Mushrooms to Lower Blood Pressure

by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Professional

Yea There are health benefits linked to eating mushrooms, particularly shiitake mushrooms. Mushrooms are low in calories, low in fat, and rich in calcium and B vitamins.

Shiitake Mushrooms

A shiitake mushroom provides thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, 8 amino acids, and fiber. This mushroom also contains ergosterol, lentinan, lentinula edodesmycelium, and eritadenine, all of which are linked to potential health benefits.

Ergosterol is converted by sunlight to vitamin D.

Lentinan is a polysaccharide with an apparent link to block tumor growth, reduce cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure.

Lentinula edodesmycelium has potential in the prevention and treatment of cancer, high blood pressure, hepatitis, and heart disease.

Eritadenine is believed to reduce cholesterol and fat levels by increasing their removal from the body.

Studies have found that shiitake mushrooms increase the response of white blood cells in the body's defense system against cancer cells and viruses. Shiitake mushrooms are actually used in China and Japan in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Maitake Mushroom

Scientists have found even greater disease fighting potential linked to the maitake mushroom, which contains beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is important for cellular immunity. Research is ongoing, but maitake mushrooms have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lower blood pressure.

A study conducted at Tohoku University in Sendai Japan found dietary maitake mushrooms to reduce blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats over an 8 week feeding period.

Easy Ways to Increase Your Mushroom Intake

Mushrooms are a delicious addition to many meals making them very easy to incorporate regularly. Use them fresh or cooked, by adding to salads, stir-fry's, soups, whole grain side dishes, and omelets. Mushrooms can even act as a good meat substitute.

Just remember mushrooms should not be washed before you store them. Do not store mushrooms in plastic bags. Instead, leave mushrooms in the container in which they are bought. It's recommended you store mushrooms in the bottom of the refrigerator or a cool place. You don't want the mushrooms to freeze.

If your mushrooms dry out you can revive them with a 1 minute immersion in boiling water.

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
Meet Our Writer
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so you can live life and enjoy your family for years to come. Lisa's passion for health comes from her own family history of heart disease, so she doesn't dispense trendy treatments; Lisa practices what she teaches in her own daily life. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques.