For one reason or another, the thought of medicinal mushrooms seems to scare people off. However, they’re certainly worth considering. Medicinal mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine, and China specifically, for a very long time.
Lately, medicinal mushrooms have been exploding in popularity. Meant to be ingested as powders (medicinal mushrooms are never meant to be eaten whole or raw), you can find these fungi in a variety of forms, including in ultra-hip Los Angeles lattes.
If you’re trying to take mushrooms for immunity, you can simply add a spoonful to whatever you’re planning on eating – whether it’s a cup of coffee, a bowl of yogurt, or your morning smoothie.
Mushrooms provide a plethora of health benefits and are useful in a ton of creative recipes. These benefits include improving heart health, bone strength, and providing cancer-fighting antioxidants. However, each mushroom is different and each provides its own unique health advantages.
Interested in learning more? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through the best mushrooms for immunity.
You can compare reishi mushrooms to nature’s Xanax. This much-loved mushroom is one of the most popular medicinal fungi around, and for good reason.
Reishi can pretty much do it all. It can keep your immune system in check, help you lose weight, and even fight dangerous cancer cells.
However, what truly makes this mushroom so loved is its calming characteristics. These are thanks to the compound triterpene. And there’s plenty of triterpene in reishi.
Triterpene is made up of mood-boosting compounds that can help promote better sleep, treat depression, and alleviate anxiety. But the positive effects of triterpene don’t stop there. Reishi can also sharpen your focus and promote healing, too.
Feel free to make a cup of healing, hot tea with a spoonful of reishi powder. You can also add it to your favorite chocolate desserts.
2. Lion’s Mane
Does your mind feel cloudy? If so, then you should have some lion’s mane in order to naturally boost your mental clarity.
Lion’s mane is a feathery “pom-pom” fungus that’s full of antioxidants and is able to boost your immune system. However, something that makes lion’s mane very unique is the fact that it’s able to produce the bioprotein nerve growth factor (NFG). NFG helps to regulate the proliferation, growth, survival, and maintenance of certain target neurons in the brain.
Lion’s mane also produces myelin which acts as insulation around your nerve fibers. Myelin and NFG are both critical when it comes to brain health. An imbalance in them can lead to brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.
This means that lion’s mane is some serious brain food. This incredible mushroom has also, unsurprisingly, been shown to improve cognition and memory, alleviate irritability and anxiety, and increase concentration.
Consider adding a spoonful of lion’s mane to a cup of yerba mate in order to get a good dose of mental clarity and energy.
Chaga mushrooms are chock-full of antioxidants. This makes them a great choice for people who are looking to fight inflammation and free radicals.
This dark black mushrooms can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. It can also slow or prevent the growth of cancer and can combat oxidative stress (which is linked to skin aging).
The best way to try this mushroom is to add some chaga powder to warm, frothy chai latte. You can also add some powder to your morning smoothie.
Shiitake is one of the more common mushrooms on this list. But that doesn’t make it any less powerful when it comes to boosting your immunity. The benefits of shiitake go way beyond making your food taste better.
Shiitake mushrooms are especially good for the heart. These mushrooms can lower LDL and they also have compounds that stop the production and absorption of cholesterol in the liver.
Shiitake mushrooms also have phytonutrients that can help stop plaque from building up. They can also maintain healthy circulation and blood pressure.
Add a tablespoon of shiitake mushroom powder to your favorite savory dishes to get some tasty umami flavor.
5. Turkey Tail
Most of the other medicinal mushrooms on our list have anti-cancer properties thanks to their high amounts of antioxidants. However, the turkey tail mushroom takes it a step further.
That’s because turkey tail contains a compound called polysaccharide-K (PSK). PSK stimulates the immune system. In fact, it’s so effective that, in Japan, it’s an approved anticancer prescription drug.
Turkey tail can improve the survival rate of people with certain cancers. It can also improve the immune system of people receiving chemotherapy and fight leukemia cells. However, you should never replace your prescription medicine with turkey tail.
What’s the best way to take turkey tail? Add a tablespoon of the powder to a smoothie. You can even try and make yourself some turkey tail ale!
Are you feeling like you need a pre-workout pick-me-up? Then you should definitely try some Cordyceps. This mushroom can stimulate both your energy as well as your libido.
Cordyceps is able to utilize oxygen more efficiently in the body and it can also enhance your blood flow. Athletes can especially benefit from Cordyceps.
So go ahead and add a tablespoon of Cordyceps to your favorite pre-workout meal for a boost of energy.
The Importance of Knowing About the Different Mushrooms for Immunity
As we can see, there are a variety of mushrooms for immunity out there. So don’t be afraid and try all of them to see which ones you like the most.
Are you looking to learn more about everything mushroom? If so, contact us today and see how we can help you!