Mushrooms are more than just stir-fry fodder! Research supports mushrooms for supplementing health. They contain compounds called polysaccharides which have been long-studied for improving immunity. Beta-glucans in mushrooms have been proposed to act as “biological response modifiers.” Translation: they may help make the immune system work better.
We mostly know mushrooms as the above-ground fruiting bodies but their below-ground root-like wisps (called mycelium) may even be more beneficial, according to some mushroom-supplement makers.
“The root-like mycelium has a greater range of supportive compounds as compared to a fruit body,” says Gina Rivers-Contla, national science educator at Host Defense Mushrooms. “The PubMed database houses over 10,000 studies that have been conducted over 60 years into the amazing and novel potential of mushroom mycelium.”
The compelling research around mushrooms and cancer has spurred interest in them for everyday immune health. Mushrooms are even expanding into sports and performance, as well as general constitution-building nutrition. The mushroom mycelium is usually the component used in supplements.
Five of our favorite mushrooms for supplementing health:
Cordyceps supports respiration, oxygen delivery, and ATP synthesis for energy creation. This mushroom became famous in 1993 when Chinese runners won world championships and attributed their performance, in part, to cordyceps.
2. Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane is considered the “brain mushroom.” Studies show it stimulates the creation of nerve growth factor, which keeps neurons ticking away and may inhibit Alzheimer’s disease.
Reishi is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the “mushroom of immortality.” Besides being a masterful tonic, reishi has been found to improve immune function among patients with late-stage cancer.
4. Turkey Tail
Turkey tail is another immune-enhancer thanks to the presence of beta-glucans. The National Institutes of Health and the FDA have been funding clinical trials of turkey tail to help with conventional cancer treatments.
Maitake contains beta-glucans for immune health. In fact, it might be the king of immunity—and not just in the mushroom set. It has been examined in breast cancer lab studies and seems to kill cancer cells by inducing apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
Article and photo source: Delicious Living