Shrooms, Shrooms...The Magical Fungus

Shrooms, Shrooms...The Magical Fungus

I can hear you now.

“I don’t get it. What’s the big deal about eating mushrooms?”

Mushrooms are delicious. Let’s start there.

Sound like something you want to eat more often? Good. But before we go any further into this list of health benefits (which is just scratching the surface), let’s start with some basics: 

What exactly is a mushroom? And why do they make such good food sources?

Yes, mushrooms are a fungus. And don’t “eww” me. Mushrooms have been considered an ingredient of gourmet cuisine across the globe, especially for their unique flavor, and have been valued by humankind as a culinary wonder. More than 2,000 mushrooms exist in nature, but around 25 are widely accepted as food, and few are commercially cultivated. They are considered a delicacy with high nutritional and functional value, and they are also accepted as nutraceutical foods.  Various species are particularly interesting because of their long revered medicinal properties.

They’re packed full of nutrients that can help boost your immune system, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, fight inflammation and fatigue—even improve your sexual performance!

Immune System

You may have heard mushrooms are good for you, but do you know why? Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides and beta-glucans, which are immune-boosting compounds. These substances have been shown to help the body fight infections and help with the healing process after an injury or illness.


You’re not imagining things: You are inflamed. It’s a normal response to infection, injury, or irritation; it’s the way your body tells you that something is wrong. Suppose you get a cut on your finger, and it heals properly. In that case, inflammation is what helps that happen—but if there is any lingering pain associated with the cut (think about how sore your knees can get after biking uphill), then that could be an indication of chronic inflammation, which can eventually lead to more serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The same goes for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus: People who suffer from these conditions often experience chronic inflammation as well as joint pain due to their condition.

Mushrooms are rich in anti-inflammatory components, such as polysaccharides, phenolic and indolic compounds, mycosteroids, fatty acids, carotenoids, vitamins, and biometals. Metabolites from mushrooms are known to possess antioxidant, anticancer, and, most significantly, anti-inflammatory properties. Recent reports indicate that edible mushroom extracts exhibit favorable therapeutic and health-promoting benefits, particularly concerning inflammation-related diseases.

Fatigue and Exercise

Mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin D, which is a hormone that helps to regulate your metabolism and energy levels. These little fungi also contain other vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that can help to boost the immune system.

If you exercise regularly, mushrooms may be able to help you stay energized as well as recover from workouts more quickly. Since they’re full of antioxidants and amino acids—the building blocks of protein—they can help rid the body of free radicals that cause muscle inflammation after strenuous activity.

Physical and Mental Performance

If you want to perform physically and mentally at your best, you need a constant energy supply. Mushrooms are a great source of B vitamins, which are essential for energy production. B vitamins help give you the physical and mental capacity to get through your day—and they’re also essential for brain function. They play an important role in producing neurotransmitters: chemicals that help send messages between nerve cells throughout the brain and body.

Additionally, mushrooms contain iron—essential for energy production as well!

Heart Health

Mushrooms are high in potassium, selenium, vitamin D, and antioxidants. All of which are known to be essential to heart health. Studies have shown all of these vitamins and minerals can help lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol, triglycerides, and contain antioxidants that help prevent heart disease by keeping blood vessels clear of harmful free radicals.

Mushrooms are powerful medicine.

Mushrooms have been used as medicine for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, where they’ve been used to treat many conditions—including cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In all certainty, edible mushrooms can be referred to as a “superfood” and are recommended as a valuable part of your diet.  Mushrooms act as an antibacterial, immune system enhancers and cholesterol-lowering agents; additionally, they are important sources of bioactive compounds. As a result of these properties, mushroom extracts are used to promote human health and are a burgeoning vertical in the dietary supplement industry.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start eating those mushrooms!

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