I really like mushrooms, much to my sister’s dismay. I assumed they were fairly healthy, but I hadn’t done much reading on them. Then I ran across this article in a back issue of betternutrition. It has made me want to do more research on mushrooms. For now though, I wanted to share part of it’s knowledge with you. 

Mushroom Magic betternutrition July 2015

There’s something magical about the mushroom. It grows deep in verdant, mossy forests, quiet and mysterious and hidden from view. Because it doesn’t contain chlorophyll, the mushroom requires no sunlight. Instead, it exists quite independently, drawing it’s nutrients from the organic matter in which it lives. This has, for thousands of years, enchanted mycophiles-those who passionately study mushrooms-as well as mycophagists-those who eat mushrooms. 

The beguiling mushroom’s followers date back several hundred years BC in China, where mushrooms were used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The mushroom’s medicinal and healing uses have been confirmed in many recent studies. Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharide and beta-glucan components that enhance immune function and protect against cancer. Most research has focused on shiitakes and “specialty” mushrooms, such as maitake and reishi, but common button mushrooms have recently been shown to protect against breast cancer by modulating excessive levels of estrogen. Shiitake, oyster, and maitake mushrooms are also the best source of L-ergothioneine, a potent antioxidant. Of more commonly consumed mushrooms, portable las and crimins are highest in L-ergothioneine, followed by white buttons. Portabellas and white buttons are also rich in two important trace minerals-selenium and copper. And there is also some naturally occurring vitamin D in both types. 

Heal Brain & Body with Medicinal Mushrooms

Magical as mushrooms are in recipes, sometimes you need a little extra support. High-quality supplements concentrate the healing compounds in mushrooms in one easy dose. Here’s a look at five standout medicinal mushrooms and their unique health benefits. Each of these can be taken as a single supplement or as part of a combination mushroom formula. 

Maitake-good for: cancer prevention, blood sugar balance, immune support. …. 

Reishi-good for: anti aging, heart disease, inflammation, cancer prevention, ulcers, and immune support. …. 

Cordyceps-good for: increased stamina and exercise performance, fatigue/low energy, immune support, healthy libido, kidney health. …. 

Lion’s mane-good for: prevention of Alzheimer’s, memory enhancement, mood disorders, improved focus. …. 

Chaga-good for: lowering blood sugar, immune support, antioxidant support. …. 

I can now enjoy mushrooms even more! And I know I’m a very enthusiastic mycophagist.