WE ARE OPEN Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm

SHOP ‘TIL LATE on Wednesday 9am to 7pm

Mushrooms may not seem the obvious choice for keeping your immunity strong, skin glowing and blood sugar balanced, but numerous clinical studies have proved medicinal mushrooms can benefit multiple systems in our bodies.

Dr. Vivien Rolfe PhD, Pukka’s Head of Herbal Research, explains why they are a great go-to natural remedy to keep you in good health. You can read the original article here.

1. Keep your immunity strong and support natural defences

Mushrooms are high in beta-glucans – natural substances that have been found to help ‘prime’ our immune system, making sure it’s ready for action to fight off bugs and other invaders (1). Certain types of mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and maitake are especially rich in the most powerful beta-glucans. So, a daily serving of these could be beneficial at times when we need extra support, such as during the cold and flu season. A recent study found that maitake mushrooms have a protective effect against the flu virus and reduce cold symptoms (2), so it might be worth adding a dose of maitake to your wellbeing rituals.

2. Rich source of vitamin D

Mushrooms contain a pre-cursor to vitamin D, which is converted to an active form (a form that is useable by the human body) following UV radiation (3), so try popping your mushrooms on a sunny windowsill or on a table in the garden for a couple of hours in the midday sun for a great plant-based source of vitamin D. (Note that this requires stronger UV rays, so will only be effective between April and October.) Alternatively, look out for “vitamin D enhanced” mushrooms in your local supermarket, which have been pre-exposed to UV light. Pukka’s Mushroom Gold contains 248% NRV of natural vitamin D, so try including a daily dose for this and many other immune-regulating benefits.

3. Increase energy and help you cope with stress

Certain medicinal mushrooms are traditionally used in many parts of Asia on a daily basis as a mood tonic or ‘adaptogen’. Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and protect against some of its negative effects, such as fatigue and poor sleep (4) resulting in more energy too. Maitake and reishi are among the mushrooms said to have adaptogenic qualities.

4. Keep blood sugar balanced

When blood sugar levels are out of balance, it can affect our everyday energy as well as increase the risk of weight gain and conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that the maitake mushroom can help bring blood sugar levels down by improving sensitivity to insulin (5,6) – the hormone that triggers cells to take glucose out of the blood. It may also help protect the pancreas, which produces insulin.

5. Keep joints healthy

Inflamed and aching joints can be an issue for many people, especially those with arthritis or joint damage, and may prevent us from doing activities we enjoy. Mushrooms appear to be anti-inflammatory, so could help to ease some of this pain and discomfort (7). A clinical trial found that reishi mushrooms helped to ease pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis over a period of 24 weeks (8). So, a daily dose of mushrooms could help keep you active and pain free.

6. Look after your natural glow

Studies have found that mushrooms such as shiitake (9) and reishi (10) are rich in antioxidants, such as polyphenols. They are also a good source of the minerals copper and zinc (11), used by our body to make its own powerful antioxidants. Together, this means that mushrooms may have anti-aging and protective activity for our skin, as well as other cells around the body.

How do I get medicinal mushrooms into my diet?

You may have seen shiitake mushrooms in your local supermarket, but maitake and reishi are not as readily available in food form. For a convenient and effective way to get all the health benefits of these powerful mushrooms, try a good-quality organic nutritional mushroom supplement combining all three. Pukka’s Mushroom Gold is a blend of organic full-spectrum reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms.