Food Medicine – Health Benefits of Mushrooms

The Healing Power of Mushrooms
The Healing Power of Mushrooms

It sure is obvious how mushrooms are slowly stepping up on the big scene these days. And if you are in the know, you’ve probably already heard the news. Mushrooms are related to animals not to plants. And from here begins the process of explanation on how mushrooms are strongly beneficial for humans’ health.

There is scientific evidence on how mushrooms and humans evolved from the same ancestor. They sure differ greatly from each other, but still, they share a similar DNA.

Recent scientific studies highlight just how much fungi can do for humans. Let’s say this relationship is mutual. More than biological and genetic similarities, people and mushrooms share a long history of a beneficial relationship when it comes to eating one another.

The Kingdom of Mushrooms

Mushrooms today belong to their own kingdom, the kingdom of mushrooms. It’s the kingdom that rules the whole cycle of life. They’re the link between life and death.

In nature, when a living organism dies it begins to break down and decompose. This is where fungi come in to restore the endless cycle of life. They begin the natural process of decomposition and absorb the nutrients from the dead organisms. Moreover, fungi exist from decaying material in nature.

Grow Mushrooms at Home

If you love mushrooms and incorporating them into your recipes, you will be happy to know that you can grow them at home. For starters, you can try growing mushrooms using a spray-and-grow cultivation kit to get a feel of what it takes to become a mushroom grower. All you need to do is to religiously follow the instructions on the box, and you’ll be harvesting delicious mushrooms in two weeks or so. As you gain more mycology knowledge and experience, you’ll be able to try other, more-advanced cultivation techniques and grow more varieties of mushrooms.

The Beneficial Properties of the Mushrooms

Apart from the fact that mushrooms are incredibly delicious when added to any meal, most of them hold a great nutritional value. However, different types have different nutritional values.

Most mushrooms that are often found on the menu are:

  • Low in calories
  • High in fiber and proteins
  • Contain: vitamin B
  • Selenium
  • Potassium

Vitamin D

  • antioxidants

Several types of mushrooms are considered a superfood. This means apart from the nutritional value, they provide beneficial health effects. They are known under the name functional or medical mushrooms.

Functional Mushrooms

For thousands of years, people were familiar with the powerful effect that fungi have on their health. Eastern medicine has a long tradition of using, what are today known as, medical mushrooms.

The simple way of taking the most out of the beneficial effects of the mushroom, the tinctures, were used for healing purposes. Moreover, they were consumed for improving the overall health and body performance. Knowing how great their power is, the mushrooms listed below were reserved for royals only.

Functional / Medicinal mushrooms:

  • Reishi
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Cordyceps
  • Turkey Tail
  • Chaga
  • Shiitake

The Use of Medicinal Mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms work miracles when it comes to health and fighting particular maladies. They are referred to as functional food and can be prepared and consumed as a meal.

Medical mushrooms can be used to produce mushroom tinctures or also known as mushroom liquids. Also, they are used to make mushroom powder. These are food supplements that can be taken as a part of the daily diet.

The Beneficial Properties of Medicinal Mushrooms

All medicinal mushrooms share several health beneficial properties. Here they are:

  1. Anti-allergenic
  2. Anti-inflammatory
  3. Anti-bacterial (natural antibiotic)
  4. Anti-virus
  5. Antioxidant
  6. Anti-aging and cell-restoring
  7. Anti-tumor properties

All of these powerful properties play a role in fighting against maladies and improving the health and resistance of the organism. Let’s look at what all this together can help an organism with.

Boosting the Immune System

The antioxidant properties found in all 6 medicinal mushrooms listed above, helps the organism to easily fight with toxins. The anti-inflammatory effect helps the body in fast and successful fighting against infections. All this helps the organism to stay in good condition.

Many of the substances found in the mushrooms act like immunostimulators. With regular use, they can strengthen the immune system, as well as improve the metabolism and regenerate the cells. All this leads to a strong organism, strong immune system and healthy and resistant body.

Improve Cognitive Abilities

The regular use of medicinal mushrooms stimulates the development of the nerve cells as it boosts the nerve growth factor.

Lion’s mane mushroom, in particular, supports the creation of Myelin. This is a lipid-rich substance that increases the speed at which the electrical impulses travel through the nervous system. Therefore, it enhances cognitive functions.

Boosting Longevity

No wonder royals loved mushrooms such as Lion’s mane, Cordyceps and Reishi. They believed they can make them immortal, or at least make their life longer.

It’s true, all these mushrooms have anti-aging properties. They can restore and regenerate cells. As natural antioxidants, they act against free radicals helping in maintaining the overall health and well-being of the elderly.

Fight Against Cancer and Tumors

Functional mushrooms produce chemical compounds that are the same as the ones used in chemotherapy drugs. They also stimulate the work of red blood cells and increasing the level of the red blood cells that fight against cancer and tumor cells.

Provide Thorough Detoxification Effect

Mushrooms provide a great detoxification effect for people that use a lot of stimulants like drugs and alcohol. Also, they clean the body after prolonged use of medication, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Living in a highly polluted environment and consuming a lot of toxic chemicals through food, our bodies need support in dealing with all the toxins. The regular use of functional mushrooms can help prevent health damage as it provides great detoxification.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.