Mushroom protein – an innovation for a healthy heart

Mushrooms are versatile and nutrient-packed foods, but not many people know that they are also a possible rich source of protein. In recent years, an innovation called mycoprotein has attracted attention as an alternative to meat products, known to have possible harmful effects on heart health. Find out everything you need to know about mushroom proteins below, and why they’ve come into the medical spotlight.

What are mushroom proteins?

The mycoprotein is extracted from a specific type of fungus called Fusarium venenatum. Today, it is considered to be a good meat substitute, available in over 17 countries in a variety of forms such as burgers, meatballs, or even chops.

This protein is obtained by fermenting mushroom spores together with glucose and other nutrients. The fermentation process is similar to that used to create beer, and results in a mixture with a meat-like texture and high protein and fibre content.

Why are mushroom proteins considered the meat of the future?

In recent years, vegan eating has taken off, and many people around the world have started to give up animal products in favour of healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives.

According to some studies, mycoprotein is:

  • A nutritious source of protein: Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle tissue and other body functions.
  • High in fibre: Mushrooms are high in fibre, which makes them help maintain digestive health and provide a feeling of satiety.
  • Low in sodium, sugar, cholesterol and fat: Mycoprotein products are low in heart-healthy substances such as sodium, sugar, cholesterol and saturated fat.
  • Rich in essential amino acids: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and mycoprotein provides all the essential amino acids the body needs.
Mushroom proteins are not always suitable for vegans

On top of that, mycoprotein also brings similar benefits to plant-based products, such as:

  • Meat-like texture: Mycoprotein products have a meat-like texture and taste, making them an appealing option for those who want to reduce meat consumption.
  • Low carbon and water footprint: Meat production has a significant impact on the environment due to the high consumption of natural resources. Mushroom proteins have a much lower carbon and water footprint compared to red meat or poultry, making them an environmentally friendly option.

What do studies tell us about proteins in mushrooms?

A study by Northumbria University in the UK shows the amazing potential of mushroom proteins for heart health.

This study showed that in just two weeks of consumption, Quorn products, a mycoprotein-based meat substitute, resulted in a 12% decrease in LDL cholesterol and a 7% decrease in total cholesterol in study participants. According to the researchers involved in this study, such a decrease can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 9%.

In addition, participants reduced their waist circumference by up to 1 cm in just 14 days. Fat around the waist is a neglected risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but the effects of mushroom protein are promising and further show us that it all starts with our diet.

Mushroom protein is an innovation in healthy eating, offering a tasty and beneficial alternative to meat. By including mycoprotein in your diet, you can reap many benefits for a healthy heart, but you’ll also help keep the planet cleaner.

If you want to start your journey to a healthier heart, download the Dahna health app today! Set up your cardiometabolic profile and you will be able to generate a long list of food menus, based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet and built on comprehensive medical expertise. Download the app for a healthy and happy life!

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