Mushrooms the perfect allrounder for Men’s Health Week

Uncategorized, Vitamin D

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Australian men can significantly improve their health by incorporating mushrooms into their diets, according to recent studies.

This Men’s Health Week we are encouraging Aussie men, to incorporate just 3-4 button mushrooms into their daily diet, to unlock a host of nutritional benefits, that can positively impact your health, appearance, and overall vitality.


Here are four key nutrients found in mushrooms that are able to help men live healthier, happier and optimal lives. 

1. Mushrooms are packed with the vitamin D needed to activate testosterone.

Mushrooms are the only food that after exposure for around 15 minutes to sunlight can provide the daily 1000IU recommended dose of vitamin D. A bit like our own bodies, mushrooms pack in a lot of vitamin D that becomes activated after exposure to sunlight.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, well-known for promoting strong bones and teeth by enhancing calcium absorption. Dr Jane Freeman (Accredited Practicing Dietitian (ASDA) an Accredited Practicing Nutritionist (APN) has said that additional research has shown that it is also a nutrient that also plays a vital role in men's health, as vitamin D appears to help contribute to optimal testosterone level, which in turn helps with muscle strength, energy levels, libido, and mood.


“It seems as if vitamin D communicates a signal to the cells in testes, that then actions the production and conversion of testosterone into free testosterone, which is the form that is more potent to male virality.” She said.

2. Mushrooms can help with weight management

Even though mushrooms taste great and have a meat like texture, they are fat-free and extraordinarily low in calorie. That means they are the perfect food to use as a substitute to red meat or to at least dilute usual serve sizes. 

As well research has shown that by following a mushroom diet and substituting mushrooms for red meat, you will lose weight.

In a one-year randomized controlled trial conducted on obese men found that substituting mushrooms for red meat resulted in lower calorie and fat intake compared to a standard diet. Participants experienced greater weight loss, reduced body fat levels, and decreased waist circumference.

These healthy eating benefits, a likely reason why other studies have shown that mushroom consumers, generally have a lower risk of dying from chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, independent of other aspects of the participants' diet.

3. Mushrooms help with brain health

A unique and potent antioxidant called ergothioneine, has been linked to declining cognitive abilities in numerous studies. Ergothioneine or ET has also shown promise as a potential marker and therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease and vascular cognitive impairment.

While Alzheimer’s and dementia are devastating conditions for both men and women, these conditions are estimated to affect around 149,000 Australian men, a potent antioxidant in mushrooms called ergothioneine (ET) is standing out in trials as an agent that could help prevent cellular damage of nerve cells and reduce the risk of neurogenerative disorders of the brain.

Mushrooms have one of the most abundant sources of ergothioneine and as our bodies are unable to make this important nutrient, eating 3-4 mushrooms a day could be an important differentiator between the strike of a neurodegenerative disease or dementia. .

While the research around a potent role for ergothioneine is emerging, numerous observational studies have shown blood levels of ergothioneine decrease with age, and this is more notable in individuals with physical and cognitive declines. It seems that ergothioneine helps to protect cells through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and again a regular or daily dose of mushrooms could help improve your odds against cognitive decline.

Key message: Mushrooms are the richest food source of the amino acid or building block of protein called ergothioneine. Mushrooms contain more ergothioneine: a unique amino or sulpher containing anti-oxidant than any other food

Mushrooms also contain polyphenols like quercitin and kaempferol which act as antioxidants

4. Mushrooms may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Australian men, with over 17,000 new cases diagnosed each year and a significant number of cancer-related deaths. However, incorporating mushrooms into the diet may offer potential benefits in reducing the risk of this disease.

A large study published in the International Journal of Cancer revealed that men who consumed mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8% lower risk of prostate cancer compared to those who did not consume mushrooms. Furthermore, men who ate mushrooms three or more times a week experienced a 17% reduction in their risk of prostate cancer. Remarkably, this association remained significant regardless of other dietary factors.

These exciting developments highlight the potential of mushrooms, particularly white button mushrooms, in reducing the risk of prostate cancer and potentially providing an additional treatment avenue. The results from ongoing trials will provide further insight into the effectiveness of mushrooms in combating this prevalent disease.


So, there you have it!

Mushrooms are not only a great tasting addition to the daily meal, but they are also a nutrient powerhouse for men.

Note: the information in this article is meant as general information only. For specific, personal advice on any medical condition, please see your doctor.

