Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

29 November, 2018


Welcome to the world of mushrooms. These lovely fungi have been part of our lives for a long time. We are beginning to understand that they are more than a tasty snack on toast!

Each mushroom has specific abilities. They are grown in different areas of the world and so offer us different supportive ingredients.

Research is still at early stages but the indications are that mushrooms can really support our health in a variety of ways. They offer us the bonus of being:

  • Low in calories
  • Low in fat
  • Low carbohydrate
  • Low in sugar
  • A source of fibre
  • A source of protein

These ancient foods are so versatile. You can:

  • Add them to a meal
  • Make a soup
  • Drink them as tea or coffee
  • Use the powder
  • Add extracts to your food
  • Take a supplement

There are a wide range of different mushrooms so we have highlighted the more familiar ones. Although there are some general themes:

  • Supporting immune health
  • Helping our heart health
  • Maintaining and improving our nervous system

Each mushroom has its own specific properties.

Reishi

These mushrooms grow in the hot humid areas of Asia. They can be eaten in a variety of ways either fresh, dried or as an extract.

Reishi mushrooms can help you with:

  • Heart health
  • Blood sugar levels
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Antioxidant support
  • Liver
  • Immunity

The active ingredients are triterpenes, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans. It appears that these ingredients may help with white blood cell actions. We need our white blood cells to protect us from infection, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens.

Lion's Mane

This mushroom is really interesting to me as it has been used by monks for centuries as a support for meditation focus. Indeed, looking at reviews of various Lions Mane products, this is confirmed. People cite increased focus and ability to just get the job done.

How can Lions Mane help you?

  • Obviously, it support the brain and nervous system helping you to focus.
  • Stand by for more new words it contains hericenones and erincacines. These ingredients appear to contribute to the production of nerve growth factor. It is also associated with maintenance of neurons which are a great help in keeping our mood buoyant.

If you are not a lover of the mushroom texture we offer you a great drink. Four Sigmatic have combined coffee, Lions Mane and Chaga to make a great drink. Are you asking why a mushroom coffee? Well that’s because it contains less caffeine and acid. Sounds like a good reason to me!

Chaga

This ancient mushroom grows in very cold climates like Siberia and northern Canada and Alaska. It is found on the outside of birch trees.

Chaga is special because it has a very high ORAC rating which means it provides oodles of antioxidants. Regular readers will know that antioxidants help us to counteract free radical damage that comes from so many different sources from the environment, our food through to stress.

How can Chaga help you?

  • It stimulates your immune system
  • Offers anti-viral protection
  • Increases physical endurance
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Supports the heart
  • Offers parasite protection
  • Eases stomach pain

This is another mushroom that has been made into a drink. Viridian makes a fabulous combination from Wild Chaga and Raw Cacao – what’s not to like? It’s great to see new formulations being produced that are both tasty and healthy. Why not give it a try?

Chaga is also made into tea if you are not a Cocao fan.

Cordyceps

This unusual mushroom actually looks more like a root and is classified as a super fungus.

How can Cordyceps help you?

  • It slows the ageing process
  • Fights disease
  • Helps support the respiratory system
  • Improves sexual performance
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Aids sporting performance

The special ingredient in Cordyceps is adenosine which is a fundamental ingredient in the ATP production cycle. ATP manages our energy storage and creation, it aids the absorption of oxygen into the cells helping us to exercise longer and breathe easier.

If you need a powerful energy boost TerraNova offer you a combination of Cordyceps, Rhodiola and Ginseng. All three nutrients are associated with increased energy and vitality. Given the approach of the festive season it might be just the boost you need to survive the chaos!

This has just been a taster to give you an idea of how to use these amazing fungi can help you. As we have demonstrated there seems to be a mushroom for many of the health issues we look to address.

There are a number of other mushrooms available so explore and see what suits your needs. We hope you have enjoyed this blog and welcome any comments you have.

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