Mushrooms for Good Health

Image of shiitake mushrooms on a cutting board

Modern scientists are discovering some fascinating healing properties of mushrooms. And more than a hundred species of mushrooms are currently being studied across around the world today for their potential health benefits. Below is information on three of the more popular varieties:

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

Chaga mushrooms are rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin D, amino acids, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium.

It is believed they can slow the aging process by reducing oxidative stress, which is responsible for physical signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, and gray hair. Exposure to sun, pollution, and other sources of damage create too many free radicals for the body to neutralize, which accelerates the aging process of the skin.

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Often referred to as “the mushroom of immortality” and not just because it’s been used medicinally for over 4000 years, reishi offer many health benefits.

They have been found to help regenerate healthy liver cells more quickly, which means more effective detoxification. It is also known to help remedy liver diseases and liver damage.

The reishi mushroom can help protect the brain from seizures. It can also stimulate both cognitive ability and nerve growth. They contain beta-glucans, as well as other compounds that can help strengthen the immune system.

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)

It’s no secret that shiitake mushrooms are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, used extensively in ancient Chinese medicine. Scientists have now proven that shiitake mushrooms offer antiviral, cholesterol-lowering and cardiovascular support, and amazingly, properties in just the right amounts to augment the immune system, revving it up or leveling it off where needed. Immune cells called macrophage, for instance, are responsible for identifying and removing potentially cancerous cells from the body, including colon cancer cells; enzymes called cytochrome are known to metabolize carcinogens in the body.

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At the same time, shiitakes enjoy gourmet status in the culinary world, which is why they’re carefully produced through the labor-intensive method of forest farming. Sliced and saut’ed with butter and parsley, they release a tantalizing flavor unknown to other foods.

These are only three of the many varieties of medicinal mushrooms. If you’re going to make one positive change to your diet you should definitely consider adding mushrooms to your shopping list or making sure you get a healthy daily dose of it in a nutritional supplement!

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