With the many holistic remedies around today, it is no wonder that medicinal mushrooms would also become popular. Believe it or not, mushrooms are packed with all sorts of nutrients including Vitamin D, iron and much more. With the many varieties of mushrooms, you can make any side or main dish starring this fungi staple. Meaty Portobello mushrooms are great this time of year on the grill and can even serve as a meatless “burger.” Mini crimini mushrooms also work well on shish kabob skewers on the grill as well. Aside from switching up your menu plan for the summer, mushrooms also have medicinal properties that are less known. You should familiarize yourself with some of these health benefits and give yourself all the more reason to add this fungus into your diet.
Vitamin D: One of the essential nutrients found in mushrooms is Vitamin D. The sun exposure of the fungi allows it to be unique in the amount of Vitamin D it contains and that is made ready for the consumer.
Vitamin B: This nutrient is essential for turning food into fuel that the body can use. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are all metabolized much easier with an increased intake of Vitamin B.
Boost Immune System: Studies have shown that white button mushrooms, specifically, may increase immune cell growth and function. This can protect the body against viruses and other harmful external factors.
Antioxidants: Mushrooms also contain antioxidants, which we know are great for anti-aging and fighting off free radicals. Vibrant vegetables are more popular for their antioxidant properties, however studies have shown that crimini and portobello mushrooms, specifically, have been shown to compete with sweet peppers for their antioxidant content.
Bladder Health: The health of your bladder may not necessarily be on your radar now, but as you age or if you have a history of cancer in your family, you may want to think about changes to your diet that may help prevent diseases such as bladder cancer. Mushrooms contain a mineral called selenium, which has been shown to have a preventive effect on this specific cancer, especially among women.
Liver Health: In addition to your bladder, mushrooms may also have a positive effect on the health of your liver. Reishi mushrooms, in particular, contain an element called triterpenes, which help flush the liver of toxins built up over the years. This can be essential for people who have liver conditions and may be in need of a serious detox. Shiitake mushrooms also contain enzymes that are helpful to the liver’s function.
Aside from the more critical health concerns, elements in mushrooms can also have a beneficial impact on other health related lifestyle factors.
Male Libido: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), libido is thought to be linked to the kidneys. Cordyceps extract, found in mushrooms, has been found to stimulate the male libido by way of the kidneys. A similar link has also been found in Western medicine with the Cordyceps being linked to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is related to mood, emotion and sexuality.
Stress Relief: Similarly, the stimulation of the HPA axis is great for mood enhancement and therefore helpful in stress reduction. Daily stressors are a part of life, but chronic stress can be harmful to your mind and body, so incorporating this element may be beneficial to your overall lifestyle. The Cordyceps similarly affect energy levels as well, which may be hindered during periods of stress.
Memory and Concentration: As we age, one of the first telltale signs in personality is memory loss. The extract of Lion’s Mane mushrooms, in particular, has been found to increase cognitive function.
Skin Health: Also with age, the elasticity of our skin decreases. The Tremella mushroom has been shown to stimulate hyaluronic acid in the body, which is helpful for keeping skin and joints firm and moist from within.
If you are not one for the flavor or texture of mushrooms, there are also supplements available by Live Superfoods, so that you may
reap the benefits of what the fungi have to offer. There are supplements available as pills, powders and liquid drops. Some of the popular ones include Reishi mushroom powder, mushroom immune builder extract, liver strength and more. One of the popular brands for this line of mushroom supplements is called “Dragon Herbs.”
Whether you are concerned with a biological health risk or disease, such as liver or bladder health, or are concerned with looking and feeling young, incorporating these natural fungus into your diet may be a great idea worth trying. Throughout the many varieties of mushrooms, there are multiple functions of the nutrients as previously mentioned. Mushrooms are an acquired taste, so don’t forget about the natural supplements available also, if you are not too keen on the idea of consuming fungi.