medicinal mushrooms

The Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms

What are Medicinal Mushrooms?

Most people think mushrooms are a tasty fungus that enhances entrees of varying types.  Some people are even aware that reishi mushrooms are now used in energy drinks and other beverages.  However, few people are aware of the fact that mushrooms have medicinal benefits.  Incorporate mushrooms into your diet and your body will benefit in seemingly countless ways.  As an example, mushrooms contain antioxidants that facilitate the body’s elimination of cancer-causing free radicals.  Mushrooms also have minerals, protein and vitamins that help the body in myriad ways. Let’s take a look at the medicinal mushrooms benefits and the specific mushrooms that provide those benefits.

Suffer From Diabetes or Worried About Diabetes?  Incorporate Mushrooms Into Your Diet

Mushrooms, beans, apples and whole-grain foods contain fiber that is essential to human health.  Dietary fiber makes it that much easier to manage a wide array of health conditions.  In particular, mushrooms help those struggling with type 2 diabetes.   Studies show those who consume a considerable amount of fiber might have a decreased risk of developing the dreaded type 2 diabetes.  Those who already diabetic can still benefit from mushroom consumption as fiber is likely to decrease glucose levels in the blood.  A single cup of raw mushrooms provides a gram of fiber.  According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should consume 22.4 to 33.6 grams of dietary fiber on a daily basis.  If you are uncertain as to what level of dietary fiber is best for you based on your age and sex, consult with your doctor.  In terms of specific mushrooms containing fiber, don’t be picky!  All mushrooms contain fiber so be sure to incorporate them in your breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the week.  However, cordyceps mushrooms are especially helpful in the battle to maintain proper blood sugar levels.  A study detailed in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin determined Cordyceps contain a polysaccharide that lowers blood sugar as ell as plasma glucose levels.  This study also determined the polysaccharide from Cordyceps mushrooms also helped reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

cordyceps mushroom supplements

Pregnant Women can Benefit From Mushrooms

Most pregnant women are aware of the fact that they should take folic acid supplements during pregnancy.  Such folate supplements enhance the baby’s health.  However, few people know mushrooms also contain folate.  Consume a cup of raw mushrooms and you will receive an infusion of more than 16 micrograms of folate.  Existing guidelines insist adults should eat 400 micrograms of folate on a daily basis.  However, health experts insist pregnant women should strictly consume cooked mushrooms as opposed to raw mushrooms during pregnancy.  Portabella mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms provide essential B vitamins that improve the health of the fetus.  Shiitake mushrooms also contain essential vitamin D for proper nutrient balance during pregnancy. 

Medicinal Mushrooms Benefits: Combating Cancer

As noted above, mushrooms contain antioxidants that are essential in combating cancer.  The National Cancer Institute reports the antioxidants in mushrooms have the potential to help prevent the onset of a number of different types of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.  In particular, mushrooms contain choline.  Studies indicate consuming this antioxidant decreases the risk of different types of cancer. 

Furthermore, mushrooms have just enough vitamin D to potentially make a difference in the battle against cancer.  Evidence indicates supplementing with vitamin D might help prevent or even treat different types of cancer.  However, medical professionals are uncertain as to whether vitamin D supplementation works exactly the same for every single person.  However, it must be noted consuming nutrients in the form of supplements does not appear to make the same impact as its consumption in food (mushroom) form.  Though the scientific community has not reached a consensus on this issue, it appears as though the body absorbs nutrients better when consumed in the form of food rather than in pill or liquid form.

Mushrooms Help the Heart

Heart problems are one of the top causes of death across the globe.  Mushrooms’ vitamin C, potassium and fiber are likely to bolster cardiovascular health.  Potassium helps keep blood pressure at the optimal level, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension.  According to the American Heart Association, the consumption of potassium along with the reduced intake of salt enhance heart health.  Current guidelines recommend the consumption of 4,700 milligrams of potassium on a daily basis.  The American Heart Health Association lists mushrooms as one of the foods containing potassium.  In particular, pink oyster mushrooms appear to be especially important for reducing cholesterol levels.  When there is an excess of cholesterol in the blood, it accumulates along the artery walls, spurring the process referred to as atherosclerosis that contributes to heart disease.

Mushrooms Boost Energy

Mushrooms are laden with B vitamins including B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-1 (thiamine), B-9 (folate) and B-2 (riboflavin).  B vitamins are critically important to biological functionality as they help the body obtain energy from food.  B vitamins also help the human body create red blood cells.  Furthermore, it appears as though B vitamins are essential to maintaining a healthy brain. All mushrooms have B vitamins yet portabella mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms have a considerable amount of these essential vitamins.

Mushrooms Combat Inflammation

Nowadays, it seems as though everyone in the medical community is talking about strategies to reduce inflammation.   Mushrooms have the uber-important antioxidant known as ergothioneine that is known to reduce inflammation throughout the entirety of the human body.  In particular, reishi mushrooms are chock full of anti-inflammatory components.  Numerous studies indicate reishi mushrooms decrease inflammation while simultaneously combatting disease, mitigating tumor growth and even reducing allergic responses.

Improved Cognitive Functionality

Lion’s Mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for good reason: these bell-shaped shrooms are loaded with protein and compounds proven to activate an essential peptide protein known as nerve growth factor (NGF) that is essential for the brain’s maintenance, growth and ongoing survival.The compounds in Lion’s Mane mushrooms catalyze neurons within the brain to grow and spur the process of re-myelination that allows for healthy neurons. These key compounds ensure neurons are able to conduct electrical signals in the brain as designed. A small clinical study conducted in Japan provided elderly individuals suffering mild brain impairment with Lion’s Mane across a period of 16 weeks. The consumption of these mushrooms boosted cognitive function performance by a considerable margin. When these study participants halted their consumption of Lion’s Mane, the cognitive advantage dissipated.

medicinal Mushrooms - lion's mane

Enhanced Stamina

Cordyceps mushrooms are proven to dilate the main artery in the heart known as the aorta.  The aorta provides oxygenated blood to the circulatory system, ultimately enhancing endurance.  Furthermore, cordyceps mushrooms have adenosine that catalyzes the body’s production of ATP, one of the primary energy sources in cells.  Whether you are low on energy or have diminished stamina during activity, the consumption of cordyceps mushrooms will help you keep going at work, school, athletics or other endeavors.  Even elderly individuals simply looking for a boost will benefit from the consumption of mushrooms.  Consider the results of a 2010 double-blind study.  Cordyceps and a placebo were provided to elderly individuals three times each day across a period of 12 weeks during this study.  Those who were provided with cordyceps enjoyed a significant improvement in wellness as well as exercise performance. 

Mushrooms Boost Immunity

When it comes to medicinal mushrooms benefits, most people are surprised to learn these fungi enhance immunity.  Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan that bolsters immune system functionality.  These mushrooms also contain beta-glucan, a sugar within fungi cell walls that bolsters the immune system.  Beta-glucan is not strictly found in shiitake mushrooms.  It is also found in button mushrooms.

wild chaga mushrooms raw

We happily provide a line of Mushroom Supplements that heal is the same ways as mentioned in this post. Take a look at our current stock of Medicinal Mushrooms. If you are still unsure of which Mushroom Supplements are right for you and your health concerns, contact us and we will be happy to discuss. 

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