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< class="article__title title the-best-mushrooms-for-achieving-your-weight-loss-goals"> The Best Mushrooms for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals>
The Best Mushrooms for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals
Dec 05, 22
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

The Best Mushrooms for Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

  • by Sony Sherpa
  • |
  • 26 min read

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (1), 1 in 3 Americans is overweight. What is more concerning is that more than 2 in 5 adults (42.4%) have obesity. More stats from the CDC (2) indicate the number of overweight and obese individuals is currently on the rise, moving from 30.5% in 2000 to over 41% in 2017. 

Luckily, however, more people are learning about the adverse effects of obesity, and they are working hard to lose weight. Furthermore, the new awareness about the importance of weight loss has led to a population wanting to try new weight loss solutions. Interestingly, mushrooms are among the latest solutions people are adding to their diet to fight excessive weight. 

However, can you use mushrooms for weight loss? If yes, what mushrooms facilitate weight loss? Also, how do you use mushrooms to fight obesity and maintain a healthy weight? 

In this detailed guide, our focus will be on answering your questions about using mushrooms for weight loss. Read on to see how the antioxidants and fiber in mushrooms can help you drain the fat storage areas in your body. 

How Do Mushrooms Facilitate Weight Loss?

How Do Mushrooms Facilitate Weight Loss?

Edible mushrooms are low in calories, which is good for weight loss. Additionally, they have low glucose and high mannitol content, which is ideal for diabetes, frequently associated with obesity. Furthermore, fungi have no cholesterol and low sodium content, which benefits those with hypertension.

Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights hypertension. 

But what about medicinal mushrooms for weight loss?

The anti-obesity effect (3) of several functional fungi has been well-documented in traditional medicine and modern research. For example, Reishi mushrooms, Maitake, Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and Turkey tail are known for their:

  • Cholesterol-lowering effects
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Anti-diabetic properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties 

These health benefits are attributable to the functional compounds they carry, including: 

  • Oligopeptides
  • Flavonoids
  • Exo-polymers
  • Exo-biopolymers
  • Polyphenols
  • Polysaccharides
  • Fibers

Below we will further explore mushrooms' weight loss benefits and the scientific link between mushrooms and weight loss.

Medicinal Mushrooms For Weight Loss

Edible culinary and medicinal mushrooms are a safe and natural way to shed those extra pounds and are helpful for long-term weight control.

Read More: See how consuming Chaga tea facilitates weight loss.

There is scientific evidence that many medicinal mushrooms aid in weight loss. For example, a 2018 study (4) looked at the benefits of edible mushrooms for preventing obesity. 

The study's findings suggested that mushrooms can encourage weight loss. Additionally, they may be protective against hypertension brought on by obesity and a condition in which cholesterol and triglycerides are out of balance.

Here are the best mushroom supplements for weight loss:

Lion's Mane Mushrooms And Weight Loss

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms And Weight Loss

Lion's Mane is a popular edible mushroom that is available in a variety of consumable ways. If you have time to spend in the kitchen, you can leverage the health benefits of Lion's Mane by cooking a meal from scratch. Alternatively, you can get a high-quality Lion's mane powder and mix it in your tea, coffee, or food. 

Lion's Mane is one of the few healthy foods that not only facilitate weight loss but also help keep your body weight in check. In the following section, we will look at the various ways Lion's Mane facilitates weight loss: 

Lion's Mane is Low in Calories

Each Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) serving contains only 35 calories. Each serving, in this case, is approximately 100 grams. So whether consuming the mushroom powder or preparing a complete meal with raw Lion's Mane, you can be sure you are not adding unnecessary calories to your body.

Lion's Mane allows your body to operate at a calorie deficit—the calorie deficit, in turn, makes your body derive energy from stored fat. Over time, this facilitates weight loss. 

Lion's Mane is High in Proteins

Research studies have verified that the more proteins we consume, the lower the calories we put in our bodies. Lion's Mane is high in proteins, which reduces the desire for late-night snacking and food cravings. Lion's Mane has 2.5 grams of proteins for every 100 grams of the mushroom you consume.

Several studies have confirmed the importance of a high-protein diet in weight loss. For example, in one meta-analysis involving 24 studies (5), researchers compared the impact of a diet containing average amounts of protein and a diet containing high amounts of proteins on weight loss. The researchers concluded that the diet containing more elevated amounts of protein led to faster weight loss than the diet containing an average amount of protein. 

