when adding mushrooms to your diet:
● Make a dressing of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil, and minced garlic. Next, add quartered mushrooms and toss. Finally, let it marinate for 30 minutes before serving on whole-grain toast.
● Quarter and toss mushrooms using balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, roast and toss them with fresh thyme.
Mushrooms provide unique health benefits, making them an excellent addition to a heart-healthy diet. You can eat them alone or combine them with salads and sandwiches.