The Power of Medicinal Mushrooms
For many centuries mushrooms have been used in functional medicine because of their medicinal properties. The main medicinal component in mushrooms is polysaccharides (long-chain sugars) such as beta glucans. Mushrooms have immune strengthening and boosting properties and are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
Certain types of mushrooms, like shiitake, have been used to enhance the immune system and cardiovascular health and to treat some cancers. The Reishi mushroom has been used to help lower hypertension and hyperlipidemia and boost white blood cells fighting viral infections and cancer.
Mushrooms contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. B vitamins from mushrooms help the body get energy from food and help form red blood cells. Mushrooms also have an abundant amount of fiber called beta-glucans that may improve insulin resistance and blood cholesterol levels.
There are many ways to incorporate mushrooms into your diet, but if you are looking for an easy and non-traditional way, try mushroom-based tonics and teas. Especially if you are feeling a little under the weather.