Nutrition by Brooke

The Power of Mushrooms

You probably know all about the popular health benefits of adding goji berries and kale to your diet, but do you know about the powerful healing properties of mushrooms? Mushrooms just might be the most dynamic superfood yet; and I’m not talking about Mr. Portobello, but mushrooms like maitake, shiitake, lions-mane, reishi and cordyceps have the ability to kill viruses, bacteria, and yeast, destroy cancer cells, and even assist with nerve regeneration (Source).

Mushrooms to Have on Hand

Maitake; the New Flu Shot

This mushroom hails from northern Japan and is recognized by the American Cancer Society to boost immunity and to limit and even reverse tumor growth.

Maitake mushrooms are high in beta glucans, which are helpful sugars (polysaccharides) found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and algae. Beta glucans stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer and pathogens that don’t belong in a healthy body.

Shiitake; Immunity

This wild mushroom grows throughout China and Japan, but is conveniently available in grocery stores world wide!

Shiitake mushrooms also contain those powerful beta glucans and also B vitamins such as B2, B5, and B6, which provide the body with energy by breaking down fats, carbs, and proteins. Shiitake mushrooms also add selenium, copper, manganese, and zinc which makes them well equipped to be your best food defense against oxidative stress, thyroid deregulation, and inflammation. Read more here.

Reishi; Cancer Prevention

Reishi is hard to find in food form but it’s easy to find in supplement form. In Asia it has long been deemed the mushroom of immortality. Reishi is very therapeutic for lung conditions like asthma and bronchitis. In combination with other herbs, Reishi has been successfully used to treat prostate cancer. The Japanese government officially recognizes Reishi mushroom as a cancer treatment (Source). How neat is that?

Lion’s Mane; Brain Health

I recently learned about this mushroom while living in Singapore, and it quickly became one of my favorites! While this is the go-to mushroom for brain health, it’s also powerful to combat arthritis because it improves the body’s ability to fight toxicity and prevent the joints from inflammation and infection. Lion’s Mane has been known to relieve GI disorders such as ulcers and cancer of the esophagus, the duodenum, and the stomach.

Cordyceps;  Energy 

Some of the most interesting health benefits of cordyceps includes its ability to improve respiratory health, increase oxygen uptake, boost heart health, detoxify the body, prevent certain types of cancer, slow the aging process, increases energy, and improves the immune system.

Food is medicine and it is always the best way to add nutrients into your diet; real, whole food. Try sauteing mushrooms with garlic and grass-fed butter or ghee, or add them to a stir fry or in rice! The options are endless.

If you can’t find these mushrooms in your area, you can find them in supplement form. I really like the company Organic Mushroom (OM), because they carefully dehydrate the mushrooms at low temperatures, in order to retain all of the enzyme activity. It has a neutral taste, so it’s easy to add to your juice, smoothies or oatmeal!


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