A strong immune system has never been more important than it is right now. In the midst of a pandemic, the threat of COVID-19 as well as the flu is at an all-time high. Health experts have advised that those with a compromised immune system are at the greatest risk for these illnesses. With an already weakened immune system these viruses could have dire long-term health consequences.
There are many reasons your immune system could be weakened. If any of the following apply to you, your immune system may not be working as well as it should be, and it could be time to supercharge your immune system.
Do you regularly smoke, drink alcohol, or lack an adequate amount of sleep?
Do you have a poor diet, high in unhealthy fats and processed foods?
Do you live a sedentary lifestyle?
Do you often feel stressed, anxious, or depressed?
Are you taking prescription medications?
Is your body currently fighting a virus, disease, or illness?
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then your immune system may not be working as well as it could be. A weakened immune system adversely affects your ability to fight off viruses and protect yourself. Fortunately, in addition to making some lifestyle changes, there are ways you can naturally improve things.
An extremely effective and easy way to do so is by welcoming medicinal mushrooms into your life. These magical fungi have a lengthy list of health benefits and can really supercharge your immune response. So much so that research has found many medicinal mushrooms to have anticancer and antiviral properties, making them effective in treating tumours, cancer, and viruses like HIV.
If you are looking for a natural, all-organic way to protect your body from viruses, illnesses, and disease, you should start by using one (or all!) of the mushrooms listed below that are proven to be an incredible immune system sidekick.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Traditional medicine has used turkey tail mushrooms to treat immunodeficient diseases like HIV and cancer as well as treat fungal infections. This mushroom acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of gut microbiota, which is essential for maintaining health.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s mane is similar to turkey tail in that it also promotes gut microbiota. Research has found that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can reduce colon tissue damage by taking lion’s mane. Modern-day research has examined the benefits of lion’s mane and has discovered that our ancestors really knew what they were doing! Lion’s mane regulates our gut microbiota and immune system. Additionally, these medicinal mushrooms are proven to improve cognitive function and mood. Studies have shown it can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, which are known to reduce immune function.
These mushrooms are referred to as the “mushroom of immortality” due to the incredible effects it has on one’s immune system. Working with the immune system it protects against oxidative damage. For those who are immune-compromised, reishi mushrooms can kick start the system. These mushrooms have been used to both treat and maintain immune system health for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine uses reishi mushrooms for longevity because of their ability to strengthen the immune system.
Chaga mushrooms contain several unique compounds that will boost health and immune response. Some of these properties include anti-oxidant and anti-cancer polyphenols, betulinic acid, and botulin acid. A study on chaga mushrooms and cancer found increased consumption of chaga extract, like that found in chaga mushroom tincture, combated cancer cells.
These are the delicious mushrooms you often add to stir-fry’s and pasta dishes. They not only taste great but have serious immune system boosting power! Oyster mushrooms contain phenolics, polysaccharides and flavonoids, which reduce inflammation and treat inflammation-related diseases. These mushrooms also activate NK cells, which effectively fight cancer cells. A 2019 study found NK to be a cancer-killer as it initiates an immune response against breast and lung cancer cells.
Due to shiitake mushrooms’ ability to supercharge the immune system, these mushrooms have been used to treat the common cold for centuries. A clinical trial published in The Journal of Nutrition suggested that these mushrooms created changes in multiple immune compounds. In doing so, there is increased gut immunity and anti-inflammatory response. More so, shiitake mushrooms also have anti-cancer properties, which is why they are often used as a supplementary treatment for tumours in Japan and China. Whether eaten with your favourite meal or used as a supplement, these medicinal mushrooms can help improve allergies, a suppressed immune system, chronic health conditions, cardiovascular health as well as colds and flu.
Maitake mushrooms have been used in food and taken for medicinal purposes for centuries.
To this day, they have been found to be an effective treatment for immune-compromised diseases like cancer and AIDS. These mushrooms contain proteoglucan. A study found that this proteoglucan decreases mammary tumour cell development. Additionally, in an animal study, researchers found it to act as an antiviral, fighting hepatitis B and HIV. This is why medical mushrooms are often referred to as mini-vaccines! Maitake mushrooms are also an adaptogen, making the body more resistant to stress while increasing vital immune system cells like neutrophils.
If you haven’t incorporated medicinal mushrooms into your daily
life, you are missing out!
People can ingest medicinal mushrooms in a number of ways. They can be purchased as a powder or capsule, or you can make your own mushroom tincture! The easiest (and more economical) way to get organic mushrooms that can be used in food or to make a mushroom tincture is to grow them at home. This couldn’t be easier with Black Oyster Mushroom Farm Kit or Lion’s Mane Mushroom Farm Kit. Give them a bit of water, and within a few weeks, you will have your own crop of mushrooms that you can harvest and enjoy. You can then add these to sauces or your favourite dish or make a mushroom tincture to add to beverages.
As you can see, there are many powerful mushrooms with an array of health benefits that can supercharge your immune system.