Yet another research paper (6) looked into the impacts of a high-protein diet on weight loss. The research paper concluded that eating more protein than the recommended dietary allowance goes beyond reducing body weight to improve body composition by decreasing fat and conserving fat-free mass. The research paper also noted that nutrition high in protein helps prevent weight regain, a common problem among individuals working on weight loss. 

Lion's Mane is High in Dietary Fiber

Beyond being a visual treat, Lion's Mane has a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Dietary fiber is a highly vital component when it comes to weight loss. 

High-fiber foods, like Lion's Mane, are more filling than low-fiber foods. Therefore, you eat less and stay satisfied longer. In addition, high-fiber foods take longer to eat and are less "energy dense," which means they carry fewer calories for the same food volume. 

The fiber in Lion's mane mushrooms encourages the diversity of your gut bacteria. Studies show (7) that people who eat more soluble fiber—the kind of dietary fiber in Lion's Mane—have a greater variety of bacteria and better health outcomes. Moreover, a recent research study (8) showed that individuals with greater diversity in their gut microbiota have a reduced risk of suffering from belly fat. 

Lion's Mane Promotes Better Sleep

Various research studies have shown a relationship between the quality of sleep and the ability to lose weight. For example, one research paper (9) notes that individuals reporting fewer total sleep hours are likelier to be overweight or obese. 

In another study (10) involving people undergoing 14 days of calorie restriction, the research participants lost less body fat when they spent 5.5 hours a day in bed than 8.5 hours a day. This study suggests that lack of adequate sleep reduces the ability to lose weight. 

Luckily for individuals suffering from poor sleep, Lion's Mane can help. In a study conducted in 2019 (11), researchers analyzed the impact of Lion's mane supplements on obese participants suffering from mood and sleep disorders. The research study concluded that Lion's mane mushrooms could fight mood and sleep disorders. In addition, by improving the quality of sleep in obese and overweight patients, the functional mushroom can facilitate weight loss. 

Read More: See how taking Lion's Mane before bed improves sleep quality. 

Lion's Mane Fights Stress and Anxiety

Several research studies have linked stress and depression to an increased risk of obesity. A research study conducted in 2018 (12) determined that increased cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone) are strongly related to abdominal obesity. 

Research has linked stress and anxiety to binge eating. For instance, a research study conducted in 2021 (13) confirmed that the increased levels of binge eating in adolescents were directly related to their stress and anxiety levels. 

Binge-eating is often characterized by hunger and lack of satiety between meals. In addition, the condition often increases the number of calories and carbs people put in their bodies. This, in turn, causes weight gain while making weight loss harder. 

Research has shown that Lion's Mane can fight stress and anxiety. In addition, a research paper published in 2020 (14) indicated that Lion's Mane has antidepressive activities. 

An adaptogenic mushroom, Lion's Mane helps the body adapt to stress, keeping it from causing problems like binge eating, which is detrimental to weight loss. The mushroom's adaptogenic properties also help people dealing with obesity fight mental health problems which can also make weight loss more complicated. 

Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights anxiety and stress. 

Lion's Mane Boosts Lipid Metabolism

In addition to its nutritional value, we have found some scientific evidence that supports the benefits of Lion's mane mushrooms for weight loss.

In an experimental study (15), scientists looked at how Lion's Mane affected lipid metabolism in mice given a high-fat diet. After 28 days, Lion's mane mushroom extracts significantly reduced fat levels, body weight gain, and fat weight in the blood and liver.

These findings imply that by altering the expression of metabolic genes, Lion's mane extracts enhance lipid metabolism in mice. Hericium erinaceus specifically stimulated PPAR receptors, which are known to control lipid metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and glucose transport. The mushroom might have similar effects on people as well!

Lion's Mane Fights Obesity-Related Inflammation

Increased weight gain and inflammatory responses go hand in hand (16). Chronic low-grade inflammation is brought on by obesity, a complex disease associated with an increase in many inflammatory markers. Numerous health problems, including rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and heart conditions, can also be brought on by persistent inflammation.

Read More: See how Lion's Mane fights diabetes and helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels.

Lion's mane mushrooms are renowned for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This implies that the mushroom reduces chronic inflammation linked to excess fat and guards against various diseases.

Chaga Mushrooms For Weight Reduction

Chaga Mushrooms For Weight Reduction

Next on your list of best mushrooms for weight loss is Chaga mushroom or Inonotus obliquus. The mushrooms can combat oxidative stress, boost the immune system, and help you lose weight. 

