The use of functional mushrooms has drawn a lot of attention
recently and for good reason. Functional mushrooms are specific mushrooms that
are used for their medicinal benefits.
These mushrooms (listed below) have been studied and used in
Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine for thousands of years.
There is deep scientific research that indicates the healing
properties of mushrooms including immune system support and prevention of
cancer. Several mushrooms are considered adaptogens, meaning they help us cope
Fun fact: the
mushrooms are also low in calories, high in protein and are great sources of B
vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Functional mushrooms contain antioxidants, amino acids,
proteins, digestive enzymes, prebiotics and beta-glucans (an enzyme that helps
balance blood sugar, cholesterol, boost immune system).
A few benefits include:
- Increased Energy
- Cognitive function
- Immune support
- Reduce blood sugar levels
- Gut health
- Boosting nutrient absorption
- Aid digestion
- Reduce inflammation
Some mushrooms such as Reishi have over 150
proven health benefits.
- Used in TCM for
over 2000 years.
- An adaptogen –
great for stress and improved sleep. Great to have at night (add to hot
- Digestive issues-
Great for leaky gut (intestinal permeability), helps modulate inflammation in
- Used to support
stamina and endurance.
effects on the adrenal glands, helps to adapt to physical and environmental
- Fights flu
symptoms, protects liver, improve kidney function.
- Lions mane:
- Brain booster!
Used for focus, creativity, productivity.
properties and beta-glucans, used for immune system.
- Turkey tail:
- Prebiotics and
antioxidant properties, therefore fantastic for supporting the gut.
- Powerful effects
on the immune system.
- Excellent source
of niacin Lowers LDL cholesterol, brain
booster, improves skin function
beta-glucan, great for fasting
- Vitamin D, B and
digestive, immune function, overall immunity.
Incorporating into our diet
There are various forms that these mushrooms can be
obtained. I like to use the powders as I like to add them into my food and
By understanding some of the actions of the mushrooms, you
can incorporate these in your daily routine to receive optimal benefits. For
example, including Lions mane in the
morning will boost brain function and energy, and adding Reishi at night can help relax and improve sleep.
Other options: coffee, any hot beverage, smoothies, bone
broth, gravy. I’m sure there are endless
ways to add these treat into your meals.
that offer functional mushrooms:
This is an interesting review highlights the findings on pharmaceutical
potential of mushrooms and anti-cancer compounds.