One of the top 10 food trends of late is "functional mushrooms," which have been used not just now but for centuries in traditional medicine. Mushrooms, one of the planet's most effective natural recyclers, are known to contain various bioactive compounds that are beneficial to human health.
Many medicinal mushrooms aren't great to toss into a salad or stir fry as the flavor isn't so appealing. So, in place of fresh mushrooms, you can purchase extracted forms of these health-promoting mushrooms.
The fruiting body, mycelium, spores, and even the liquid culture of the mushroom can all be used to create mushroom supplements. You can quickly and easily add beta-glucans, B vitamins, potassium, and significant antioxidants to your supplement regimen with them.
Let's explore mushroom supplement benefits and how to pick a quality mushroom supplement.
Benefits Of Taking Mushroom Supplements
Functional fungi can be processed and prepared in various ways for easy daily consumption. Mushroom supplements come in the following forms:
- Tinctures or liquid extracts
- Mouth sprays
You can pick one that is simple to incorporate into your daily health regimen because supplements work best when taken regularly over time. So, if you're thinking of adding one to your lifestyle, here are the top five mushroom supplements benefits based on your wellness goals!
1. Enhancing Nervous System And Brain Health
Mushrooms like Chaga and Lion's mane are power-packed with antioxidants, beta-glucans, beta-glucoxylan compounds, and polysaccharides that can support a healthy brain and nervous system.
Lion's mane is particularly beneficial, as it contains substances (Nerve growth factors(1)) that both aid in nerves' growth and nerve fibers' insulation (myelin synthesis). This may support emotional reactions, anxiety, and depression in addition to memory.
The mushroom also has therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease(2), which is linked to low NGF levels. In addition, this fuzzy functional fungus also increases BDNF(3) (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factors) levels, which is a natural antidepressant.
Lion's mane mushroom supplement is your top pick if you want to keep your thinking clear and your brain healthy!
2. Increasing Energy
Reishi is an adaptogenic mushroom used in traditional eastern medicine to increase Qi or life forces. Beyond this, scientific evidence(4) has also shown that the mushroom can reduce fatigue.
Now, if you want to increase how your cells utilize energy, Cordyceps mushrooms (a favorite among athletes) may just be the one for you. Cordyceps(5) contains compounds that boost cellular levels of ATP, which fuels the cells in our bodies.
The Himalayan fungus(6) also increases endurance, which has been proved in animal studies. In addition, the mushroom polysaccharides inhibit lactic acid production, reducing muscle fatigue during exercise.
Choose Cordyceps supplements to improve energy and endurance or reduce muscle fatigue.
3. Weight Loss
Mushrooms are low in calories. Additionally, they can have prebiotic effects that could shift the microbiome in your gut in a good way and could play a role in weight management.
But certain medicinal mushrooms have anti-obesity effects, which have been well documented. Chaga mushrooms, for instance, can help you on your weight loss journey. It curbs appetite, aiding in weight loss.
Chaga also has potent anti-inflammatory properties(7) that can help reduce weight by decreasing inflammation. Additionally, the mushroom's anti-microbial(8) properties promote the development of healthy gut bacteria, which is essential for losing weight.
If you are watching your weight, Chaga mushroom supplements can help you.
4.Finding Your Zen
Reishi mushroom boosts the immune system and combat the adverse effects of daily stress. Adaptogenic mushrooms, like Reishi, may increase your resistance to stress by acting via the pathway that mediates your body's stress response.
Adaptogens help our bodies achieve homeostasis by balancing essential systems like the nervous and immune systems and assisting in the balancing process. This helps us deal with stressful situations as they arise and before they can build up. The mushroom also boasts noteworthy anti-inflammatory, antioxidant(9), and sleep-promoting properties.
Pick Reishi supplements if you want to calm the mind and the body.
5. Boosting Immune System
Chaga, Reishi, and Lion's mane are great contenders for an immune-boosting mushroom. However, it's Turkey tail that steals the spotlight. It is most well-known for its antioxidant properties and the possibility that it contains substances that could fight cancer. These stimulate the immune system(10) and increase the production of cells that help destroy abnormal cells in the body.
Turkey tail mushroom supplements may be ideal for people who have cancer of the breast, colorectal, stomach, and lung. Speak to your healthcare provider if you are interested in these benefits of Turkey tail.
What To Look For When You Choose Mushroom Supplements?
Before incorporating any kind of daily supplement into your diet, you should speak with a doctor. Because dietary supplements are not governed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), it is crucial to choose a reputable source when purchasing a mushroom supplement.
Look for the following while choosing a supplement if you want to get the maximum benefits of mushroom supplements:
- USDA certified organic
- Third-party tested
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Current Good Manufacturing Practice-regulated
- USA-grown in California
- Certified Kosher
Is It OK To Take Mushroom Supplements Every Day?
Mushroom supplements are safe for everyday use when taken in recommended dosages. However, we recommend speaking with a healthcare provider before use if you are on blood pressure and sugar-lowering medication or blood thinners.
What Are The Side Effects Of Mushroom Capsules?
Mushroom capsules are generally safe, with very few severe side effects reported. Some people may complain of digestive upset.
What Time Of Day Should I Take Mushroom Supplements?
Mushrooms supplements containing Lion's mane and Cordyceps are best taken in the morning for their energizing effects. But if you are taking supplements like Reishi to help you sleep better, it is a good idea to take it closer to bedtime.
Mushroom supplement benefits are as numerous and varied as mushrooms themselves. From enhancing the immune system and brain health to increasing energy, helping you relax, and aiding in weight loss, functional fungi have many things to offer. So, stock up on these mushroom supplements and see the magic for yourself!
- Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18758067/
- Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help?, (2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924982/
- Neurotrophic isoindolinones from the fruiting bodies of Hericium erinaceus, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33246107/
- A randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled study of a Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide extract in neurasthenia, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15857210/
- Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1847515/
- Impact of polysaccharides from Cordyceps on anti-fatigue in mice, (6)https://academicjournals.org/journal/SRE/article-abstract/DF58A9C19382
- Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, (7)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874112004771
- Melanins of Inonotus Obliquus: Bifidogenic and Antioxidant Properties, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31238558/
- Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms, (9)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12358482/
- PSP activates monocytes in resting human peripheral blood mononuclear cells: immunomodulatory implications for cancer treatment, (10)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23497877/