Below, we will look at how the health benefits of Chaga mushrooms help the human body fight excessive body weight. 

Chaga Mushrooms Curb Appetite

Controlling your desire for food is one of the most challenging tasks when trying to lose weight. Regardless of how much you exercise, you will not be able to lose weight if you continue to consume more calories than you burn off.

Chaga mushroom helps people lose weight by curbing their appetite. The mushroom will lower your calorie intake by reducing your appetite. The key to losing weight is to create a negative energy balance, which you do by consuming fewer calories than you use as fuel.

Chaga Mushrooms Reduce Inflammation

Strong anti-inflammatory properties (17) in Inonotus mushrooms can help with weight loss by reducing inflammation. Additionally, the mushroom's anti-microbial benefits (18) support the growth of good gut bacteria, which is crucial for weight loss.

Chaga Stimulates the Immune System

The immune system must also be stimulated for weight loss, which can be achieved by the mushroom's strong immune-modulating (19) and oxidant-fighting properties. 

Additionally, there is concrete scientific proof (20) of the connection between Chaga and weight loss. It has been discovered that the aqueous extract of the mushroom helps study participants lose weight.

Chaga Fights Stress

Chaga is an adaptogen fungus. This means that it aids the body in fending off the adverse effects of stress, such as weight gain. 

Cortisol and other stress hormones are released, and they can cause you to gain weight. Chaga mushroom reduces cortisol production, which lowers your risk of gaining weight.

Chaga is High in Fibre

Like Lion's mane mushroom, the Chaga mushroom supplement does benefit the gut microbiota. In addition, Chaga mushroom is high in dietary fiber. 

The fiber feeds your gut bacteria, allowing it to replicate and multiply. As mentioned earlier, gut bacteria are crucial in fighting abdominal obesity. 

As an added benefit, fiber helps you reduce your food portions. Moreover, fiber does not get digested too quickly. Therefore, it remains in your system for longer, helping you avoid unnecessary snacking, which can force you to pile on unnecessary calories in your body. 

Chaga Controls Blood Sugar Levels

Obesity is often linked to the development of type 2 diabetes—often a result of the high body fat content increasing insulin resistance. However, what some people with diabetes may not know is that weight management can also be affected by poor diabetes control. 

Diabetic people with poorly controlled blood sugar levels often gain weight over time. Luckily for people with type 2 diabetes, Chaga mushrooms can aid in keeping blood sugar levels in check, reducing the risk of developing obesity. 

Read More: See how Chaga mushroom fights obesity. 

Reishi And Anti-Obesity Benefits

Reishi And Anti-Obesity Benefits

If you are currently working on adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes fitness and a workout that helps you lose weight, you may also want to add Reishi to your healthy eating plan. 

This functional mushroom boasts impressive functions that help men and women fight obesity and excessive weight gain. Below, we will show you how the health benefits of reishi mushrooms can help you maintain healthy body weight. 

Reishi Improves the Gut Bacteria Composition

A 2015 study (21) found that Ganoderma lucidum or Reishi mushroom has anti-obesity properties. Researchers observed that by modulating gut microbiota composition, Reishi helps lower weight. It can also be potentially used as a prebiotic to combat obesity and metabolic disorders related to it in the future.

Reishi Prevents Fat Accumulation in the Body

Reishi mushroom boasts nutritional benefits that help your body burn fat. Moreover, this unique mushroom can prevent weight gain by fighting fat accumulation. 

Even though the research is still in its early stages, Reishi mushrooms and their supplements have been shown to reduce body fat accumulation. For example, in one research study, reishi mushroom supplements stopped mice in the study model from gaining weight. 

In the research study (22), the mice receiving a high dose of Reishi extract only gained 35 grams of fat, while the mice that did not eat Reishi gained 42 grams of weight in the first two months. Both groups of mice consumed a high-fat diet, showing that Reishi is highly effective in fighting fat accumulation.

Higher amounts of free fatty acid are linked to obesity's bigger fat tissue mass (FFA). Reishi mushroom extract lowers the blood levels of FFA, reducing the buildup of body fat. 

Reishi Reduces Immune Dysfunction Caused by Obesity

Research has shown (23) that consuming a high-fat diet leads to a gradual decline in Regulatory T Reg cells (Treg). The T cells regulate and modulate the immune system, ensuring the body has homeostasis. The water extract of Reishi enhances the T Reg cells in mice's liver and fatty tissue, reducing the risk of fatty liver disease. 

