Mushrooms are a very interesting type of food that has a unique way of obtaining nutrients. They’re also a great low-carb solution that still provides protein. You’d be surprised to know that they are practically turbo-shots with their plethora of healing compounds. While not all mushrooms provide the same benefits as some types of fungi don’t exactly promote health and longevity
They Are Anti-Inflammatory and High in Antioxidants
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, especially Chaga mushrooms (Inonotus Obliquus) which are known to possess many antioxidant properties. They contain components that can be found in fruit bodies, making them the best contenders to fight inflammation and infection.
Chaga actually has the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) compared to other natural foods, making it the most potent. This means these mushrooms protect your cells from reactive molecules with their antioxidant properties. Reactive molecules, which are reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals, can cause oxidative stress in your cells, leading to an accelerated aging process and health complications that are caused by eating pro-inflammatory diets. Therefore, antioxidants are crucial to fight and prevent resulting health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, weight gain, muscle loss, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis among others.
Antimicrobial medicines are necessary to kill microorganisms and hinder their growth. Luckily, medicinal mushrooms are a viable agent to combat health concerns such as infections, syphilis, and other serious diseases. Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma Lucidum) are a great treatment for bronchitis and hepatitis with their strong antimicrobial activity. Reishi is predominantly used in traditional Chinese medicine as this large and tough mushroom has incredible antimicrobial effects that inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria.
Regulates Immune System
Medicinal mushrooms also help regulate the immune system. The Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula Edodes) is now consumed globally due to its immunoregulatory benefits becoming more well known worldwide. The East Asian native species offers so many nutrients and even has anti-tumor properties. A study on Shiitake mushrooms proved that they decrease the risk of carcinogenic compound formation which suppresses the elevation of liver enzymes. These immunoregulatory benefits are not only found in Shiitake mushrooms, however. Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, and Oyster all work as immune-boosting agents.
Balances Blood Sugar and Hormones
Cordyceps (Cordyceps Militaris) maintain your blood sugar levels within a healthy range as these have similar medicinal properties as insulin. They also reduce hormone imbalance which can decrease fatigue. Aside from blood glucose regulation and hormone balancing, cordyceps mushrooms have many other health benefits such as supporting heart health, enhancing kidney function, stimulating energy production, and enhancing blood flow.
Has Anti-Aging Properties
Reishi, the powerhouse, is also known to work as a natural anti-aging agent. However, the Chaga mushroom also contains properties that protect the skin from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is not enough antioxidant defense in the body, which is why mushrooms along with other antioxidants are necessary to improve vitality and leave you with healthy, rejuvenated skin.
Protects Nerve Cells
While many mushrooms protect the liver and immune health, Lion’s Mane (Hericium Erinaceus) is known to also offer protection for your nervous system, gastrointestinal health (GI), and brain function. Not only does this type of mushroom contain antioxidant properties to benefit overall gut health, but according to the research on EvidenceLive, the benefits of lion’s mane are far more widespread and impressive. It supports cognitive function and improves mood which makes it a great source to combat dementia. It is in fact the niacin and copper found in mushrooms that support the nervous system’s functions. With Lion’s mane containing vitamin B5, it keeps nerves healthy which is vital for brain function and production of certain hormones.
Protects Kidneys and Liver
Reishi mushrooms are a natural way to protect kidney and liver function. Kidney and liver health is vital for circulation, energy levels, healthy eyes and skin, as well as detoxification, and vitamin storage and absorption. Reishi and Shiitake mushrooms both offer kidney and liver protection. Reishi reduces the hepatitis B virus in the body while improving liver function. It also makes the kidneys less penetrable. Shiitake mushrooms are ideal for people with kidney issues and are even better than portobellos due to their containing less potassium.
Plants, fungi, and herbs are known to support libido and fertility. Medicinal mushrooms have aphrodisiac qualities that promote sexual health with natural remedies. Reishi, considered to be one of the most, if not the most, powerful mushrooms, is beneficial for both male and female fertility and enhances libido as well as the body’s overall performance and function.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood which is what your body converts calories into if they don’t need them right away. Since they are stored in your fat cells, high triglycerides can lead to obesity and make it difficult to control diabetes. This means it is crucial to lowering triglyceride levels in your blood. Mushrooms help you maintain low triglyceride levels, which helps people take care of their cholesterol.
As you can see, the main mushrooms that promote better health are Reishi, Shiitake, Lion’s mane, and Cordyceps. Since mushrooms are neither plants nor animals, they are considered vegetables. This unique type of fungi has an abundance of health solutions that aren’t easily found in one place. Therefore, knowing which mushrooms to choose to retain all the medicinal benefits can add years to your life and undeniably support your overall health.
However, when choosing to add some medicinal mushrooms to your diet, keep in mind that you want to maintain a healthy intake. Studies show that 18 grams a day are a good amount to see incredible health benefits such as a lowered risk of cancer. While medicinal mushrooms are relatively safe to consume, you want to avoid high intakes in certain cases. Reishi mushrooms can cause bleeding in those with bleeding conditions if used by a surgical patient.