For many of us, we brush aside mushrooms that go with many dishes as if they’re not there. Some of us eat them absentmindedly, not knowing what they do to our bodies. You don’t know it, but these mushrooms, such as <a title="reishi mushroom>Reishi Mushroom, are super healthy and offer a ton of benefits.
Since ancient times, they’ve been used for their medicinal help. These nutritious fungi were mainly used to promote longevity and overall general health.
There are plenty of different types of mushrooms such as Cordyceps. Each type offers positives and negatives, so you should always do your research first before eating mushrooms or trying out certain mushroom extracts.
1. Boosts the Immune System
Many medicinal mushrooms have antibacterial and antiviral properties. These very effective in combating the common cold, flu, and cough. Medicinal mushrooms have immune-enhancing responses as well. This is because they have a high amount of polysaccharides and complex sugars. These are essential food for the immune system. They increase RNA and DNA in the bone marrow where the immune cells are born. Also, they regulate antibody production in the body. Lastly, certain mushrooms have a high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants fight off harmful free radicals. These free radicals bring bacteria, infection, and diseases to your body.
2. Provides Better Skin
The selenium content in medicinal mushrooms reduces the severity of acne. It also helps with the scarring that occurs with it. Mushrooms also reduces the buildup of DHT, which improves skin healing. This leaves you with smoother, healthier, younger-looking skin. The kombucha type of mushroom specifically works wonders on skin. It improves skin tone, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and improves acne, eczema, and rosacea.
3. Improves Energy Levels
If you’re usually struggling to keep your energy levels up, eating mushrooms will definitely help you. Plenty of mushrooms can help you with this problem. Their high B vitamin content makes sure to convert food nutrients into energy you can use. Popular favorites are maitake, shiitake, morel, portobello, and white button mushrooms.
Cordycep mushrooms are specifically beneficial for athletes. They enable you to jump higher and run faster. They increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood and also increase the production of energy in the muscles. They are known to relax bronchial passages, enhance respiration, and increase blood flow. All these benefit the muscles that are pushed to their limit and add to their endurance. This means athletes get to train longer and more effectively. They are also a great help during post-workout recovery.
4. Promotes Brain Health
Medicinal mushrooms are known to help with improving your memory, improving cognitive functionality, and giving you sharper and clearer focus. They also induce the production of nerve growth factors. This is vital in the development and maintenance of sensory neurons. This also increases the lifespan of brain cells and their ability to function at a higher level.
They also have compounds that boost brain nerves and increase gray matter. They are great in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other brain-related illnesses.
5. Relieves Asthma and Allergies
Asthma is due to a high number of inflammatory cells in the body. Mushrooms treat asthma by correcting the imbalance in the immune system and reducing the number of inflammatory cells.
These helpful fungi also exhibit anti-allergic activities. They significantly reduce the production of allergy-causing antibodies. They also increase the production of cells that eliminate pathogens. And lastly, mushrooms inhibit histamine release.
The Reishi mushroom in particular is noted to be very beneficial for individuals with asthma and respiratory issues.
6. Relieves Stress
The reishi mushroom takes center stage here. Taoists claim that these nutritious fungi “promote calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness, and inner strength.” They eat it daily in meditative practices and to protect the body, mind, and spirit.
7. Helps in Fertility
Specific types of mushrooms show to be very effective on fertility health. First up is the shiitake mushroom. It’s known to improve a body’s circulation, which is important for a healthy reproductive system. These mushrooms also enhance sexual function and support the immunity system.
Cordyceps are noted to improve poor egg and sperm health associated with ageing and nutritional deficiencies, immune-related recurrent miscarriage, polycystic ovary syndrome, and antisperm bodies. Basically, they enhance the sexual function of both men and women.
Maitake mushrooms help in regulating ovulation in women and are beneficial to patients with uterine fibroids, immune-related infertility issues, or irregular menstrual cycles.
8. Promotes Heart Health
Medicinal mushrooms naturally lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and also keep arteries from hardening. These two are risk factors for heart disease. At the same time, they also improve HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Their phytonutrient content keeps cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plaque buildup. This leads to a healthy blood pressure level and better circulation.
9. Promotes Weight Loss
Mushrooms are a low in calories, but are super full of nutrients. This makes the fungi great for people who want to lose weight, or people who want to maintain the weight they’re in. Studies show that eating mushrooms regularly lead to a healthy body weight, reduced waist circumference, and better overall health.
Shiitake mushrooms in particular fight against overweight and obesity. They increase satiety, reduce your food intake, and reduce plasma lipid, or fat, levels.
10. Helps with Diabetes
Mushrooms have less carbohydrates and sugar. They also regulate blood sugar levels in diabetes patients. They lower triglycerides and prevent the progression of diabetic kidney complications. And finally, they also have positive effects to the sensitivity of insulin receptors.
11. Combats Cancer
Introducing certain medicinal mushrooms in your daily diet has a significant positive effect in fighting cancer. Studies show that they slow down the growth of cancer cells. They also inhibit tumor formation, protect DNA from damage, and stop cell mutation. They are also beneficial to cancer patients by relieving some side effects of cancer, such as nausea and hair loss.
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Author Bio: Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle. You may also enjoy reading:
Sources: Healthy Eating SFGate - Mushroom Benefits Dr. Mercola - Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms Best Health Mag - 5 Health Benefits of Mushrooms Organic Facts - Health Benefits of Mushrooms Dr. Axe - Mushroom Nutritional Benefits http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nalini-chilkov/cancer-foods_b_1192207.html