While the current research has only generated these results in animal models, the present results suggest that these benefits may also apply to humans. 

Reishi Fights Insulin Resistance

Research studies (24) have confirmed that insulin resistance is a significant risk factor for weight gain and obesity. This is because insulin resistance forces the body to increase its insulin production—which results in a condition known as hyperinsulinemia. 

In the case of insulin resistance, the body produces more insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, elevated insulin levels lead to weight gain, exacerbating insulin resistance. This can result in a cycle that increases your risk of diabetes and obesity. 

It is also worth noting that when the body is suffering from insulin resistance, its blood glucose levels rise. High blood glucose levels can often cause sugar cravings, forcing you to put unnecessary calories in your body. 

Luckily for people dealing with insulin resistance, reishi mushrooms can help. A research study published in 2020 (25) showed that the Reishi mushroom could fight insulin resistance. By fighting insulin resistance, Reishi can prevent weight gain, keeping glucose levels in check and reducing the risk of obesity-related hypertension. 

Read More: See how Reishi fights diabetes.

Reishi Reduces Fatigue

If you have tried to lose weight, you probably already know that working out is integral to weight loss. But unfortunately, many people dealing with obesity often find themselves too exhausted to work out. 

Luckily, Reishi is a natural source of energy. So consuming this functional fungus gives you enough energy, keeping you from skipping your workouts. 

Reishi Fights Stress

Earlier, we noted that stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain. Most people dealing with stress often find themselves binge eating. This, in turn, piles calories in their bodies—the unused calories turn into fat. 

Reishi mushroom, like Lion's Mane, is an adaptogenic mushroom. The fungus helps the body adapt to stress, which saves you from overeating and putting unnecessary carbs in your body. 

Read More: See our detailed guide on how Reishi mushroom promotes weight loss. 

Maitake Mushrooms for Weight Loss

Maitake Mushrooms for Weight Loss

Maitake is known as Grifola frondose in the scientific community. Furthermore, the mushroom is known as the "dancing mushroom" and the "Hen-of-the-wood." 

In Japanese, the word maitake refers to dancing. So Japanese people would happily dance when they found Maitake in the wild, according to Japanese folklore. 

The maitake mushroom grows at the roots of large trees like Oak, Elm, and Maple. The fungus is native to Japan and has been used for thousands of years. 

It has recently gained popularity in the United States and other parts of the world due to its usefulness in various health conditions. Interestingly, some of the health benefits of Maitake are in the weight loss department. 

Maitake Mushrooms Are Low in Calories

Maitake mushrooms are low in both calories and carbohydrates. Therefore, the hen-of-the-wood mushroom does not add unnecessary calories to your body. Thus, consuming mushrooms can help your body operate at a calorie deficit, promoting weight loss. 

Maitake Mushrooms are High in Fiber

Like the other mushrooms mentioned above, Maitake mushrooms also carry a significant amount of fiber. The raw form of maitake mushroom contains 2.7 grams of fiber per 100 grams. 

The fiber in the mushroom keeps you full for longer. It eliminates the need to keep snacking and putting unnecessary calories in your body. 

Moreover, fiber feeds good gut microbes, keeping your gut microbiome environment healthy. A healthy microbiota has been known to prevent weight gain and facilitate weight loss.

Read More:Learn about Maitake's nutritional values.

Maitake Fights Insulin Resistance

Insulin receptor, receptor substrate 1, and protein kinase B are some of the significant components of the insulin induction pathway. Insulin resistance occurs when these primary parameters are associated with Syndrome X. As noted earlier, insulin resistance leads to obesity and other related disorders. 

Maitake mushroom has an S.X. fraction that regulates and reactivates this insulin induction signaling pathway, combating insulin resistance and increasing glucose uptake into cells. For this reason, eating Maitake mushrooms aids in regulating blood glucose levels in your body. 

The S.X. fraction fights obesity and lowers cholesterol levels. Furthermore, maitake mushroom extracts inhibit the conversion of cells into adipocytes. These health-promoting properties of bioactive compounds in the mushroom's cooked or supplement form are responsible for weight loss and obesity control.

Read More: Read our detailed guide on how Maitake promotes weight loss. 

How To Use Medicinal Mushrooms For Weight Loss?

Medicinal mushrooms like Lion's Mane can be a culinary delight (you can pick from an array of our specially curated Lion's mane recipes)! But if you want something for the run, try using mushroom powders, capsules, tablets, or tinctures.  

