Are mushrooms the new Kale?
People are going CRAZY over mushrooms for their seemingly “magical” benefits, and were not talking about the psychedelic kind. In fact, many mushrooms have long been used throughout history for their medicinal purposes. Research is catching up and has been showing that medicinal mushrooms have so many health benefits.
Check out this guide to understanding the magic of mushrooms a bit better. Starting with reasons mushroom are awesome, then find out which mushrooms to include below!
Nutritionally, mushrooms provide numerous important vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which may improve the body’s ability to boost the immune system and fight off various diseases. Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that help our body to fight off free radical damage (damage that happens at the cellular level). Free radicals are suspected in the development of some cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cataracts, diabetes, and kidney disease.
Research also shows that many mushrooms contain molecules that contain anti-inflammatory abilities. Inflammation has been found to be associated with just about every health condition, including asthma, heart disease, cancer, skin condition, chronic pain, and more.
Mushroom may also help to prevent viral illness and may also help to decrease the severity of illness in those who are already sick. There are mushrooms that kill viruses, mushrooms that kill bacteria, and even mushrooms that kill yeast. (1)
So, with hundreds of varieties which mushrooms should add to your diet?
Rich in free radical fighting antioxidants, Chaga was shown to reduce the nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase, which both cause inflammation in the body ( study ). Chaga has also been shown to fight off viruses. (study) including the flu. There has also been promising research that shows chaga prohibit certain cancers including liver, lung, and brain.
Shitake mushrooms are an excellent source of Vitamin D, and lentinan, which has is a natural anti-tumor. A 2011 study also suggests that Shiitake may help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Studies have suggested that Lion’s Mane stimulates production of Nerve Frowth Factor (NFG), which is a vital protein for the development of new neurons, and for the health and maintenance of mature ones. Lion’s Mane may also help improve memory, improve concentration and cognition.
Reishi is loaded with ganoderic acid, which is known to help reduce cholesterol and also lower high blood pressure. It has strong immune boosting powers and is revered as an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and potentially anti-cancer fighting fungus . Research (and these two also- study study) also suggest that Reishi may be able to help patients with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimers and Huntington’s- though we need more information here.
Turkey tail is one of the more important mushrooms on this list. Not only has it been found to be antiviral and antimicrobial, it also contains two powerful polysaccharides called PSP and PSK which researchers have found to be potentially immune boosting in women with stage I to III breast cancer.
Want to feel like the energizer bunny? Try having Cordyceps! They are believed to supports your adrenal glands and helps improve your energy, athletic performance and aerobic capacity. It’s also shown to be a powerful anti-ager due to its high antioxidant makeup.