The group of plants, herbs and mushrooms commonly known as adaptogens are probably best known for their stress-relieving properties.
However, recently it has been found that they could also help in supporting other areas of health.
One of the most common species on Earth the mushroom has over 1.5 million varieties. Many are edible with fantastic health benefits but some can cause serious illness and in some cases be fatal.
We take a look at some of the health benefits of mushrooms.
1. May support gut health
Gut health is the foundation of overall health, if there are imbalances in our gut it can cause everything to go out of balance and effect our immune system, digestion and hormones.
Beta glucan, which appears in mushrooms acts like a prebiotic , helping the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and promoting a favourable gut environment.
Consuming mushrooms regularly is thought to be beneficial for gut health. A recent review found that “white button mushrooms helped to increase microbial diversity, and alter gut flora composition. Chaga powder and Maitake mushroom supplements have also been found to have gut health benefits, including alleviating GI disorders, supporting numbers of good bacteria and preventing viral infections and candida that contribute to digestive problems.”
Reishi mushrooms have been shown in studies to have prebiotic properties and the ability to modulate the gut microbiome, helping to feed and sustain beneficial gut bacteria. It is the most anti-inflammatory of the mushrooms, and many diseases like IBD are driven by chronic inflammation.
2. Can help support the immune system
Mushrooms contain active polysaccharides, one of which is a type of soluble fibre called beta-glucan. These help to maintain healthy gut bacteria and support your cholesterol level, blood sugar levels and immune system .
By activating the body’s natural ‘ killer cells’, it helps the body fight infection and protect against viruses.
Mushrooms also contain B vitamins as well as a powerful antioxidant called selenium which helps support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues
3. Plant source of vitamin D
About 1 billion people worldwide have a Vitamin D deficiency . This is necessary for calcium absorption to build strong bones, and it’s responsible for brain development, a healthy immune system, and improved dental and oral health.
One of the only plant-based foods that are high in vitamin D. Much like humans mushrooms can absorb vitamin D from the sun, so even if you haven't been able to get out in the sunshine, the mushrooms have!
By leaving mushrooms out on the counter in direct sunlight for 15-20 minutes; Studies suggest this simple act may result in levels of vitamin D2 as high as 10mcg per 100g fresh weight.
4. Mushrooms are good for the skin
Mushrooms and reishi mushrooms in particular are brimming with skincare benefits, from reducing redness to fending off fine lines and wrinkles.
Containing two of the most powerful antioxidants in the skin, ergothioneine and reduced glutathione these help prevent premature ageing and free radical formation.
The polysaccharides in reishi mushrooms provide deeply hydrating benefits, this means that they may also decrease fine lines and wrinkles, as well as repair and reinforce moisture barrier.
Mushrooms are also a good source of dietary potassium, selenium, and B vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin. Consuming mushrooms on a daily basis daily gives you a great nutrient boost that will help your skin to glow.Mushrooms can protect your brain as you age.
5. Mushrooms can protect your brain as you age.
Studies show that mushrooms are emerging as one of the most scientifically powerful ways to boost brain health and mental wellbeing, and support mild cognitive impairment .
A long-term study from Spain published in 2021 found that certain foods rich in polyphenols (which include mushrooms, as well as coffee, cocoa, and red wine) may be protective against cognitive decline in older adults.
Penn State researchers also found that the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione may help prevent Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. They recommend eating at least five button mushrooms per day to reduce your risk of neurological illness in the future.
We love the power of adaptogens and mushrooms and add reishi mushroom to our Kale, Reishi &Maca juice blend.
This delicious blend aids a healthy immune system, protects cells from oxidative stress and supports healthy skin. Kale, a fantastic source of dietary fibre, is high in magnesium. Maca is rich in zinc and magnesium and reishi mushroom has immune-boosting properties. To order your visit our shop today.