Medicinal mushrooms have long been hailed as the original smart drugs in nature. For many years, they have been known to have therapeutic benefits. Over the years, extensive research has been done, further proving the extensive benefits that they provide.
So, the question is, are medicinal mushrooms really worth all of the hype?
What are Medicinal Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are known to be great sources of many therapeutic compounds. These compounds include lipids, polysaccharides, alkaloids, proteoglycans, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and antioxidants. All of these prove to be very beneficial to biological systems.
There are well over 270 species of medicinal mushrooms. In recent years, the attention has really become focused on these species They have been found to heighten immunity, lower blood pressure, be a defense mechanism against cancer, reduce the overall cholesterol in the body, protect your body from damage caused by radiation, and to reduce oxidative stress.
Top 5 Reasons to Start Taking Them
Increases Antioxidant Activity
Evidence has proven that free radicals do damage to the various structures in your body?s cells when they are at high levels. This causes cellular damage that in turn contributes to an increased risk for you developing many health problems. Many medicinal mushrooms contain ingredients that have the ability to neutralize those free radicals.
Enhances Your Immune System
Each and every day, your body works to clear away the stuff that is bad for you. It also works to fight off harmful cancer cells, and to keep it healthy and functioning as it should. As you age, your immune system begins to wear down and does not function as effectively as it once did. Mushrooms can help to boost many components of your immune system that are vital to your well being.
Manages Your Blood Sugar
Studies have found that the fungus Cordyceps contains compounds that help to support and maintain balanced blood sugar levels. One of the biggest complications that arises from diabetes is called nephropathy. It can lead to kidney failure. This huge risk can be avoided by maintaining good blood sugar levels.
Supports Brain Health
There is a ball shaped mushroom that is known as Lions Mane. This species has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. At one time, it was strictly reserved for royal families and was considered a gourmet dish. There are very potent compounds in the Lions Mane that have been known to stimulate your neurons, causing them to re-grow. This regrowth starts something known as re-myelination. This process keeps your neurons healthy and help them to be able to conduct properly.
Improves Exercise Ability
Mushrooms not only help you live a longer life, they help you maintain a much healthier one also. There is a species known as Cordyceps and it dilates your aorta. Your aorta is the main artery leading to your heart that supplies oxygen to your entire body's circulatory system. It can also increase your athletic performance because it contains adenosine. This is believed to improve stamina in athletes and help their overall performance.
Where to Buy Fantastic Fungi
By now you are probably wondering where you can buy these fantastic fungi so that you can begin reaping these great benefits. One of the most convenient ways to purchase them is online. You can find many varieties on Amazon.com. We have found that the available mushroom variety is a great value for the money. If you are looking to purchase locally rather than wait for an order online, you can check with your local health food or vitamin stores. Medicinal mushrooms are very commonly found.
Which Mushrooms Are Best for the Immune System
It is important to maintain a good immune system. When your immune system begins to decline, your overall health will deteriorate as well. Autoimmune diseases are at an all time high and seem to be on a steady rise. It is important to help our immune systems in any way possible for this very reason.
80% of immunity is linked to our gut health. Poor eating habits and the overuse of antibiotics has resulted in extensive damage to our gut. Mushrooms are one of the most natural and best ways to boost our immune system and give it the help that it needs.
Turkey Tail Mushroom
This species of mushroom has been the subject of the most studies. This is due to its ability to boost your immune system and fight off diseases. Turkey Tail Mushrooms contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans stimulate the overall immune system. They work by stimulating the natural killer cell function. This plays a vital role in the health of your immune system.
Beta-glucans also help by slowing the growth of tumors. This adds protection to your body and helps to protect it from compounds that may cause cancer.
Turkey tail contains prebiotics which will feed the good bacteria helping you to maintain good gut health.
Tremella mushrooms are very high in Vitamin D and also contain compounds that help to protect your liver. Even more amazing, they are very powerful in regulating the immune system. Studies have shown that they are also productive in fighting infections.
Tremella mushrooms are also able to draw moisture to themselves which makes them beneficial in fighting the aging process.
This species is often referred to as the hen of the woods because it has the appearance of the fluffed tail feathers of a nesting hen. Maitake mushrooms contain beta-glucans which help them to kill cell activity naturally.
This species of mushroom is an awesome source of vitamins B & C, antioxidants and various minerals. Not only do they have amazing effects that regulate the immune system, they are also known for their delicious flavor.
This type of mushroom is very common in Asian food. Their flavor has a hint of a meaty flavor while it still offers great versatility. These mushrooms have been known to help in fighting obesity as well. Along with improving your immune system, they also support heart health as well.
Shiitake mushrooms can help to improve the health of your gut and help to maintain its overall health as well.
One of possibly the most amazing factors of shiitake mushrooms is that they can act as a natural antibiotic. They leave the beneficial bacteria completely unharmed which is truly amazing in itself. This differs from prescription antibiotics in that they kill both good and bad bacteria in your body.
How to Take Medicinal Mushrooms
Mushrooms are perhaps one of the most intriguing fungi you will come across. While they can be packed with healthy benefits, some species are poisonous and have the potential to kill you. They come in many different forms as well.
One of the most common forms that you can find medicinal mushrooms in capsule or pill form. This form is readily available online and in many health food stores as well. You can also find them in powder form that you are able to mix and drink. A lot of times this form will contain several species of mushrooms for added benefits.
While some of the mushrooms species may not appeal as much to your taste buds as some of the others do, you can always mix them into coffee or a shake to offset the bitterness if necessary.
The market for medicinal mushrooms is growing by leaps and bounds. It is a trend that is certainly catching on to many people and one that is sure to hang around for a long time. Many people are making mushroom therapy a part of their daily lives. Everyone is wanting to reap the many positive benefits of the various species.
Mushrooms are very natural and do not come with the added side effects that many big pharmacy vitamins and medications result in. There have not been any studies that have shown negative side effects of mushroom use.
Get Lasting Benefits with Medicinal Mushrooms
We tend to do excessive damage to our body's with the intake of unhealthy foods and unhealthy lifestyles. The factors in medicinal mushrooms can reverse many of those negative issues that you may be experiencing. For a time, people touting the healing benefits of mushrooms were largely ignored. Over time, mushrooms have become much more mainstream and used by many.
Of all natural medicines, mushrooms have had some of the most extensive studies and research done to figure out exactly what their benefits are. Out of the nearly 300 various species, there is sure to be a strain to address each ailment you may experience in order to maintain overall health and well being.
The aging process also to take its toll on a persons body. Before we know it, our immune system begins to decline. The aging process speeds up and takes a toll on our overall health. We do unknown damage to our body and by the time we realize it, the damage has been done and many times it is hard to reverse those effects. Delving into the world of medicinal mushrooms is sure to show you positive improvements.
Are you a fan of medicinal mushrooms? Let us know your favorite way to enjoy them in the comments below!