Fungi in your food? Yes! And it’s healthy too!
Superfood mushrooms are increasingly becoming a staple in the health and wellness industry. Their value isn’t exactly news, since they have been a major part of Eastern medicinal practices for millennia. While there are thousands of species of mushrooms, less than 30% of them are safe to consume, and only about 25 are commonly considered food. However, those 25 species have loads of benefits for the human body.
The Health Benefits of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are packed with a variety of nutrients that are good for your overall health and well-being. However, there are a few areas of the body that mushrooms are particularly good at supporting. Let us explain.
The Immune System
Mushrooms support your immune system in a few different ways. For starters, they contain polysaccharides. Polysaccharides, like beta-glucan, stimulate the body’s immune response by activating cells called macrophages and natural killer cells. Macrophages are cells that target bacteria and other microorganisms that get into the body. Meanwhile, natural killer cells are hard at work killing cells that have already become infected by harmful intruders.
Additionally, mushrooms are one of the rare plant sources of vitamin D. During their growth, their vitamin D concentration increases. In fact, studies have shown that taking fresh mushrooms and placing them in the sun for 15-20 minutes can help them generate large amounts of vitamin D before you consume them. This is great because, as you may already know, vitamin D is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy immune response.
The Cardiovascular System
Edible mushrooms can promote your cardiovascular health as well. Studies have shown that eating mushrooms can help reduce plaque buildup in blood vessels, which prevents blood cells from clumping up on the walls of the blood vessels. Additionally, mushrooms have therapeutic properties that can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. As an added bonus, mushrooms are loaded with fiber, have high water content, and have virtually no fat, which makes them great for weight management.
Evidence is increasingly showing that medicinal mushrooms can be beneficial in improving overall brain health and cognitive function. One of the most powerful mushrooms when it comes to supporting your brain is Lion’s Mane. Compounds in this type of mushroom have been shown to activate the Nerve Growth Factor (NFG), which is a vital peptide needed for the growth and maintenance of the brain’s neurons. Stimulating the neurons to grow and triggering re-myelination (the process that keeps neurons healthy) enables them to continue conducting electrical signals.
The Gut Microbiome
Adding medicinal mushrooms to your diet can also have many beneficial effects on your gut microbiome. Certain species of mushrooms offer different benefits, but in general, medicinal mushrooms can promote the growth of bacteria that strengthen the gut lining and promote microbial diversity because they contain compounds like prebiotics and beta-glucan.
Be Picky with Your Mushrooms
As we mentioned before, there are thousands of species of mushrooms, but not all of them are safe for consumption or worth adding to your plate. If you are looking to add mushrooms to your diet, you’ll want to ensure that you are choosing species that are safe to consume and have a high nutritional value.
Here are some of the most popular edible mushrooms that are packed with nutrients.
- Oyster mushrooms. These are a culinary delight and rich in B vitamins as well as proteins, minerals, beta-glucans, and the super-powered antioxidant, ergothioneine.
- Reishi. These mushrooms are some of the most highly researched mushrooms and are considered a complete whole food. They contain proteins, enzymes, minerals, and over 130 triterpenoid compounds.
- Maitake. Also known as “Hen of the Woods” or “dancing mushrooms” if you’re in Japan, these mushrooms have an impressive nutritional profile. They are a great source of things like phospholipids, polysaccharides, antioxidants, and plant sterols.
- Cordyceps. Originally discovered in the mountains of Tibet, China, and Nepal, cordyceps are mushrooms that are highly treasured for their nutritional properties. Like many other medicinal mushrooms, cordyceps are rich in proteins, polysaccharides, and antioxidants. Additionally, these mushrooms are renowned for boosting heart health, exercise performance, and promoting healthy aging.
- Wild Black Trumpet. These mushrooms are known for their dietary fiber, essential minerals, and unsaturated fat. As an added bonus, they can be used in a wide array of recipes.
- Turkey Tail. These antioxidant-packed fungi are known to be great for both your immune system and your gut microbiome. They contain polysaccaropeptides, which are protein-bound carbohydrates that help support the immune system and balance the gut microbiome so good bacteria can thrive.
Add Mushrooms to Your Routine
With all the amazing health benefits that mushrooms have to offer, adding them to your diet is a no-brainer. But sometimes, that can be easier said than done. Yes, you can pick up one or two of the common varieties at your local grocery store and add them to a few of your meals every week. However, if you really want to experience the benefits these mushrooms have to offer, it is important to eat a variety of them as regularly as possible. That’s where superfood supplements like Defend come in.
Defend is a proprietary blend of 6 of the most commonly researched medicinal mushrooms, including oyster mushrooms, reishi, turkey tail, and more. These six mushrooms are combined with beta-glucan and the nutritionally rich superfood known as organic Wild Microalgae® to nourish your whole body and boost your overall well-being.
At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly, nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of blue-green algae that is available in many forms including algae tablets, algae pills, and algae powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.