One of the other best ways to enjoy Chaga for weight loss is by sipping a cup of hot brewed tea. In addition, you can add flavor enhancers like sweeteners, spices, or milk of your choice.

FAQs

Do Mushrooms Burn Belly Fat?

Mushrooms for weight loss have been shown to aid in fat burning and weight loss by controlling blood glucose levels. In addition, they are a good source of protein and can speed up your metabolism, which will help you lose weight. 

Finally, mushrooms for weight loss boost good gut bacteria. Eating these mushrooms can help you fight the metabolic syndrome that makes belly fat hard to burn. 

Is Eating Mushroom Everyday Good?

Medicinal mushrooms are generally safe for everyday consumption. They are very nutritious and contain many nutrients our bodies require to be healthy. 

For example, the mushrooms for weight loss mentioned in this article contain high vitamin D levels and improve your immune function. They lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of high blood pressure and keep your liver weight in check. 

There is no downside to eating mushrooms. However, if this is the first time you eat mushrooms for weight loss, we recommend talking to a healthcare professional. The doctor will help you determine the best dose for the edible fungi of choice. Also, if you are not a seasoned forager, stay away from a wild mushroom. 

Who Should Not Consume Mushrooms?

If you think of taking mushrooms for weight loss for the first time, you may be concerned about side effects. Side effects are rare—however, we always recommend talking to a doctor before taking advantage of the health benefits of functional mushrooms. 

People who are allergic to mushrooms should steer clear of them. Additionally, if you are on blood thinners or other prescription medication, you should speak to your healthcare provider before consuming them.

Final Thoughts

Lion's Mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Maitake are the top three mushrooms for weight loss. They regulate fat metabolism, control inflammation, modulate the immune system, and work as prebiotics. Add mushrooms to your everyday life if you struggle to lose weight and want a natural and safe way to slim down.

Have you used mushrooms for weight loss? Which mushrooms did you use? What benefits did you enjoy? Let us know in the comments section. 

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References

  1. Overweight & Obesity Statistics (1)https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity 
  2. Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease, (2)https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html 
  3. Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms,   (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278646/
  4. Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms,   (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6278646/
  5. Increased Dietary Protein as a Dietary Strategy to Prevent and/or Treat Obesity, (5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179508/ 
  6. Clinical Evidence and Mechanisms of High-Protein Diet-Induced Weight Loss, (6)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7539343/ 
  7. Diversity, stability and resilience of the human gut microbiota, (7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577372/
  8.  Heritable components of the human fecal microbiome are associated with visceral fat, (8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27666579/ 
  9. Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Quantity and Weight Loss in Women Participating in a Weight-Loss Intervention Trial, (9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4861065/ 
  10. Sleep Deprivation: Effects on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance, (10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9031614/ 
  11. Hericium erinaceus Improves Mood and Sleep Disorders in Patients Affected by Overweight or Obesity: Could Circulating Pro-BDNF and BDNF Be Potential Biomarkers?, (11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6500611/ 
  12. Stress and Obesity: Are There More Susceptible Individuals?, (12)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958156/
  13.  Anxiety, stress, and binge eating tendencies in adolescence: a prospective approach, (13)https://jeatdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40337-021-00444-2 
  14. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder, (14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982118/
  15. Yamabushitake mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) improved lipid metabolism in mice fed a high-fat diet, (15)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20622452/ 
  16. Obesity and inflammation: the linking mechanism and the complications,   (16)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5507106/
  17. Orally administered aqueous extract of Inonotus obliquus ameliorates acute inflammation in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice, (17)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874112004771
  18. Melanins of Inonotus Obliquus: Bifidogenic and Antioxidant Properties,   (18)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31238558/
  19. Immunomodulatory Activity of the Water Extract from Medicinal Mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (19)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774877/ 
  20. Continuous intake of the Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) aqueous extract suppresses cancer progression and maintains body temperature in mice, (20)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946216/
  21. Medicinal mushroom reduces obesity by modulating microbiota, (21)https://www.nature.com/articles/nrendo.2015.114
  22. Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (22)https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8489 
  23. Circulating regulatory T cells are reduced in obesity and may identify subjects at increased metabolic and cardiovascular risk, (23)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23592653/ 
  24. The Association between Adult Weight Gain and Insulin Resistance at Middle Age: Mediation by Visceral Fat and Liver Fat, (24)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832997/
  25. Ganoderma lucidum Extract Reduces Insulin Resistance by Enhancing AMPK Activation in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice, (25)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33142995/
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