Oftentimes when we think of mushrooms, we think of them as a topping or an add-on to some of our favorite foods—stir-fry, veggie pizza, chicken and potatoes. What we don’t realize, however, is just how good they are for our health and wellbeing. Mushrooms are said to be loaded with some of the most potent nutrients on the planet, having been known to boost the immune system, improve nutrition and a better diet, destroy cancer cells and infections, and slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. With that in mind it’s easy to see why these fungi are being classed as a superfood.
To be honest, I don’t like mushrooms!!! I avoid them at all cost in my food. However, medicinal mushrooms are super easy to incorporate in supplement form, and they’re a great superfood to add in.
In fact, mushrooms aren’t just a superfood; they’re the world’s largest living organism. Hard to believe, I know, but with their root-like myceliums interconnected and genetically identical, one patch can be classed as one organism. So when a patch larger than the largest aspen grove was found, it made the mushroom the largest living organism. And not only that, but they can live for decades or even centuries.
Of the 140,000 species of mushroom-forming fungi out there, science is only familiar with 10 percent of them. Of those 10 percent, here are five of the most beneficial for your health:
Supports respiration, oxygen delivery and ATP synthesis for energy creation, and has been know to improve aerobic performance when altitude training.
Stimulates the creation of nerve growth and helps to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Called the “mushroom of immortality,” reishi has been known to improve immune function among patients with late-stage cancer, and with healthy people it has acted as a substantial antioxidant with healthy liver effects.
Another immune-enhancer used in clinical trials to help with conventional cancer treatments.
The “king of immunity,” maitake has been used in breast cancer studies and known to kill cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. With maitake and standard cancer care, improvements in patients’ treatments were seen.
Now, I’d love to know … are mushrooms part of your daily diet? Let me know in the comments. And if you’re looking for ways to incorporate them into your diet, be sure to check out this post with one of my favorite mushroom recipes: 4 Ingredients for a Powerful Gut and Immune Boosting Treat