AMGA Dietitian - Jane Freeman

Jane is an internationally regarded and experienced dietitian and nutritionist, is an IOC (International Olympic Committee) qualified sports nutritionist, Leiths qualified cook and an award-winning author.

As a practicing dietitian and director for CANutriton, a cancer specialist nutrition practice in Sydney, Jane is big mushroom lover and passionate about delivering practical nutrition advice that is easy to understand and adopt.

Jane Freeman - Dietitian


Phillips KM, Ruggio DM, Haytowitz DB. Folate composition of 10 types of mushrooms determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Food Chem. 2011 Nov 15;129(2):630-636. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.04.087. Epub 2011 May 4. PMID: 30634279.
Sun L, Niu Z. A mushroom diet reduced the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and macrosomia: a randomized clinical trial. Food Nutr Res. 2020;64:10.29219/fnr.v64.4451. Published 2020 Jun 8. doi:10.29219/fnr.v64.4451
Silvia Fogacci, Federica Fogacci, Maciej Banach, Erin D. Michos, Adrian V. Hernandez, Gregory Y.H. Lip, Michael J. Blaha, Peter P. Toth, Claudio Borghi, Arrigo F.G. Cicero. Vitamin D supplementation and incident preeclampsia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, Clinical Nutrition, Volume 39, Issue 6,2020,Pages 1742-1752,ISSN 0261-5614,
Cardwell G, Bornman JF, James AP, et al. A review of mushrooms as a potential source of dietary vitamin D. Nutrients 2018;10:1498. 

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2. Aldi On pack stickers

Partnering with key growers who supply Aldi supermarkets nationwide, 675,000 stickers will be applied to white and brown mushroom punnets, promoting the Scan to Win competition. Last year 2,695 Stickers were scanned via specially marked Aldi mushroom packs, and we are hoping for a greater uptake this year.

3. ‘A Better Choice’ Marketing Partnership

Partnering with A Better Choice we will reach independent grower networks and consumers in a partnership package that includes:

  • In-store activations of 50 Retail Stores Total (NSW, VIC and SA)
    • Activation includes installation and reporting of on-shelf POS items including shelf wobblers, recipe cards, A3 posters.
    • Includes Print and distribution of POS items
  • 2 x Mushroom Retail Store Cooking Events (VIC, SA) – with Celebrity chef Callum Hann
    • A better choice! Sampling Staff Member in attendance
    • Boosting of 3 x Social Media Posts
  • Consumer Magazine Advertising
    • 1 x 5-Page Section in Autumn
  • Trade communications
    • 4 x EDM Features to all A better choice! Retailers
    • 2 x EDM Features in Central Market EDM’s
  • Consumer Communications
    • 8 x Banners Ads in Weekly Consumer EDM
    • 7 x Supporting Recipes in Consumer EDM
  • Social Media & Website
    • Social Media Feature Week
    • 14 x Mushroom Social Media Posts
    • All recipes loaded to ABC Website

 4. Dr. Emma Beckett interview on Australia’s #1 Parenting Podcast

Embracing the podcast phenomenon for busy Aussie parents, Dr Emma Becket, Australian mushroom nutrition scientist from FoodIQ Global, will be interviewed on Australia’s #1 Parenting Podcast Beyond the Bump, to talk about mushrooms important role in children’s nutrition, and how adopting The Blend as a ‘stealth health’ way to reduce meat intake and boost the nutritional value of everyday meaty meals, that kids will LOVE to eat.


5. Influencer Marketing –

Targeting foodies, parents and budget conscious consumers, we have locked in some of Australia’s favourite content creators such as @cookingwithalisha @danroberts and @thefoodarrondissemen – who will be creating content across platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. Our aim for this tactic is mass engagement with mass uptake. We want the combined audiences to feel so inspired by the content that they head over to our Blenditarian website, find a recipe and cook it for their family that day!

Other campaign features include:

  • Updated website
  • Competition PR strategy
  • Nutritional PR strategy with AMGA Dietitian Jane Freeman
  • Marketing partnership with ‘A Better Choice’ to reach independent grower networks and consumers
  • A hefty Digital Marketing strategy, including:
    • Social ads
    • Google ads and re-marketing
    • Existing 50,000 Mushroom Lovers and Blenditarian database re-engaged
    • Educational email marketing journey
    • New Blenditarian Recipes

Please keep an eye out for a full campaign update via email and in the Winter edition of the AMGA Journal.