Heart disease is a leading cause of death, but consuming mushrooms can keep you from becoming another statistic. A major risk factor for heart disease is atherogenesis, which is the formation of plaque on arterial walls, which causes atherosclerosis and hardening of the arteries.
Researchers at Arizona State University tested the effects of mushrooms on the human endothelial cells in a test tube. The results of their study, published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, show that mushrooms reduce inflammation in arterial cells and prevent white blood cells from sticking to arterial walls. The researchers conclude that consuming mushrooms may be a means to prevent heart disease.
Immune system benefits
Specific cells in the body, referred to as natural killer cells, respond rapidly to foreign invaders such as viruses or cancer cells. Their rapid response is crucial to the immune system, as it helps the body to fight disease. The June 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutrition reports that eating mushrooms can boost the immune system by increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Scientists believe that it is the polysaccharide content of the mushrooms that is responsible for their immune-boosting ability.
White mushrooms have a special carbohydrate that stokes the metabolic fire and maintains blood sugar levels. A strong metabolism means more burned fat. Three ounces per day for four to six weeks has been said to yield substantial weight loss (this does not mean that exercise and healthy eating is not required). These mushrooms are also high in selenium, which not only aids weight loss but is known to have positive effects on prostate cancer.
Contributed by: Ebuka Ezeji