The use of medicinal mushrooms dates back to thousands of years ago where they were used in holistic and healing practices for their multiple benefits to a person’s health. In the last 5 years we have witnessed a rise in this type of holistic medicine and nutrition, with these older practices having a resurgence and the wellness industry booming with holistic and natural medicines.
Here, Leading Nutritionist Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart reveals the 7 health benefits of adding medicinal mushrooms into your wellness routine.
1. Supports your immune system
Mushrooms are high in beta glucans which are natural substances found to help prime our immune system so it’s able to fight off any germs or illnesses. The mushrooms that are especially rich in powerful beta glucans are reishi, shiitake and maitake. Getting a daily dose of these mushrooms is really beneficial for your overall well-being and is the extra support we need, especially during the winter months when flus and colds are rife. Furthermore, studies have shown that the Maitake mushrooms protect against the flu virus and reduce cold symptoms, so it’s definitely a good one to add to your wellness regime. I always recommend Hifas Bio defense which is a daily supplement containing 5 organic immune supporting mushrooms including Reishi and maitake.
2. Supports healthy brain function
Many studies have shown that certain types of mushrooms can have a positive impact on your brain and memory. They work to boost brain health by lowering neuroinflammation, increasing nerve growth and enhancing neuron repair. As well as this, they can also help to reduce oxidative stress which improves cognition, memory and overall brain health. It has been found that Lion’s Mane mushroom can reduce inflammation and biological markers of Alzheimer’s Disease, meaning that eating this particular type of mushroom could have a positive impact on your brain health. The Mico Digest by Hifa, which includes the Lion’s Mane mushroom, is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to maintain a healthy cognitive function.
3. Boosts sexual wellness
Yes, you heard right. Certain mushrooms can actually help to increase your libido and boost your sexual wellness. The red reishi mushroom has long been used to help with sexual function, naturally increasing libido. The reishi has aphrodisiac properties and can work to increase both male and female libido as well as enhancing the body’s overall function and performance. If you want to really up your sexual wellness, the Mico blue solution by Hifas da Terra is a highly performative product which is exclusively available in Harrods due to its eye watering price tag. However, with proven benefits including heightened libido, improved stress management and better quality sleep, it’s well worth the initial layout in cost.
4. Helps to balance blood sugar levels
It is really important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, as if these become out of control it can affect everyday energy as well as increasing your risk of developing problems such as type 2 diabetes and potential weight gain. The Maitake mushroom can help to bring blood sugar down by improving sensitivity to insulin which is the hormone that triggers cells to take glucose out of the blood.
5. Supports healthy joints
Certain mushrooms hold anti-inflammatory properties which can help to ease any joint pain and discomfort. The Reishi and shiitake mushrooms in particular are suggested to be helpful. A study found that Reishi mushrooms helped to ease pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis, supporting the argument that mushrooms can help to keep joints and bones healthy and help to keep you mobile. Why not try the Hifas Mico Rei, with a high concentration of Reishi it has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Boosts energy and reduces stress
Certain types of mushrooms can be used as a mood tonic, or an ‘adaptogen’. This is particularly common in parts of Asia, where traditionally they would create tonics to help with stress and energy. Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress and protect against the negative effects that stress brings on such as fatigue and disrupted sleep. Adaptogen also works to give us an extra boost of energy, Maitake and Reishi are among the mushrooms said to have adaptogenic qualities.
7. High in antioxidants
Mushrooms such as Shiitake and Reishi are rich in youth boosting antioxidants such as polyphenols, which are also found in some fruits and vegetables, but mushrooms actually go one further than vegetables. First of all, their powerful beta glucans can also have an antioxidant effect as well as boosting immunity as mentioned earlier. These mushrooms are also a source of the minerals copper and zinc which are used by our body to make its own antioxidants. It’s never too late to start a daily mushroom regime and get the maximum benefits from these anti-aging miracle workers. And an added bonus is that they will work to protect your skin and make it glow from the inside out.