Maybe the thought of mushrooms turns you off. Or you're curious about integrating functional fungi into your everyday diet. You'll realize that being addressed as "foods for the gods" or "the elixir of life," mushrooms possess various health-boosting advantages.
Mushrooms with functional properties are the best source of natural compounds best for living a healthy life. They're rich in selenium, phosphorus, and potassium while containing traces of vitamins B1, B12, C, D, and E, folate, niacin, fiber, and proteins. Additionally, they have zero fat, no cholesterol, and are low in calories.
Functional mushrooms are full of antioxidants and phenolic and bioactive compounds that protect you from cancer, high blood pressure, inflammatory diseases, infections, heart diseases, and allergies. Moreover, edible mushrooms have a higher protein content compared to other vegetables. They also provide other essential amino acids necessary in your diet.
This article looks into the various medicinal mushrooms and their benefits.
Different Types Of Functional Mushrooms And Their Benefits
What are the top functional mushrooms?
- Maitake mushroom (Grifola Frondose): Also known as the 'dancing mushroom,' it's famous for aiding weight loss, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, and boosting immunity.
- Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps Sinensis): It's also known as the 'caterpillar mushroom' and increases energy production in cells. Additionally, it may boost your lung health and protect you from allergies.
- Shiitake mushroom (Lentinula Edodes): 'The fragrant mushroom' has a delicious flavor, and it helps reduce inflammation while also boosting liver function. In addition, it helps boost your immunity and heart health.
- Turkey tail mushroom (Coriolus Versicolor or Trametes Versicolor): Also referred to as 'the mushroom of several colors,' it's said to fight cancer cells, boost immunity, and promote gut health.
- Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma Lucidum): It's called 'the mushroom of immortality and relieves stress, fights fatigue, promotes restful sleep, and boosts immunity.
- Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus): Also called 'the mushroom of the mind,' this mushroom promotes nerve function and brain health. Accordingly, it possesses critical bioactive compounds such as beta-glucans known for protection against tumors. Additionally, these edible mushrooms are immune-boosting and protect the brain. The mushrooms also play a crucial role in protecting the body against diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
- Chaga mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus): Known as 'the king of medicinal mushrooms,' this mushroom offers you several antioxidants. In addition, it may increase your life span by improving liver health, boosting brain power, and boosting your immunity.
- Agaricus mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus): Provides excellent vitamin D levels and supports heart health.
- Tremella (Tremella Fuciformis): Has potent anti-aging properties and promotes youthful and healthy skin.
Why Take Functional Mushrooms?
Functional mushroom benefits include lowering cholesterol, enhancing the immune system, and having antibacterial properties. Furthermore, they're crucial sources of bioactive properties. As a result, mushroom extracts play a vital role in promoting human health.
So, why is it necessary to consider taking mushroom supplements?
Functional mushrooms are macroscopic fungi used in the form of powder or other extracts for the healing, alleviation, and prevention of multiple health conditions. Moreover, these edible mushrooms are the most common natural prescription for cancer control, with data from clinical trials suggesting that they may benefit cancer treatment.
The benefits of functional mushrooms include:
- Libido enhancing and aphrodisiac
- Hormone balancing
- Liver and kidney protection
- Balancing blood sugar
- Reduce triglycerides
Please keep in mind that these benefit claims are still in the early research stages and more conclusive research is currently being done. To view each mushroom species and their associated benefits, visit our collection page.
Benefits Of Mushroom Capsules
The benefits of mushroom extracts such as mushroom capsules and blends are that you are able to take a consistent dosage of a mushroom species in a safe and effective way. These mushroom capsules contain natural chemicals that may greatly help improve your health. Some of the benefits include better cognition, concentration, and immune-boosting properties. Other benefits include enhanced muscle recovery, heart health, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory benefits depending on the type of species you ingest.
Benefits Of Mushroom Powders
Like mushroom capsules, you ensure that you are ingesting the mushroom species safely and effectively through a mushroom powder. Some of the benefits of mushroom powder include:
- Defending the body against oxidative stress and free radicals
- It may have anti-cancer properties
- Support health nerve cells and brain
- Improve energy levels
- Boost mental health and cognitive function
- Balance the immune system
Additional Questions Around Functional Mushrooms
How Effective Are Functional Mushrooms?
There is a lot of back-and-forth debate on the effectiveness of functional mushrooms as a whole. However, the research is growing every day and showing to be promising in many aspects of health and wellness. There has been early research that alludes to medicinal mushrooms having the ability to prevent and help treat cancer. Additionally, there has been much research that points to functional mushrooms benefiting a healthier immune system and providing better brain functioning.
Do Mushrooms Have Healing Powers?
With their long history as a food source, edible mushrooms offer crucial properties in traditional medicine and are essential for their healing capabilities. Mushrooms have beneficial effects on health and treatment of certain health conditions.
How Long Does It Take For Functional Mushrooms To Work?
It takes at least two weeks to notice the positive effects of functional mushrooms. Also, it's recommended that you take one week off after every four to six months of using the supplements.
Which Mushroom Has The Most Health Benefits?
Reishi mushrooms have the most health benefits compared to other functional mushrooms. Also referred to as the 'mushroom of immortality,' these mushrooms contain Ganoderic acids, Beta-glucans, and other essential nutrients that may help protect your immune system.
Which Mushroom Is Best For Inflammation?
Chaga mushrooms are high in antioxidants and are known to fight inflammation. These antioxidants help decrease inflammation in the gut, a leading cause of irritable bowel syndrome.
Can Mushrooms Heal Lungs?
Reishi mushrooms help improve the utilization of oxygen, which benefits those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also, these mushrooms help treat other conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.
Which Mushroom Is Best For The Immune System?
The top eight mushrooms for immune support include:
- Turkey tail
- Lion's mane
As you can see, antioxidants are highly crucial to the body. Therefore, adding the prescribed amount of mushroom powder to your preferred recipes is an excellent way to get the most out of their magical health gains. It's also advisable to keep the dosage at the prescribed amount – at most 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.
Even when there's no significant boost to your health, you shouldn't increase your dosage, especially now that we're still waiting for more clinical trials to ascertain their benefits. Accordingly, always consult your doctor to confirm that consuming the mushrooms is safe.
Finally, with all the fantastic benefits of functional mushrooms to choose from, which one of them are you excited to begin with?