Mushrooms are known to be power houses for the immune system. There are various types of mushrooms, and each have specific benefits they can provide.
Here is a little information on the mushroom ‘life cycle’ and the general nutrition of the different types.
There are two parts to a mushroom. The Fruit Body appears above ground. Its function is to produce spores for reproduction, then it will die. The Mycelium is the part underground – the great digestor – digesting organic matter so plant life can access nutrients that contribute to its growth. The mycelium has strong immune and enzyme systems to survive the hostile environment they grow in.
Mushrooms have three growth stages….
1. When spores germinate
2. The mycelial (root) stage
3. Fruit body (growth above ground)
Each stage has its own benefits, so this is why using the whole mushroom is key.
We have a brilliant brand in store OM (Organic Mushrooms). They make mushroom powder, and they grow the mushrooms very carefully to maximise the health benefits.
Mushrooms need to grow on something and it is very important on which growth medium is chosen. OM grow on organic, gluten free oats. Mushrooms grow on wood in the wild which is a challenging medium for mushrooms to grow on so to mimic the wood the oats are left whole, with the hulls on to create a similar tough growing base.
OM grow the mushrooms, dehydrate them and then mill them to produce a mushroom powder where each serving contains at least 2000mg of mushroom powder.
Mushrooms are bio accumulators, meaning they will absorb whatever is around their environment so OM follow GMP certified standards, with controls on light, temperature, hydration and air flow. This helps optimise the growing cycle and bioactive compounds in the mushrooms plus ensuring their powders are organic, free of toxins, pesticides and heavy metals.
Could you benefit from using mushrooms?
Mushrooms promote vitality, energy and immunity. They have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years because of their many functional superfood benefits, especially for the immune system.
Mushrooms contain two important immune boosting compounds;
1. Beta glucans help the immune system be better primed
2. Prebiotics feed our good bacteria in the gut which is key for immune health
Mushrooms work best if taken regularly, ideally on a daily basis.
There are a number of different types of mushroom each has particular strengths. So which one might be most pertinent to you?
Lion’s Mane often known as ‘the smart mushroom’ has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It can be immune stimulating and neuroprotective and so can support cognitive function. It can also help improve anxiety and depression.
Good for memory, focus, alertness, nerve health, creativity and mood
Reishi in Chinese medicine is called the Elixir of Life and the Mushroom of Immortality. In TCM reishi is known as “3 treasure” – of lifeforce, energy and spirit.
It has immune regulating benefits as well as being an adaptogen to support blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also regulate mood and calm allergies and inflammation. It is reported to support the endocrine system, particularly helpful in
balancing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It can be used
as an aid for anxiety plus helpful for stable, long lasting focus and restoring
balance and tranquillity, for a restful night’s sleep.
Good for stress, immunity and an adaptogen
Chaga is often referred to as the King of Mushrooms – it has anti-inflammatory properties and calms oxidative stress by dealing with free radicals- so has anti-aging
properties. It is also immune modulating and has been shown to upregulate immune cell signalling which promotes the formation of cytokines, the proteins that regulate the immune system which in turn increases the production of white blood cells. Due to its anti-aging property it has been used as a natural beauty supplement.
Good for immunity, antioxidant, youthful radiance and anti-aging
Cordyceps is known for vitality, endurance and stamina due to the naturally occurring compounds in the mushroom that improve availability of oxygen in the blood.
It is great for pre and post workouts, busy days with work or children. Good for athletes as a natural source of energy. It is particularly good for those with low energy and fatigue. By improving availability of oxygen in the blood , this in turn supports heart health, respiratory health, VO2 capacity and time to exertion in exercise which is good for endurance. It can also help reduce recovery time post exercise due to the increase in blood flow to the liver and muscles. So it can be taken pre workout, or post workout, at the start of a busy day or mid afternoon when the afternoon slump sets in.
Good for natural energy, vitality, power and endurance.
Maitake and Shiitake have similarities and are both used in cooking and both provide protein and B vitamins. They contain antioxidants to protect against modern day stresses and prebiotics. Maitake is particularly high in antioxidants. Shiitake is
more for immune support.
Maitake is good for weight management, blood sugar, gut health and immunity.
Shiitake is good for healthy gut, cholesterol management, blood pressure and immunity.
A combination of both works well.
We have the range from OM in store, so please do come in and talk mushrooms! We have some mushroom recipe books so you can be inspired with ways to add the powders in to your daily life. If powders do not appeal to you, mushroom supplements are also available in capsule form too from brands such as Terranova.
As with all nutritional supplements, let us know if you are on medications so we can check if there are any interactions.