Mushrooms are an incredible immune-boosting food; so much so, that world-renowned mushroom expert, Paul Stamets calls them “miniature pharmaceutical factories”. And whether your favorite way to consume mushrooms is in a chicken marsala or as a meat substitute, the truth is, we can all use a lot more mushroom in our diets.
Mushrooms come in many different shapes, colors and sizes, but what they all have in common is that they contain valuable disease-fighting nutrients.
Immune System Defense
Surprisingly, mushrooms are closely related to us. It turns out that mushrooms and humans share the same pathogens (viruses and bacteria). This is the reason why common antibiotics like penicillin and streptomycin are derived from fungi extracts.
This close relationship makes them the perfect remedy to help us fight sickness and disease.
And I must admit, it does sound too-good-to-be-true that just one serving of mushrooms can protect your DNA from damage, fight viruses & bacteria and even prevent cancer… but it’s true.
So instead of waiting for sickness to brew during flu season, build yourself a strong immune system of disease-fighting cells supported by incorporating mushrooms into your diet.
Even plain ‘ole Cremini mushrooms can do the trick, supplying you with a high amount of nutrients like selenium (the highest in any other fruit and vegetable), key in preventing lung, prostate & colon cancer!
Mushrooms like Shitake mushrooms have been proven to fight off infections due to their production of Lentinan, key in boosting the immune system and stimulating white blood cells. Studies have also shown their ability to help lower cholesterol levels. Because mushrooms contain such a high number of antioxidants that stimulate the immune system, they play a key role in fighting chronic diseases such as cancer.
Mushrooms, such as a Maitake mushrooms, are rich in polysaccharides. Studies have shown these properties have the ability to trigger certain cancer cells (like stomach cancer cells) to self-destruct. Furthermore, these mushrooms have the ability to positively regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
You don’t have to get fancy! Even household commons like White Button, Cremini, Portobello & Oyster mushrooms have powerful anti-cancer properties. Studies recently published show that these humble mushrooms can be extremely helpful in preventing hormone-related cancers like breast cancer.
Nervous System Support
It turns out that mushrooms are loaded with B vitamins. Many times, low energy levels, headaches and brain fog are signs of a nutrient deficiency; moreover, a B Vitamin deficiency.
Mushrooms are a great source of supportive B vitamins like: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid).
One B-Vitamin in particular, riboflavin plays a key role in neurological function; so much so that the American Headache Society and the Academy of Neurology rate it as a possibly effective solution in the prevention of migraine headaches.
So the easiest way to ensure your levels are up to speed are to regularly incorporate mushrooms into your diet at least once a week.
Do I need to buy Organic?
Since mushrooms are porous and very absorbent by nature, it is extremely important to consume the highest quality mushrooms available. Buying organic mushrooms can significantly lower your exposure to harmful chemicals, hormone-disruptive toxins & heavy metals absorbed through the environment.
Beyond the medicinal magic of mushrooms, the best part is that they are versatile in the kitchen. My favorite way to regularly incorporate them into my diet is to sauté them and use them for a salad bowl, quinoa bowl or a breakfast omelette.
Check out my easy recipe below:
Sautéed Mushoom Recipe:
1 tablespoon Organic Grassfed Ghee (Organic Valley is our favorite)
1 cup Mushroom of Choice (Shitake, Crimini, Portobello etc)
1/4 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (HimalaSalt is our favorite)
1/4 teasoon cracked Black Pepper
Chopped Garlic TT
Chopped Parsley TT
For more information regarding the topics discussed, feel free to visit the follow resources:
Recent developments in mushrooms as anti-cancer therapeutics: a review
The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms
Basic Report: 11260, Mushrooms, white, raw
Hypocholesterolemic action of eritadenine is mediated by a modification of hepatic phospholipid metabolism in rats
DOG, TIERAONA LOW. FORTIFY YOUR LIFE: YOUR GUIDE TO VITAMINS, MINERALS, AND MORE. WASHINGTON, DC, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, 2016