by Nicole Boisvert – certified holistic nutritionist, life coach, mom
Cultural and traditional use, along with current scientific research, have shown medicinal mushrooms to have positive effects on certain functional systems and pathways in the body by providing life giving macro and micro nutrients. In addition to valuable nutrients, medicinal mushrooms also provide healthful dietary fiber that acts as prebiotics for the growth of probiotic organisms in your gut, which is very important for digestive health.
Medicinal mushrooms also play a role in supporting the body’s immune system, cardiovascular system and nervous system. Due to the similarities between fungi and humans (yes we are similar), we can digest, assimilate and utilize medicinal mushrooms as functional foods efficiently. Each variety of mushroom has its own unique offering and benefit for humans including Reishi mushrooms for the cardiovascular system, Chaga and for antioxidant support, Turkey Tail and immune support and Lion’s Mane for brain/nervous system support.
The simplest way to incorporate these nutritional compounds is through supplementation either in the form of concentrates, extracts or whole food supplements. Consuming the mushrooms raw or using a whole food mushroom (powdered pill) product is generally a better alternative if you're reasonably healthy and looking to maintain optimal health. If you choose to eat your mushrooms raw, make sure they are organically grown, as their flesh easily absorbs air and soil contaminants.
Incorporation of medicinal mushrooms either as a maintenance measure or in times of ill health is a strong addition to any health regime. Discover more about medicinal mushroom today!