The Discovery Vitality HealthyFood™ Benefit in partnership with Pick n Pay attracted over 100 000 people in its first three months and these members (who are clearly embracing a healthier lifestyle!) have unanimously voted mushrooms as their number 1 vegetable in the vegetable category of HealthyFood™ choices.
“We were delighted when we heard that mushrooms were the most bought vegetable of this initiative and we feel that it certainly confirms their status as a super food," comments South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association chairperson, Ross Richardson.
"Discovery Vitality HealthyFood™ Benefit members also included mushrooms in their top 10 category of “most bought items” with their other healthy food choices such as skinless chicken breasts, tomatoes, apples, tuna, bread, fat free milk, bananas, cucumber and lettuce."
“We all know that mushrooms are terrifically versatile, have great texture and flavour and are just so quick and easy to prepare. The fact that they are an important source of nutrients is simply an added benefit and a huge bonus catapulting them from a healthier alternative to the super food category.”
Mushrooms contain key nutrients
Mushrooms contain several key nutrients, including copper, potassium, folate, selenium, potassium and certain B vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Various studies have also suggested that substances found in white mushrooms have the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels and so may be able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
They are a valuable source of lovastatin, which has been found to suppress the activity of the main cholesterol synthesis enzyme. Mushrooms are a good source of fibre, in particular glucans giving them the potential to impact on cholesterol uptake from the diet.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have also found that just a handful of white button mushrooms have about 12 times more of the antioxidant than wheat germ and 4 times more than chicken liver. Brown mushrooms contain even more.
SAMFA salutes the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood™ Benefit initiative which not only helps people make healthier food choices but through its cash back benefits remove the barriers to following a nutritious diet.
(Press release, Riana Greenblo Communications, June 2009)