How mushrooms could play a role in managing diabetes

by | Nov 10, 2023

November is Diabetes Awareness Month in South Africa, culminating in World Diabetes Day on November 14. With diabetes affecting 7% of the population, roughly 3.85 million people, it’s crucial to understand and manage this serious condition. This month, let’s shed light on the positive role mushrooms can play in controlling diabetes.


Understanding Diabetes

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, leading to damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The most common form is type 2 diabetes, often occurring in adults when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Diabetes requires professional medical diagnosis and treatment. While there’s no cure, proper management, and treatment can lead to diabetes remission. Tailored treatment plans are essential for each individual under the care of a medical professional.


Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, are vital for managing diabetes. Incorporating sufficient fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and mushrooms can contribute to better blood sugar regulation.


Mushrooms and Blood Sugar

Mushrooms, particularly high in beta-glucan, a form of soluble fiber, can help regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A recent scientific paper titled “Exploring Edible Mushrooms for Diabetes: Unveiling Their Role in Prevention and Treatment” highlights the positive effects of mushrooms in combating diabetes.


Diabetic-Friendly Mushrooms

Common mushrooms found in South African supermarkets, such as Agaricus bisporus (button, baby button, Portabellinis, and Portobellos), are known for their ability to lower blood glucose levels and alleviate diabetes symptoms. These fungi are fat-free, low in sodium and calories, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.


Anti-Diabetes Properties

Preliminary research suggests that mushroom polysaccharides may contribute to lowering blood sugar. Beyond their low glycemic load, mushrooms are packed with compounds that could lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, improve insulin resistance, and aid in pancreatic tissue damage.

Incorporating Mushrooms into Your Diet

Mushrooms, often considered vegetables for cooking purposes, can be added to various recipes for extra taste without additional sodium or fat. Their umami flavor makes them versatile—sauteed, stewed, stuffed, or sliced into any meal. Explore diabetic-friendly recipes to suit all tastes and budgets, incorporating mushrooms as a cost-effective and nutritious meat alternative.

Unlock the potential of mushrooms in your diet, promoting not only delicious meals but also contributing to better diabetes management. See delicious mushroom recipes here


*Images and content shared by SAMFA

I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!

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I’m just a girl who loves new beauty products, alternating between being a blonde and a brunette, travel tips, parenting hacks, eating out, and having fun!


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