Far more than just a culinary delight, mushrooms are one of nature’s best defenses for boosting your immunity this winter. For more than 3,000 years, over a dozen varieties of the mighty fungus have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for varied purposes such as increasing immunity, strengthening the lungs and serving as a vital component of several forms of cancer therapy. If you’re looking to add some mycelium nutraceuticals to your cold and flu season arsenal, here are the top varieties to look for.
Agaricus Blazei Murrill Mushroom is an edible Brazilian mushroom with a low caloric content and high nutrient density. Agaricus, nicknamed “God’s Mushroom” due to its near-miraculous curative benefits for the afflicted, has been used for generations by people looking to combat chronic and acute allergies, stress, and chronic fatigue, as well as to treat a litany of diseases and disorders relating to the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems.
Shiitake (for centuries referred to as the “Elixir of Life”) is rich in several anti-oxidants. Mainly known for their immune system support, the shiitake variety of mushroom contains lentinan, which helps strengthen the immune system so that it can better fight off disease and infection. According to the American Cancer Society, lentinan is believed to stop or slow tumor growth, too, though it notes that more clinical trials are needed to fully gauge the mushrooms’ effectiveness. The shiitake also contains a compound called D-Eritadenine (DEA), which has been known to lower cholesterol and support cardiovascular health.
Maitake, also known as “hen of the woods”, are a large species of mushroom native to Japan, North America and Europe. Often found growing in clumps around the base of oak trees, maitake can reach a weight of 50 pounds. Scientific studies show the extract of this highly prized edible mushroom to have potential benefits for stabilizing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promoting healthy immune functions and aiding in cancer treatment and prevention.
Reishi are hailed in ancient Eastern medicine as the “mushroom of immortality” and the “medicine of kings”. The reishi more than lives up to its lofty reputation by helping boost the immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.
Overall, mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrition that contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc, fiber and essential amino acids. Of course, there are thousands of different edible types of mushrooms out there, and even more that are poisonous, so unless you’re a seasoned mycologist (that’s geek speak for “mushroom expert”) you should always stick with supplements and store-bought varieties. This cold and flu season, let LuckyVitamin.com and the mighty mushroom serve as your first line of defense against germs and disease.
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