For thousands of years medicinal mushrooms have been enjoyed by almost every ancient civilization around the world for their healing properties. The Ancient Egyptians even called them the “plant of immortality”.
Most of us don’t realise just how powerful edible mushrooms can be for healing people. Many of the traditional uses are now being shown in modern, clinical trials.
Researchers are just starting to catch up to this traditional wisdom and prove the health benefits that have been known for millennia.
Mushrooms are one of the most health-promoting foods on the planet.
An estimated 50% of edible mushrooms are considered functional foods, meaning that they have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.
Mushrooms are one of the very few vegetarian foods that contain viable B12.
Countless scientific studies have revealed a variety of ways mushrooms can be useful in preventing and treating serious health conditions and in improving overall health.
Antioxidants may help us live a longer, healthier life. A diet rich in antioxidants protects cells from free radicals, helping the body cope with the normal oxidative stress that damages healthy cells. Even the common mushroom (white button/portobello) reduces oxidative damage by restoring glutathione and antioxidant enzyme levels.
Some mushrooms are delicious additions to the diet, but others are strictly medicinal – available in dried, liquid extract or in capsule form.
While almost any edible mushroom will provide a boost in nutrients, the following six mushrooms are proven to have the most antioxidants and may help us to live longer:
Some of the current research has found that mushrooms can be used for:
- Increased sports performance
- Improved cognition and focus
- Protection of the brain
With somewhere between 14,000-22,000 species of mushrooms and the interest in medicinal mushrooms growing, you can expect more and more research published on the incredible health perks of this amazing superfood.
Mushrooms pack a nutritional power punch as they are loaded with vitamins, promote a healthy immune system, and boost exercise performance.
Our immune system needs to be in a delicate balance, like a seesaw. Too much stimulation and our immune system can trigger chronic pain and inflammation. Too little and it can’t fight off invading viruses.
Every second of every day, our immune systems are working overtime to fight off foreign invaders like pathogens, virus’ and bacteria.
Medicinal mushrooms, like Reishi, Chaga and Turkey Tail have been clinically proven to maintain that perfect immune balance with high levels of antioxidants to neutralise free radicals. They boost both the levels and activity of many vital components of our immune system — and may even “prime” immune cells so that they become more effective in responding to future infections and attacks.
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The potent compounds in Lion’s Mane, activates the production of bioprotein nerve growth factor (NFG) and myelin (an insulation around nerve fibres). NGF is necessary for the growth, maintenance, and survival of the neurons in our brain.
Both NFG and myelin are crucial to brain health. An imbalance in them can contribute to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
These Lion’s Mane compounds stimulate our neurons to re-grow and trigger a process known as re-myelination, which helps to keep our neurons healthy and maintains their ability to conduct electrical signals efficiently.
Improving Exercise Performance
Mushrooms can help us live better — and stronger.
We use a molecule called ATP to help power our bodies with the energy, strength, and stamina it needs to perform at its peak.
It’s thought that adding cordyceps to the diet improves athletic performance by dilating the aorta, the main artery in our body that supplies oxygenated blood to the entire circulatory system. This helps with blood flow and greatly enhances endurance.
What’s more, Cordyceps contains adenosine and can stimulate the production of ATP — one of the main sources of energy in the human body’s cells.