In a world where we now wear masks to leave our house, worry about the spread of virus’ and want to be as healthy as possible, why not get help to boost our immune system from simply eating food. Mushrooms have long been known to have medicinal purposes. Known for their high antioxidant content, this means they help protect your cells from free radicals, which play a major role in many diseases. They score their antioxidant content on the ORAC scale (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Some mushrooms score a whopping 146,700, while blueberries only come in at 9,621. Do you think mushrooms may be the new side to that bowl of oatmeal? Just kidding! Here you will learn about a few of the different types of mushrooms and benefits specific to them.
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) – Grows on the bark of birch trees in cold climates such as Canada, Northern Europe and Russia.
Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) – Grows on insects in tropical forests in China and Nepal.
Maitake (Grifola fondosa) – Grows on the bottoms of trees in China, Japan and North America.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) – Grows in hot/humid areas of Asia
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) – Grows on decaying hardwood trees primarily in Japan. Probably one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide.
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) – Grows on decaying wood worldwide.
Antrodia Camphorata (Antodia cinnamonea) – Grows on the cinnamomum kanehirai tree in the mountains of Taiwan or can be grown by liquid fermentation (mycelium).
- Anti-cancer (√)
- Cardiovascular effects on blood pressure and atherosclerosis (√)
- Hepatoprotective (protects the liver) (√)
So, if you haven’t noticed a theme here, I’ll lay it out for you. Mushrooms are great for helping boost your immune system, fight cancer, and protect your organs. So, with all these benefits why not try to incorporate them into your diet. Some of these mushrooms may not be widely available in most grocery stores or maybe you don’t like the taste or texture of mushrooms (that would be me!!!), there are other options available. I like the supplement from Dr Mercola, Fermented Mushroom Complex. This powder includes a variety of mushrooms and it’s all organic. It’s an easy way for me to get all the benefits without having to choke them down. However, I know there are people that absolutely love them. So, throw them in a stir-fry, in veggie enchiladas or into a soup. That dinner could play a part in staying healthy.
For those of you nerdy types (me included), I have attached links next to each benefit above to journal articles discussing these benefits through research. The power of knowledge is a beautiful thing. And if you are looking for more ways to boost your immune system check out this article, 7 Tips to Boost the Immune System.