Fungi have risen from below ground to receive a lot of attention lately. With immune health on everyone’s radar, health experts say mushrooms may provide incredible support if not actually preventing many chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s and some cancers.
Little wonder fungi brands are mushrooming all over the planet.
A kingdom of their own, mushrooms have long been used in Eastern medicine for their health and longevity benefits. They pack a power punch of nutrients, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
There are over 1,400 species of mushrooms around the world although not all are edible. Depending on the type, mushrooms are known adaptogens that help to protect the body from stress, provide anti-inflammatory and immune support and promote cognitive health. Mushrooms help to strengthen the immune system by stimulating macrophages that help to combat foreign matter in the body that in turn makes us less prone to disease.
A new study released this year by Penn State College of Medicine found that people who consumed 18 grams – about 1/8-1/4 cup of mushrooms daily had a 45 percent lower risk of cancer than people who didn’t eat mushrooms. The study credits ergothioneine, an antioxidant in most mushrooms, in particular shiitake, oyster, maitake, and king oyster mushrooms.Feeling inspired to join the shroom boom? Here are some of the medicinal mushrooms we recommend you start adding to your diet today. Simply add a spoonful to your morning coffee, smoothies, and meals.
Wellness Alert: Remember that mushrooms absorb all the nutrients from the soil. With this in mind, choose organic, pesticide and herbicide-free that are wild foraged – or grow your own.
Known as the ‘king of mushrooms’, Chaga is packed with antioxidants and used to fight free-radical damage and promote longevity and immune support.
Considered the ultimate brain booster! Lion’s Mane is regarded as Nootropic for its aid to cognitive function, memory, concentration, and focus.
Perhaps one of the most common medicinal mushrooms that contain phytonutrients that help to combat plaque build-up. Shiitake mushrooms are thought to promote a healthy heart and inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the liver.
Loaded with antioxidants, Turkey Tail is also said to feature certain cancer-fighting properties. The mushrooms contain polysaccharide-K (PSK) that is an approved anticancer prescription drug in Japan.
Take the edge off by adding Reishi powder to your smoothie or coffee. Considered an apoptogenic that combats stress in the body, Reishi is used as a natural relaxant that can help reduce anxiety and provide sleep support.
Chef’s Tip: While mushrooms can be eaten raw, the consensus is that they are better cooked as the heat destroys all the toxins and carcinogens. Many recommend taking your medicinal mushrooms in powder form – 1-2 spoonfuls per day is plenty. Just add to your morning coffee, smoothie or sprinkle on any meal.
Watch : Netflix recently launched the inspirational documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi – voices from the underground’ – an inspirational watch for anyone who is interested to understand the incredible history and resilience of mushrooms!