Are Medicinal Mushrooms Good for You? Here’s a Handy Guide
Mushrooms have been used in eastern cultures for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. All thanks to their remarkable health benefits. That is why they are often referred to as superfoods. In recent times, with the rise of the health and wellness industry, we are witnessing an unprecedented increase in the demand for these excellent superfoods.
Let’s explore more about different types of medicinal mushrooms and their health benefits.
Popular Medicinal Mushrooms You Must Add To Your Diet
- Lion’s Mane mushrooms
Lion’s Mane mushrooms, also known as Hericium Erinaceus, contain an excess amount of compounds: beta-glucans, which provide a wide range of benefits, especially immune system modulation. Several studies have shown that compounds present in mushrooms such as hericenones and erinacines help stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF).
Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, contain an adequate amount of beta-glucans, which support the immune system. It contains a component known as triterpenes, which makes its flavor bitter. Not just that, it also helps in improving sleep quality and reducing stress and anxiety.
Cordyceps, also known as Cordyceps militaris, effectively helps in boosting the immune systems by increasing the levels of NK (natural killer) cells. They are rich in components called adenosine and cordycepin, which help in boosting energy levels.
Chaga, also known as Inonotus obliquus, usually grows in the colder regions of the Northern Hemisphere on birch trees. Chaga contains an excess of antioxidants and provides a series of health benefits such as supporting the immune system, liver health, protecting skin, and improving longevity.
- Turkey Tail
Turkey Tail mushroom, also known as Trametes Versicolor, is one of the most popular and studied medicinal mushrooms. It usually grows on dead woods and receives its name because of its striking similarity with the turkey’s tails. Turkey’s tail is densely packed with beta-glucans, which help support the immune system.
Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most famous medicinal mushrooms known for their meaty, earth flavor. Shiitake mushrooms were extensively used in the Ming dynasty in China. They are rich in B-vitamins and help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.
Maitake, also known as Grifola frondosa, is commonly found in the deciduous forests of North America and Japan. Known for its earthy flavor, this mushroom is commonly used in Traditional Chinese medicine to boost immunity.
Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms
- Mushrooms Fight Against Cancer Cells
Research from the American National Cancer Institute has proved that Medicinal mushrooms effectively protect from the various types of cancers. Their vitamin D and antioxidant properties help regulate the growth of cancer cells. Not just that, it also helps in reducing the chances of Alzheimer’s.
- Mushrooms Reduce The Risks Of Heart Disease
Mushrooms are rich in fiber, potassium, and enzymes, which help mitigate the risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association suggests the regular consumption of potassium-rich diets to maintain good heart health.
- Mushrooms Are Great For Diabetes
Do you know about mushrooms’ health benefits for diabetes? Mushrooms are ideal for diabetic patients. They are rich in beta-glucan, which effectively regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risks of type 2 diabetes.
- Mushrooms Boost Your Immune System
Medicinal mushrooms contain an adequate amount of selenium, alpha- and beta-glucan, which boost the immune system. Thus, it helps our body to fight against viruses.
- Mushrooms Make Bones More Stronger
Mushrooms are densely packed with calcium and vitamin D, which provide your body adequate supply of these nutrients. Thus, it helps in building strong bones.
- Mushrooms Help in Weight Loss
Do you know the health benefits of mushrooms for digestive health? Mushrooms are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. This way, it helps improve digestion and regulate metabolism. Since they are free from fat or carbohydrates, you can add them to your regular diet.
The Bottom Line
Medicinal mushroom species are different from the culinary mushrooms we use for topping and as an ingredient. Medicinal mushrooms come with a wide range of incredible health benefits and are commonly used in a powdered form. So, if you also want to explore the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for digestive health or several other health conditions, give them a try now!