5 Little-known Health Benefits of Mushrooms

A culinary and medicinal treasure for those who know how wonderfully delicious and healthful they can be, mushrooms are nothing short of magical. This nutrition bite goes over the scientific benefits of mushrooms and explores the exciting potential of how mushrooms can manage and elevate our mental and physical health. 

The benefits of mushrooms have been hailed for centuries, but it’s only recently that their potent powers have started to become recognized and studied in the mainstream world. 

Ranging from the adaptogenic properties of Reishi to the immune boosting powers of Cordyceps, there are over 600 known edible mushrooms and each one is nothing short of magical when it comes to our health. 

Anecdotal studies and personal accounts have praised mushrooms as a functional food to boost endurance, enhance brain function, ward off and fight disease, as well as even unlock and open the mind to spiritual experiences. 

In terms of scientific studies, the following are just a few of the ways we’ve learned mushrooms benefit our health…

5 Little Known Health Benefits Of Mushrooms

1. Rich in Antioxidants

Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin A and C, making them a delicious option to combat inflammation and cancer such as breast cancer [1]. The antioxidant profile in mushrooms showed that daily consumption of mushrooms lowered an individual’s risk of cancer by 45% compared to those who didn’t eat mushrooms! [2]

2. Rich in Fiber

Like all plant foods, mushrooms are chock full of fiber rich in beta-glucans and chitin.  This fiber content does a world of good for your body, such as feeding good gut bacteria, detoxifying your system, and regulating blood pressure and lowering blood sugar, making it a useful tool for managing and combating diseases like diabetes [3]. 

3. Great for Heart Health

Ancient Chinese cultures, the Romans and even the Greeks were aware of the powers of mushrooms. Believed to promote longevity, mushrooms do in fact keep your heart healthy thanks to a combination of blood-pressure regulating potassium, cholesterol-lowering fiber, and inflammation-lowering antioxidants

4. Promotes Mental Health

It’s no secret that true “magic mushrooms” have been known to inspire changes in mental health. Though the research is still in its infancy, it is worth noting what science has reported so far about the properties of psychedelic mushrooms.

Psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in certain mushrooms, shows potential for treating psychiatric and behavioral disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and even addiction. [4]

Additionally, it has shown to pair excellently with therapy for patients suffering from major depression, with studies showing that psilocybin helps brains become more receptive to neurotransmitters. [5]

Note: While we believe in reporting the latest scientific research, we do not promote the illegal use of any substance, and must state that in the United States, psychedelic mushrooms are currently classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning they have no currently accepted medical use. They are also illegal to grow or consume. 

5. They Balance Our Physical and Mental Health

Several types of mushrooms are known adaptogens. Adaptogens are plant-foods that help bring our body back into balance by nourishing and regulating where our body is physically unbalanced, such as our adrenals when we’re stressed.

Adaptogenic mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane are known to help our body adapt to stress, hormone imbalance, fatigue, over stimulation, and depression.

As with the hallucinogenic properties of some mushrooms, the adaptogenic properties of mushrooms make our brain more receptive to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, also known as the ‘happiness hormones’. 

…and who can’t use more happiness!?

Mushrooms are a prime example of a food whose nutritional profile works synergistically to benefit your whole health. The antioxidant and fiber content alone benefit your gut health, heart health, and blood sugar…all of which contribute to the prevention of many diseases, including cancer, high cholesterol and diabetes. 

What’s especially magical about mushrooms is their possible positive impact on our mental health. When used correctly and paired with the correct therapy, studies are showing their effectiveness could someday rival certain medications like antidepressants, which is wild! [6]

Discover everything there is to know about mushrooms and their spectacular powers in the Fantastic Fungi Global Summit, a virtual event featuring over 45 expert speakers that is f.ree for a limited time!

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