The key to overall good health is having a healthy heart. It circulates nutrient-rich blood throughout your body, provides oxygen, and removes waste and toxins. It is responsible for almost everything that keeps your body alive, from the successful operation of your immune system to the transportation of oxygen throughout your body as the center of your cardiovascular system.
Embracing a healthy lifestyle at any age can help lower your heart attack or stroke risk and prevent heart disease. You are always young enough to start caring for your heart.
The right food supplements and a proper diet both contribute to a strong and healthy heart.
The normal functionality of your heart is supported by medicinal mushrooms, which also lower your risk of getting sick. Several medicinal mushrooms support heart health, including Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, and Turkey Tail. Medicinal mushrooms are abundant in dietary fibers like chitin and -glucans, which may prevent cholesterol absorption.
So how are mushrooms heart-healthy? And are mushrooms good for heart patients? Let’s look at the studies linking mushrooms and heart health below to find out!
3 Medicinal Mushrooms For A Healthy Heart
Edible mushrooms can support heart health in a variety of ways. They have a low calorie and sodium content, almost no fat, and no cholesterol at all. In addition, they contain high levels of potassium, which, together with small amounts of sodium, help to control blood pressure.
Mushrooms also contain other crucial nutrients that support the overall health of the circulatory system, such as B vitamins, some of which support the formation and maintenance of red blood cells and heart health in general.
On the other hand, medicinal mushrooms contain several active constituents that help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Some also help prevent the oxidation of fat and have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Here are the top 3 heart-friendly medicinal mushrooms and the mushroom heart health benefits.
1. Lion’s mane mushrooms for heart health
The effects of Lion's mane(1) or Hericium erinaceus on fat metabolized were explored in a study. Mice fed a high-fat diet were given extracts of Lion's mane mushroom for 28 days. There was a significant decline in body weight gain and fat levels. The levels of fat in the liver and blood also decreased. Researchers suggested that Lion's mane extracts improve lipid metabolism and can support heart health.
Lion's mane can also prevent chronic heart disease due to its antioxidant properties.
Similarly, the mushroom can also inhibit the formation of a blood clot and oxidation of fat. Fat oxidation, particularly of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), has been strongly linked to the development of atherosclerosis.
A study looked into the inhibitory effect of Lion's mane on LDL oxidation(2) and suggested that Hericium erinaceus has therapeutic potential for the prevention of vascular disease.
According to a study(3), Lion's mane exhibits ACE inhibitory activity, similar to medications that lower blood pressure. Here, various edible and medicinal mushrooms—including lion's mane mushrooms—were examined for their antioxidant and ACE inhibitory properties.
The antioxidant index of Hericium erinaceus was comparatively high. It also demonstrated ACE inhibitory activity.
2. Cordyceps: best mushroom for heart health
Cordyceps is another mushroom that supports the cardiovascular and heart systems. They have been used(4) to control heartbeat and treat heart arrhythmias in some Asian nations.
Adenosine is essential for maintaining heart health as it dilates blood vessels to ensure proper blood flow through the coronary arteries. Therefore, Cordyceps mushrooms'(5) high adenosine content is beneficial to the heart. Additionally, adenosine improves the heart's contractility and rate, giving the body a cardioprotective effect.
The cordyceps mushroom has anti-hypertensive quality as well. This effect of the medicinal mushroom further supports its cardioprotective abilities. In addition, it has been used in conventional medicine to lower blood pressure. This is due to the cordycepin compound in the mushroom, whose effects are comparable to those of adenosine.
3. Turkey Tail mushroom heart benefits
Trametes versicolor or Turkey tail are mushrooms good for your heart. And we have some scientific evidence behind this.
Turkey tail(6) contains ternatin, a natural protein that prevents the body from storing fat. It was also discovered that eating ternatin-rich mushrooms reduced the production of triglycerides, another type of bad fat.
Why Medicinal Mushrooms Are A Popular Heart-Friendly Food?
No doubt modern medications for lowering cholesterol levels, lower levels of good cholesterol, and total and LDL cholesterol (HDL). But one of the side effects of these medications is the impairment of the Q10 enzyme's synthesis, essential for the body's energy production. Q10 deficiency can result in gum sensitivity, bleeding, and muscle pain, especially in the legs.
Active components that were initially isolated from medicinal mushrooms and are now chemically synthesized make up the "statins" family of medications. Historically, people who regularly consumed medicinal mushrooms did not frequently experience heart and blood vessel diseases from high blood lipid levels.
Many healers have traditionally prescribed medicinal mushrooms to patients with high blood lipid and cholesterol levels. Today, many human and experimental studies have proven the ability of mushrooms to lower blood lipids, particularly cholesterol, and increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
Which Mushroom Is Best For Heart?
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s mane, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps are known to be heart-healthy superfood fungi. These mushrooms contain several active ingredients that lower blood cholesterol levels, thereby protecting your heart.
Is Mushroom Healthy For Heart?
Mushrooms are low in calories, fat, and salt, the three most important factors that help keep the heart healthy. In addition, medicinal mushrooms also contain bioactive constituents that help reduce heart inflammation and oxidative stress, thus protecting the heart's health.
Which Mushroom Has The Most Health Benefits?
Medicinal mushrooms like Lion’s mane, Chaga, Cordyceps, Maitake, Turkey tail, and Reishi are some of the best medicinal mushrooms. The health benefits of these functional fungi have been proven in various studies and frequently appear in many health supplements for the heart.
Functional fungi like Lion’s mane, Cordyceps, and Turkey tail are renowned for their mushroom heart health benefits. Not only do they lower blood cholesterol, but they also help manage blood pressure and inflammation, which contribute to heart disease.
Incorporate mushroom powders into your life to help keep your heart healthy. Speak with a healthcare provider to pick the best mushroom suited to your needs.
- Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/
- Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (lion's mane mushroom), (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/
- Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21716693/
- Medicinal Value of the Caterpillar Fungi Species of the Genus Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes). A Review, (4)https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247854986
- Cardiovascular protection and antioxidant activity of the extracts from the mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis act partially via adenosine receptors, (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23192916/
- Bioactives from Mushroom: Health Attributes and Food Industry Applications, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34947237/
Let Us Know Your Comments