Naturopathic medicine isn’t a new concept. For decades, practitioners have encouraged people to look at the “bigger picture” of health, by exploring the root causes of disease and illness. Naturopathic strategies impact different people in different ways. However, the underlying aim is to figure out what’s going on under the surface of an illness, rather than focusing too heavily on the symptoms.
Naturopathic nutrition is just one part of the full puzzle. Here, experts concentrate on overcoming ailments and preventing illness through the use of careful dietary decisions.
The Basics of Naturopathic Nutrition
Naturopathic medicine is a system of healthcare that concentrates on combining science and philosophy. It looks at the whole person when addressing the root causes of a disease, and examines not just their physical wellness, but their mental and spiritual conditions too.
Within naturopathic nutrition, experts in their field examine the unique relationships that people have with food and certain nutrients, and how certain ingredients are great for healing purposes. A naturopathic nutrition strategy might include:
- Planning a diet of essential whole foods
- Selecting the right food based on nutritional value
- Individually assessed dietary therapy
- Traditional approaches to detoxifying the body
- Lifestyle changes to improve dietary outcomes
Using Mushrooms in Naturopathic Nutrition
There are many kinds of food that can play a role in naturopathic nutrition. Most experts recommend a careful evaluation of each individual and the exact nutritional requirements they have before coming up with a dietary plan. However, mushrooms could play a significant role in the health strategy for a lot of people.
Fungi come in a wide selection of forms and contain a huge range of substances that are valuable for their medicinal properties. While there’s a lot of research ongoing into the immunomodulatory abilities of mushrooms in oncological care and preventing illness, these natural products also come with a host of additional health benefits like:
- Antioxidant (free radical scavengers)
- Anti-inflammatory (triterpens of mushrooms, among other bioactive compounds)
- Microbiota restoration (natural prebiotics)
- Neuroprotective and mood balance (useful for example in ADHD, depression and memory loss, among others)
- Detoxifying and liver support (heavy metals, polypharmacy,…)
- Others like control of health parameters such as sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure (useful in weight management and metabolic syndrome)
Which are the Best Mushrooms for Naturopathic Nutrition?
In some naturopathic nutrition strategies, experts will recommend using various mushrooms together, so that people can take advantage of the “synergy” between the different fungi. When using medicinal mushrooms, many professionals believe that combining agents leads to better outcomes. That’s precisely what science supports right now. Some of the most popular medicinal mushrooms include:
- Reishi: Reishi mushrooms are loaded with ganoderic acid, which possess antiviral, hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities. It also helps with hypertension and cholesterol reduction. Reishi also works very well at improving immune system function. Experts suggest that the mushroom could be helpful at reducing the risk of cancerous growths in the body while improving quality of life in oncologic patients that are following conventional treatments too. Reishi mushrooms may even be able to help patients with disorders of the brain, like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Shiitake: Shiitake mushrooms are a favorite among a lot of culinary fans. Studies show that they boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. Shiitake mushrooms can also have a part to play in preventing various issues with chronic infections, allergies, cancer, hepatitis, and even heart problems.
- Oyster mushrooms: Growing worldwide, oyster mushrooms have a positive impact on HIV patients, and can even assist with reducing the growth of various kinds of cancer. These helpful mushrooms are packed full of vitamin B, and they are used for microbiota regulation due to their prebiotic activity.
- Maitake: Research into Maitake mushrooms suggests that they can improve and regulate the function of the immune system, reduce cancer cell growth, and improve conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Maitake could also have a role to play in reducing the risk of obesity and fighting off various kinds of infection.
- Porcini: The popular porcini mushroom is similar in appearance to the Portabello, but it has a lot of unique benefits to offer as a fighter of inflammation. This fungus contains ergosterol which helps to attack enemy cells. Studies on aging indicate that products like Porcini can help to reduce the inflammation that leads to premature aging.
Nutrition for Better Health
Naturopathic nutrition can be an exciting way for people to improve their quality of life by investing in the right foods and supplements for their needs. For those who don’t like the taste of mushrooms, or prefer to avoid this kind of food, there’s also the option to achieve even more benefits through supplements.
Nutraceuticals, another word to describe supplements with pharmaceutical quality, can be an excellent way to enhance naturopathic nutrition strategies by offering access to benefits that people can’t get anywhere else. What’s more, supplemental versions of mushrooms may even have a higher concentration of crucial nutrients.