Many of us know that mushrooms have benefits, but many of us don't know what they are. Let's look at the most impressive benefits of our fabulous fungi friends.
Mushrooms act as a powerful antibacterial, aid in lowering cholesterol and are a natural immunity enhancer; additionally, they are vital sources of bioactive compounds. Mushrooms have many advantages; some mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and ultimately have been used to supplement healthy diets for many years.
There are various medicinal mushrooms that we, at Switch Nutrition, feel are more beneficial than others. The 5 most powerful mushrooms are as follows …
- Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms are multi-coloured fungi that naturally grow on tree trunks in woody areas. These trees are in various parts of the world and thus have been beneficial in the medicinal industry for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, people use turkey talk extract as a treatment for respiratory conditions1.
The compounds in turkey tail may offer benefits for gut health as turkey tail has high levels of fiber. Turkey tail mushrooms have also been shown to balance gut bacteria, which can help prevent disease and support the immune system1.
Turkey tail mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, aiding blood sugar levels and inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties may reduce fatigue and aid performance recovery1.
To summarise, turkey tail has significant antibacterial properties, supports the digestive system, and may aid in performance, pain reduction, and reduce tiredness.
Maitake mushrooms are an adaptogen; they may assist the body in fighting against any type of physical or mental stress2. Maitake also helps regulate bodily processes.
In the last 20 years maitake mushrooms have become popular as people praise this mushroom all around the world for its promises of vitality, health, and longevity. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms are the most powerful mushroom of all. Maitake may provide better results on an individual’s overall immunity than any other mushroo2.
Maitake mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, vitamin B, potassium, fibre, vitamin C, amino acids and minerals2.
Research suggests that this mushroom can help to keep arteries healthy. In a 2013 study, maitake mushrooms showed a positive benefit on cholesterol levels2. Several studies have shown Maitake mushrooms to have enormous potential for healing and immunity.
Shiitake are edible mushrooms native to East Asia. Shiitake are typically eaten like vegetables; however, shiitake mushrooms are scientifically recognized as a fungi because they grow naturally on decaying hardwood trees3.
Shiitake mushrooms are used in supplements around the world, although around 83% are grown in Japan3. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in fiber, protein, vitamin B5, zinc, vitamin D, manganese, and carbs3. In addition to all the nutrients, shiitake contains many of the same amino acids as meat3.
In Chinese medicine, shiitake are thought to boost longevity as well as improve overall immunity. Studies on shiitake mushrooms have shown that the bioactive compounds (largely consisting of polysaccharides) found in the mushroom may protect against inflammation3.
Research has also highlighted that shiitake mushrooms have three compounds that help support healthy cholesterol and boost heart health3. Like most of the other mushrooms shiitake may also help strengthen your immune system.
The research on shiitake mushrooms is promising and overall, they are an excellent addition to your diet.
Cordyceps are known to be one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms in the world. They are also known for increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body4.
ATP is responsible for delivering energy to the muscles, giving you more energy. Cordyceps also contain a special type of polysaccharides that can support healthy blood sugar levels, helping those who have diabetes4.
Cordyceps are commonly recognised for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics. Some studies show that when people take Cordyceps, unique proteins that increase inflammation in the body become suppressed4. From the amazing effects, science professionals agree that Cordyceps should be used as an anti-inflammatory supplement4. However, more research is necessary.
- King Trumpet
The king trumpet mushroom has many advantages, making it the most popular and appreciated mushroom in the market. The king trumpet is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and dietary fibers, whilst also being low in calories5. Making the mushroom high in demand and an excellent source of nutritional value.
Health benefits of the king trumpet mushroom include improved gut health, reduced aflatoxin, increased immunity, and decreased cholesterol5. King trumpet decreases inflammation in the body, allowing good bacteria to form.
King trumpet is also high in selenium, which may support immunity and balances hormones.
You can see why these 5 extraordinary mushrooms have been considered a medicine in certain cultures for centuries. If you are looking to enhance your health, these fantastic five mushrooms can naturally boost energy, focus, support immunity, reduce tiredness and in some cases illness. If you can find a way to have these superfood mushrooms daily, science has identified long-lasting benefits for your mental and physical well-being. Why not give it a try?
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Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.
1Medical News (2020) Turkey tail mushrooms: Immune system, cancer, and more, Medical News Today. MediLexicon International. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/turkey-tail-mushroom#gut-health (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
2Cronkleton, E. (2017) Maitake mushroom: Risks, benefits, and more, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/maitake-mushroom#takeaway (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
3Jennings, K.-A. (2019) Why shiitake mushrooms are good for you, Healthline. Healthline Media. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/shiitake-mushrooms#anticancer-effects (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
4Cordyceps. 3 reasons why. (2020) Mushrooms Health. Available at: https://mushroomhealth.org/2020/11/16/cordyceps-3-reasons-why/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI88eFxNfU-gIV1wkrCh25mwoYEAAYAiAAEgINiPD_BwE (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
5Baghel, D.S. (2022) King trumpet mushroom: Benefits and side effects, Research on Plants, Nutrition, Tea & Superfoods. Available at: https://foodthesis.com/king-trumpet-mushroom-benefits/ (Accessed: October 10, 2022).