“7 ways mushroom supplements improve optimal health” is a collaborative post.
Mushroom edibles have long since fascinated people, with history as far back as 450 BC. However, ancient folk tales across many ancient cultures suggest they have been used for purposes other than food, including ritualistic, protective, and healing uses.
In recent years, their nutritional and medicinal properties, in particular, have been catching the medical community’s attention. They’ve been touted to benefit not only one’s holistic nutrition but also optimal wellness.
With health benefits beyond their nutritional compositions, they started calling them “functional mushrooms.” Given this recent interest, it’s no surprise that mushroom supplements have been all the rage these days.
What are mushroom supplements?
Like whole mushrooms, you can improve your well-being with premium mushroom supplements.
As its name implies, they’re extracts or powders from various types of mushrooms.
They can be in the form of a capsule, powder, liquid extract, mouth spray, tea, coffee, or gummy. They’re sometimes in combination with other remedies, such as cannabidiol (CBD) products.
Here are a few of the many research-backed benefits of mushroom supplements:
Certain mushrooms can strengthen and fortify the immune system. One of these is the turkey tail mushrooms. They’re reported to have antioxidants and polysaccharides (i.e., carbohydrates found in food) that support and balance immune function.
Turkey tail mushrooms promote digestion and gut health as well. One study found that they have prebiotic abilities and help regulate the gut microbiome by balancing levels of healthy bacteria.
Support bone health
All mushrooms are rich in bone-healthy nutrients, specifically copper. This mineral copper plays a role in the production of connective tissue proteins, elastin, and collagen, so it helps in the development and maintenance of bone and joints.
Other mushrooms are also grown with ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. This way of farming can help generate vitamin D. The UV radiation emitted from the light is similar to sunlight and thus produces vitamin D, which is known to help maintain and support strong bones and immunity.
Boost cognitive health
A particular mushroom called lion’s mane is found to improve focus, memory, and nerve health. Many animal and human studies have revealed that it can boost learning, recognition memory, and recall performance. Mushroom Revival’s mushroom gummies are some such quality supplements to try.
In addition to enhanced cognitive function, lion’s mane mushrooms contain neuroprotective properties. A study showed that their compounds can protect nerve cells from oxidative stress and stimulate nerve growth.
Support mental health
Besides its brain health benefits, lion’s mane mushrooms support emotional well-being. They mainly decrease inflammation, which may help alleviate symptoms of mood disorders, anxiety, and depression.
Other mushroom species, colloquially called magic mushrooms, also contain psilocybin. It’s a psychoactive compound that acts on a specific subtype of serotonin receptors in the brain. It causes alterations to cognition, perception, and mood.
However, due to their psychoactive properties, psilocybin mushrooms are still illegal to grow, use and share in many countries. The good news is that as more studies continue on their medical and therapeutic benefits, there could be a gradual change in their legality soon.
Better sleep and reduce stress
Bioactive compounds in reishi mushrooms are found to promote sleep in three ways. The first is through stress reduction. These mushrooms have adaptogenic properties, which help the body to adapt to stress and promote relaxation.
This calming effect on the nervous system promotes one’s sleep quality by making it easier to fall and stay asleep. It also alleviates anxiety symptoms by lowering stress hormone cortisol levels.
The second way is through immune modulation. Like many kinds of mushrooms, reishi mushrooms can also support immune function. Since many immune factors are involved in sleep regulation, reishi mushrooms can promote better sleep.
The final way is through the anti-inflammatory effects common in many mushrooms. As inflammation in the body disrupts sleep patterns and leads to sleep disturbances, the anti-inflammatory of reishi mushrooms may help tackle sleep issues.
Cordyceps mushrooms have been traditionally used to reduce fatigue, speed up recovery, increase energy, and boost strength and sex drive for thousands of years. Recent research has also found that they can also improve overall exercise performance.
They help the body produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules, which are essential for energy delivery to the muscles. As a result, they increase the oxygen intake and use in the body when exercising. This, in turn, helps boost energy and tolerance.
Promote skin health and weight management
Chaga mushrooms are the most revered mushroom ingredient for skincare products. It improves skin health by promoting skin hydration, protecting skin cells against oxidative stress, and preventing premature aging.
They can also promote weight loss. They’re high in fibre, which helps you stay full for longer and causes cravings throughout the day. They also contain a compound called betulinic acid, which can help suppress appetite while reducing fat stores in the body.
Final thoughts on mushroom supplements improve optimal health
Mushroom supplements contain antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection properties. Despite these myriad health benefits, only try adding one variety of mushroom supplements at a time. Doing so helps track any benefits you may have. More importantly, consult a doctor to ensure safety, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.