There are many reasons why mushrooms are considered to be 'magic'. Adding mushrooms to your daily diet can have many benefits including increased immunity, brain and cognitive function and physical endurance. Most edible mushrooms contain compounds that have therapeutic effects–making mushrooms a ‘functional food’. High in polyphenols and packed with vitamin D, mushrooms are also good sources of selenium, copper, and pantothenic acid.
Another interesting property of mushrooms lies in their ability to regulate the immune system. This is because they contain beta-glucans, which are powerful immunomodulators which help to activate and enhance all the functions of the immune system.
Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, which can help to support bodily health by removing the free radicals that can cause cell damage and inflammation, and thereby helping to fight ageing and boost health and longevity. This is because antioxidants neutralise the free radicals that the body creates when it uses food to produce energy.
Further to these properties, some mushrooms have additional attributes and benefits, as discussed below.
Originally from the Piedale rainforest in Brazil, Agaricus blazei is a popular supplement in Brazil and Japan. In addition to working as an antioxidant and strengthening the immune system, Agaricus blazei may help to support:
- Normal insulin sensitivity, which can help with regulating blood sugar levels so that they are not too high.
- The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, as shown in this study.
- Good cellular health, thereby reducing the risk of abnormal cell growth.
The Chaga mushroom grows mainly on birch trees in northern Europe, Asia, Canada, and the northeastern United States. It contains 31 times more antioxidants than blueberries, and animal and cell studies have shown that it may have anticancer properties and the potential to reduce DNA damage.
Cordyceps mushrooms are among a category of medicinal plants called adaptogens, which may help to support the body to cope with physical and emotional stress. One way Cordecyps could do this is by improving the way the body uses oxygen during exercise.
In this clinical trial, researchers tested the effect of Cordecyps on exercise capacity in 30 healthy older adults. The participants were given either 3 grams per day of a synthetic strain of Cordyceps called CS-4 or a placebo pill for six weeks.
By the end of the study, the VO2 max in participants who had taken CS-4 had increased by 7%, while those that were given the placebo pill showed no change.
These white shaggy mushrooms have long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, and clinical trials point to its ability to help support cognitive and nerve health, mental wellbeing, and a healthy cardiovascular system.
This study of elderly people with mild cognitive decline, carried out in Japan, found that participants that took the Lion’s Mane showed improved cognitive function at weeks 8, 12 and 16 of the trial, compared to the participants that took the placebo.
Lion’s Mane may also be able to stimulate nerve growth factor—not only ensuring the maintenance of healthy nerves but also regenerate nerves as well.
An extract from Lion’s Mane may help to reduce depression and anxiety. In another study done in Japan, women with a variety of health complaints, ate biscuits that contained Lion’s Mane extract, or a placebo, for 4 weeks. The women who ate the extract described lower levels of depression, irritation and anxiety than those in the placebo group.
Research also shows that lion’s mane lessens the risk of heart disease by reducing the oxidation of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Oxidized cholesterol can attach to the walls of arteries, making them harden—increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Plus, lion’s mane mushrooms contain a compound called hericenone B, which can lessen the amount of clots in the blood and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The reishi mushroom grows in various hot and humid parts of Asia. It contains the active substances triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans, which may be responsible for its medicinal effects.
Reishi has been found to reduce fatigue in breast cancer patients and in patients with a medical condition called neurasthenia, which is characterised primarily by fatigue, so this is a sizeable benefit.
In potential colon cancer patients, the Reishi mushroom seems to reduce the number and size of benign tumors that could point to the formation of less harmful ones) in the colon.
Tremella has been used in Asia as a restorative and anti-ageing tonic for thousands of years. The polysaccharides in tremella give it superb moisture retaining abilities, hydrating the skin and transporting water to our deep tissue and vital organs. It also contains the highest level of vitamin D in any known food source. Referred to as a 'natural hyaluronic acid', Tremella does wonders for hydrating skin, as used in popular market leading ingestible beauty products by Qt Internal Cosmetics.
The turkey tail mushroom grows on dead logs in woodland areas and gets its name from the brown and tan rings that look like the tail feathers of a turkey. It is known to help with fighting inflammation, and improving recovery from cancer treatments. These benefits are mostly related to its ability to support the immune system.
It’s thought that the boost to the immunity primarily comes from the high concentrations of protein-bound polysaccharides, PSK and PSP. These compounds work by both activating and suppressing specific types of immune cells and inhibiting inflammation at the same time. This is especially useful to cancer patients as it gives their body a better chance to deal with viruses and bacteria.
Isn’t it amazing what mushrooms can do? A quick and easy way to reap all of the health benefits that mushrooms have to offer is by incorporating them into your supplement plan—or using them as a substitute for coffee. Your body will thank you for it.
Want the collective benefits of all of these mushrooms? Super-shroom is a 7 premium mushrooms complex that helps support the immune system, brain and cognitive function, as well as physical endurance of the body. Containing Lion's Mane, Reishi, Tremella, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Agaricus Blazei Mushrooms.