The world pandemic caused by Coronavirus has highlighted how important it is to maintain a strong immune system.
The body needs to be ready to fight, making immunity to disease something we should all pay attention to by doing what we can to improve it.
The fact that we have been in seclusion, and using anti-bacterial products regularly, could also have negative long-term effects on immunity. Added to that are hidden dangers like stress, either from fear of illness, economic instability, isolation and loneliness, and more, which has unseen negative impacts on our immune systems.
That’s why adding immune-boosters to our diets can help. And mushrooms are the perfect way to start, with their many health properties, including immunity enhancing properties. Plus many of them add flavor and texture to a recipe.
Let’s take a look at medicinal mushrooms, including what they are and how they can help build immunity.
The Case For Medicinal Mushrooms
All mushrooms have healthy properties, such as being low in fat and cholesterol, while being high in fiber and protein. Add to that their flavor and texture, and they’re a great addition to your diet.
But there are mushrooms that are considered “medicinal,” in that they display other health benefits in clinical studies.
While all non-poisonous mushrooms are worth consuming, here are 6 medicinal mushrooms for you to consider adding to your diet to boost your immune system:
1. Shiitake Mushrooms: These are easy to find, making them easy to add to your diet. And for good reason, since they may boost immunity. In one study, a test group ate shiitake mushrooms for 4 weeks, with the conclusion that immunity was improved, including gut immunity.
2. Golden Oyster Mushrooms: Besides being shown to be anti-inflammatory and antitumor, goldens also have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants may protect cells against free radicals, which are produced in various ways, and can play a role in cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. Golden oyster mushrooms also antibacterial. Studies show that they consume bacteria, which they do to extract nitrogen and protein, and they may inhibit both E-coli and staph bacteria. Those two properties are definite boosts to the immune system, so adding golden oyster mushrooms to your diet is a good idea.
3. Chanterelle Mushrooms: Another mushroom high in anti-oxidants is the chanterelle. Studies have shown that the chanterelle species has what’s called “good radical scavenging activity.” That means it has both antioxidant and anti-bactericidal effects.
4. Lion’s Mane Mushroom: While known more for its brain-boosting benefits, Lion’s Mane has also been shown to shrink the size of colon tumors and fight off leukemia cells. That could mean that it also serves to ward off disease, although benefits have not been widely researched. In addition, Lion’s Mane may help with digestion, inflammation and to help prevent heart disease.
5. Reishi Mushroom Powder: Another solid choice is Reishi mushrooms, which is also known as “the mushroom of immortality” that carries many health benefits. You can also use a supplement like mushroom powder instead of eating whole mushrooms, and Reishi mushroom powder is an excellent choice. Reishi supports the liver and gastric system, aids in blood health, and may be cancer fighting, among other health benefits. And there are indications that Reishi enhances the immune system through its antioxidant properties, which improve resistance and may even help fight disease. Research is continuing on the use of organic Reishi mushroom powder in the treatment of viral and bacterial infections.
6. Cordyceps Mushroom Powder: This is another strain that’s best purchased as a supplement, because it’s found on the larvae of caterpillars in Japan. It’s long been used in ancient Chinese medicine for many different treatments. But it also has antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties, making a Cordyceps supplement a worthy addition to your daily routine.
While mushrooms are a healthy part of a diet at any time, the recent world pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen our immune system, making now the ideal time to add mushrooms to your daily routine.In particular, there are certain medicinal mushrooms that are of particular benefit when it comes to enhancing immunity. Our guide to the 6 best mushrooms for immune system health can help you choose the mushrooms to start consuming today.
More Insight: You might also be interested in this great article on the benefits of fermented foods.