Medicinal mushrooms have been on the health scene for quite a few years now, but they're just now reaching peak trendiness.
An ancient remedy that's great for immune health and stress response, these adaptogenic shrooms are packed with antioxidants that help protect our bodies from various viruses, toxins, and more. Each species comes with its own specific immune benefits based on its unique blend of polysaccharides. Here's how to find the perfect shroom for your needs.
If you want to look and feel younger: Chaga
This shroom is packing a range of potent antioxidants, and it's a great option if you're looking for anti-aging benefits. It contains an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which is able to neutralize damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting the body against disease. It also has compounds in it that lower disease-causing inflammation in the body.
If you're always stressed out: Reishi
Traditionally regarded as the “Medicine of Kings” and the “Mushroom of Immortality," studies show that reishi can be helpful for those with insomnia. Due to its adaptogenic herbs, it can also prepare your body to adapt and handle anxiety and stress, plus it's considered to be muscle-relaxing and calming.
If you're looking for a brain boost: Lion's Mane
Lion’s Mane is the only mushroom that has two potent nerve-growth factors that help keep your brain healthy and flourishing. It can help to regrow damaged nerves, and may even help treat or stall the progression of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In Asia, it is referred to as the mushroom that gives you “nerves of steel and the memory of a lion." This shroom is perfect if you feel like you have brain fog, memory loss, or are just in need of some extra brain love after a long day.
If your 3 p.m. slump is out of control: Cordyceps
Cordyceps are great for those of us with particularly busy, active lifestyles. They've have been shown to improve endurance and support workout recovery by increasing oxygen in the blood and promoting ATP synthesis. It is also full of antioxidants, which help offset the free radicals from working out. An extra bonus? Some studies show that cordyceps can help increase libido.
If your blood-sugar levels are all over the place: Maitake
Because of its ability to curb glucose levels, Maitake is great for reducing insulin resistance, preventing Type 2 Diabetes, and supporting healthy weight (when combined with a nourishing and active lifestyle, of course). Additionally, it is commonly used in Japan to lower blood pressure and blood lipids, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
Now that you have the scoop on the health benefits of some of the most popular medicinal mushroom varietals out there, choose the one that is right for your lifestyle and stock up. Be sure to look for a brand that is organic or wild-crafted, like Om Mushrooms, Root and Bones, and Four Sigmatic. You can add them to everything: smoothies, elixirs, oats, bliss balls, pancakes, savory dishes, and more for some elevated health.
And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.