Mushrooms to most people fall into the category of vegetables when in fact they fall into the category of beneficial fungus, sorry vegans. The term mushroom refers to any macrofungus with a distinct fruiting body large enough to be seen (macro, think big enough to hold). There are numerous, varied species of mushrooms. Currently scientists estimate that there are upwards of 140,000, which suggest we only know of 10% of the entire species.
Although they differ in terms of nutrient count, they one’s we can consume hold high levels of B Vitamins, Copper, Selenium, and of course antioxidants.
Below are five beneficial qualities to consuming mushrooms.
Improve Immunity and Lower Inflammation
Notably mushrooms have been proven to help bolster the immune system, combat disease, provide rich vitamin and mineral content, exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-viral abilities, which leads to fighting free radical damage in the body. They have also shown the capabilities to help inhibit viruses and decrease the severity of illness in those who are already sick.
Where mushrooms have received the most attention perhaps of late, is their correlation with cancer prevention. For centuries, Asian cultures have utilized mushrooms as a natural cancer treatment because the fungi’s ability to lower the risk of cancer through many differing mechanisms, including germanium, a nutrient that boosts oxygen use in the body to help fight free radical damage. Interestingly, over 200 mushroom species are used in traditional Chinese medicine practices, 25 percent of which are found to effectively fight tumors.
Protect Heart Health
Mushrooms is one way to lower cholesterol levels naturally. They contain sterol compounds that interfere with the production of cholesterol in the liver, yet at the same time can raise “HDL” cholesterol (good kind). Mushrooms can help lower “LDL” cholesterol (that’s the bad stuff) and help prevent arteries from hardening, both of which are risk factors for disease. They also contain phytonutrients that help cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plaque buildup. This process helps us to maintain healthy blood pressure and improves circulation.
While best obtained from sun exposure, particular kinds of mushrooms provide a decent source of this crucial vitamin. A Vitamin D deficiency is linked from health issues ranging from heart disease to depression. Mushrooms contain both Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 (the kind best utilized to humans).
B Vitamins- Energy and Brain Function
A rich source of B Vitamins which help to support adrenal function and turn our food into usable energy nutrients. They help provide us with strong neurotransmitter function, which makes them stress-busting nutrients that help break through any type of “brain fog” you experience. They have also been linked to help prevent thyroid disorders and support a healthy metabolism. Particularly speaking to stress, reishi mushrooms have been considered adaptogens that lower cortisol, helping you to keep your mood level when confronted with stress.
Buy organic as they live and breathe from the ground and you want to ensure you are getting the highest mineral quality possible and enjoy regularly!