Mushrooms are some of the most versatile products in the natural world. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and promise a wide selection of benefits too. For years, we’ve been adding mushrooms to our omelets and pizzas in the knowledge that they taste good, and are packed full of vitamin D. However, mushrooms could be even better for you than you realize.
Studies into mushrooms have discovered that, especially concentrated in functional food supplements, they can do everything from boosting your immune system, to keeping you in good shape and even helping your emotions.
Of course, with 5.1 million fungal species in the world, it can be a little tricky to determine which mushrooms are the healthiest for your diet.
Why Should Mushrooms Be Part of Any Lifestyle
Clinical studies prove that mushrooms can improve quality of life, reduce risk of chronic diseases, and enhance bodily functions. So, what makes mushrooms so great?
- Beta-glucans: Mushrooms are rich in natural substances called beta glucans. These substances help to prime and support the immune system, allowing it to effectively fight off bugs and germs. Some certain kinds of mushroom are particularly rich in beta-glucans.
- Vitamins and minerals : Mushrooms are rich in various vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin D and zinc, which help to protect your body and enhance the creation of antioxidants. The high nutrient levels contribute to anti-aging, keep your joints healthy, and assist with keeping your blood sugar balanced too.
- Weight and energy management: Mushrooms are rich in fiber, which helps to fill you up and feel more satisfied after you eat meals with fewer carbs. They can also boost your energy levels, so you feel more inclined to work out and keep your body fit.
Mushrooms are a low-fat food, rich in protein and nutrients, capable of transforming the way you feel. They can even come with a high dose of anti-inflammatory compounds, which assist in helping you to recover from illnesses, and defend against autoimmune disorders.
So, which mushrooms are best?
Which are the Healthiest Mushrooms?
Adding most mushrooms to your diet is a good idea. White mushrooms – the ones that account for 90% of the mushrooms we eat in America, have around 300 mg of potassium per serving, while portobello mushrooms are rich in CLA, which promote several health benefits, including weight loss.
Shiitake mushrooms are brimming with fiber, at around 2g per serving, and they’re great for accessing beta glucans, eritadenine, and sterols for reducing blood sugar. However, if you really want to choose the healthiest mushrooms for your diet, you might need to consider something more exotic. Besides finding Shiitake as a nutraceutical you can easily find the following mushrooms in this format:
- Reishi mushrooms: Known as the mushroom of immortality, Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens that can fight against infections and damaging cells in your body. Reishi mushrooms has been widely used for several decades for various healing abilities; it possesses a strong anti-inflammatory function and is tied also to longevity, emotions and promoting a health microbiota.
- Lion’s mane: Lion’s mane mushrooms are ideal for those who need extra help concentrating. They’re excellent at supporting cognitive function and clarity. Lion’s mane is considered a natural prebiotic that helps to balance microbiota and helps with digestive trouble.
- Chaga: Chaga is one of the most versatile medicinal mushrooms available, known for offering excellent amounts of antioxidants, and fighting against inflammation. Researchers say that Chaga is excellent for skin health and preventing free radicals from causing damage. As an adaptogen, Chaga can also help to fight back against viruses, and improve the performance of the immune system.
- Cordyceps: Cordyceps are immune modulating mushrooms that go beyond simply supporting your immune system. This powerful product can balance the ratio of immune cells in your body to ensure that everything performs as well as possible. These mushrooms are also excellent for increasing energy and performance, so you can get more out of your time at the gym too.
- Maitake: Maitake is known for activating our metabolism and protecting the cardiovascular system. There are studies of Maitake related to hypertension, obesity, and weight control. Therefore, this is the mushroom to use for losing extra pounds and keeping blood sugar levels under control.
The Healthiest Mushrooms to Add to Your Meals
If you’re looking for mushrooms to add to a quick meal, then the healthiest choices usually come down to three, easily accessible fungi. Shiitake mushrooms were shown in a 2011 study to be effective at helping to reduce inflammation in the body.
Oyster mushrooms are also excellent at improving the functioning of the immune system and encouraging better responses against damaging cells. Studies show that Oyster mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre that can help to strengthen the immune system.
Porcini mushrooms are also very popular mushrooms that can assist with reducing inflammation in the body. One study on aging found that chronic inflammation is one of the most important issues for most people to overcome, and Porcini mushrooms can help with this.
Ultimately, enjoying any mushrooms you’re willing to eat regularly or include in your diet is an excellent choice for improving your health. Take into account that concentrated mushrooms are the ones that you will find only in high quality functional food supplements. This means that in this format you can easily access all the wide diversity of mushrooms in a concentration that promotes a great series of health benefits.