Powerful Mushroom Health Benefits That May Surprise You
Mushrooms are considered neither plants nor animals, and exist in a kingdom of their own. There are an estimated 50,000 species of mushrooms in the world including yeasts and molds. Some scientists believe many species of mushrooms have yet to be discovered.
While many known mushrooms are believed to be edible, only a couple dozen varieties are commonly consumed. Some mushrooms are poisonous, hallucinogenic, or have an unappealing taste, smell or texture so they are reserved for medicinal use.
Where to Find Them
White button, crimini and portobello mushrooms are the most frequently eaten mushrooms in the world and are seen in virtually every produce section.
Shiitake mushrooms contain chemicals that might help lower cholesterol levels, keep tumors from getting bigger, and stimulate the immune system. R
Maitake mushrooms contain chemicals that might help fight tumors, stimulate the immune system, and lower blood sugar levels. R
Oyster mushrooms are believed to support the immune system, and posess antiviral and antimicrobial properties. In addition, they may be anti-inflammatory, and support healthy blood sugar and blood pressure. R
Enoki mushrooms are rich in antoxidants, and are believed to have anti-cancer properties. R
Beech mushrooms are another good source of antioxidants, and believe it or not–antifungal properties. They are also a source of niacin (B3) and other B vitamins.
King Trumpet mushrooms may support healthy cholesterol levels, and be a good meat substitiute for vegetarians and vegans.
May help reduce inflammation, and create an unfriendly environment for colon cancer.
Lion’s Mane, the ‘King of the Medicinal Mushroom Jungle’ boasts myriad potential benefits
The reported health-promoting properties of [lion’s mane] mushroom fruit bodies, mycelia, and bioactive pure compounds include antibiotic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antifatigue, antihypertensive, antihyperlipodemic, antisenescence, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and neuroprotective properties and improvement of anxiety, cognitive function, and depression. The described anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and immunostimulating properties in cells, animals, and humans seem to be responsible for the multiple health-promoting properties. R
These may not be as common in grocery stores, but can often be found at farmers’ markets and specialty food stores.
*Most potential health benefit information for mushrooms was obtained from Web MD.
Many of us enjoy these delicious fungi having no idea that we are positively impacting our health as we enjoy them. This is good news since we so often find out that we unwittingly consume things that are harmful to us.
All kidding aside, it’s possible that making mushrooms a daily part of our diet could reduce our risk for many ailments.
Okay to cook.
Virtually all mushrooms contain two important antioxidants known as ergothioneine and glutathione in varying amounts. Criminis are believed to contain the highest amounts per gram, while while button mushrooms contain much smaller amounts of these substances.
Cooking mushrooms does not lessen the amounts of these nutrients. Once researchers suggests that cooked mushrooms are better for you as heat neutralizes a potential toxin that is found in some mushrooms.
Potential health benefits.
Ergothioneine, glutathione and other ingredients in mushrooms may be able to slow the aging process, and age related diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
According to a PSU research paper countries like Italy and France, where porcini mushrooms are consumed daily have a lower incidence of neurodegenerative diseases than the United States.
Many varieties of mushrooms are presently being explored for their potential benefits for immune system, heart and brain health, as well as their anticancer and antidiabetic activity. In the future, mushrooms are likely to be recommended as an important health food with the frequency that leafy green vegetables are suggested today. And mushrooms beat vegetables in protein content pound for pound.
Add Mushrooms to Your Diet
Since mushrooms are safe for most people, we can get a head start on enjoying their potential benefits while we wait for the rest of the science to come in.
Add about 5 or more common mushrooms to your diet each day.
Mushrooms are easy to add to salads, or enjoy mushroom-focused recipes like Mushroom Stroganoff.
Try some of these mushroom-centric products to help supplement these superfoods into your everyday diet.
Designed to support several aspects of healthy immune function, Immune Biotect contains a unique blend of berries, herbs and ten organic mushroom concentrates. A Nutritarian diet rich in G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds) provides a wealth of immune-supporting phytochemicals. Immune Biotect was designed to provide additional immune-strengthening substances, with ingredients not typically found in one’s diet.
- Contains ten unique organic mushroom concentrates
- High in immune-strengthening antioxidants and flavonoids
- Non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan
Take one capsule twice daily. Best if taken with food.
Underestimating the Mushroom Kingdom
Fungi are said to be the most underappreciated kingdom of the natural world. If upcoming research validates what the preliminary studies on mushrooms indicate about their many health benefits, we owe the fungi kingdom a big apology for having neglected it for so long.
No need to feel badly though, and if you do, consider that lion’s mane mushroom may have antidepressant effects, and enhance mental clarity.